[Another post from Sam on tour—explanation here.]

48 hours in Montreal and Toronto gave me a chance to visit one of the largest and then one of the smallest branch libraries I know. I’m all for both, but you know where my heart lies. I love small, especially for cities, and I think now is the moment for small, especially as we try to understand what’s next for public space and libraries alike.

Here’s the Grande Bibliothèque in downtown Montreal:

Inside are exhibits, food, a soaring lobby with seating, and a security guard who reminded me that photography is not permitted, even in the outer lobby/atrium. Perhaps this last shot from my Montreal hotel window sums it up best: extra large and somewhat distant:

Now, cut to Toronto, the next day. Here’s the mini-branch of the Toronto Public Library, located inside City Hall:

Putting a little library right where people already go.

An interesting project to read books together in the city.

Some local titles about the city and city hall, for sale in the branch.

You are here. Library in a City Hall.

City Hall Plaza

Skating and recreation built into the City Hall Plaza. How about a Uni?


And just across the street, an interesting idea...


...a mini-rainforest in the city. "Indoor" public park.