Our new home
We have very exciting news— rather than planning our next pop-up library, we have been preparing to move into our first physical library space!
Thanks to the encouragement, generous donations, and support of community members, we have been able to establish a partnership which will enable us to lease a space in a fully accessible and inclusive building in downtown Toronto long-term.
On March 13th (this month!), we will be moving into CSI Regent Park (585 Dundas St. E.), where we will be taking up the south east section of the publicly accessible lounge space. Our entire collection will be housed in this space, and we will maintain regular volunteer-run operational hours TBA shortly.
Update about crowdfunding funds
With the proceeds from our crowdfunding campaign, we have been able to:
- Purchase library supplies and furniture
- Arrange a partnership agreement to lease a space long-term for subsidized rent
- Commission design work from local artists, such as our new homepage comic by Toronto artist Bo Doodley (first panel pictured above) and logo by Winnipeg Comic Creator, Illustrator & Graphic Designer Scott A. Ford.
Throughout our crowdfunding campaign, we were honest and clear about what it would cost to secure our own independent full-time space with full-time staff in downtown Toronto; although we were not able to meet our crowdfunding targets for this campaign, we have worked hard to ensure that we are still able to secure an accessible space embedded in a unique community. In the future, we are working towards being able to pay a full-time staff member for our library.
Also, from this campaign alone, we have added 58 pay it forward memberships into the pool. This means 58 memberships available to community members for no cost.
About the Regent Park community
The community surrounding CSI Regent Park is diverse. We will be operating in a designated community housing area that has been experiencing a high influx of refugees and immigrants. In recent years, the area has also experienced massive change and upheaval due to project development. We aim to engage this diverse community as well as the larger Toronto community by serving as an affordable/free cultural and literary resource, and implementing accessible projects and initiatives. Anyone of any age or background should be able to visit the library space, read comics in the library, and engage a librarian for the duration of operating hours. The space is also accessible via TTC, and close to the heart of downtown Toronto.
The Library will be housed in the beautiful Daniels Spectrum building. There you will find everything from a public piano to performance and exhibit spaces, youth programming, art programming, and, on the third floor, CSI Regent Park. The building is a joint venture between Artscape, Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and the Regent Park community. It is both fully accessible by Ontario standards and fully LEED certified. The downstairs lounge is a social and community hub with free wifi and you can often find people working on their projects and school work there.
CSI Regent Park serves a unique space in the CSI ecosystem, still offering its non-profit and small organization affordable packages while also providing space for the community. The public lounge is free and fully publicly accessible for lounging and work. There is also coffee and tea available to guests for a small fee of $2. During publicly open hours, you will often find a myriad of Regent Park and Toronto Non Profit community members going about their business or simply enjoying the lounge. We here at CCOL are proud to augment this space and host our collection and future events from this location.
We will keep you updated about regular operating hours. In the meantime, you can read more about the CSI Regent Park community space here
We can’t wait to welcome you and other community members into the library space.
We would deeply appreciate you continuing to spread the word about what we are creating. We are still currently an entirely volunteer run organization that relies on memberships, volunteers, and donations to operate.
-The CCOL team