One of Mississauga’s oldest libraries is not moving


Published September 8, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Port Credit Library

When Mississauga officials found a way earlier this year to repair and keep the venerable Port Credit Library at its original location, it was a significant victory for an important part of the city’s history.

Prior to their decision to keep the branch at Port Credit Memorial Park, where it’s been since 1962, City of Mississauga officials seemed resigned to the notion that it would have to be relocated because for years it had been slowly sinking into the ground.

The library and surrounding park are built on landfill in the city’s south end that over time has impacted the stability of the building’s foundation and supports.

However, City staff came up with a plan that would keep the landmark building at Port Credit Memorial Park.

In February, they presented to City councillors an option that would save the existing 8,200-sq.-ft. library by repairing the concrete foundation at an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million.

The plan was approved and work is ongoing with a target reopening date of late 2023 or early 2024.

The library has been closed to the public since June 2021. Until it reopens, the branch will operate via a Port Credit Memorial Arena Pop-Up Library to serve the community.

As recently as July 2021 and again last September, Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko expressed little optimism the library could be kept at its current location.

They believed at the time it was more than likely the structure would be torn down and rebuilt elsewhere.

Dasko, then, was excited at the prospect of keeping the library where it is.

“Over the past several months, I have been working extensively to ensure that Ward 1 is able to have a library in the Port Credit community,” Dasko said back in February. “I am so pleased it will be able to stay in its present place; it’s a popular location that means so much to library customers and the Port Credit neighbourhood.”

Built in 1962 on the north side of Lakeshore Rd. on the grounds of Port Credit Memorial Park, the branch has faced structural issues over the years and has gone through a number of renovations to keep it propped up. 

In the past 20 years, the City has considered moving the library to other locations, but the community has been steadfast in its desire to keep it at its current site. 

A library has served Port Credit since 1896, when a group of citizens met at the new Riverside School to discuss plans for a public library.

Membership fee at the time was 50 cents a year, and the library was open six hours a week.

Through memberships, donations and a grant from the government, the library was able to acquire 500 books by 1898 and things took off from there. 

The library was moved a number of times before finally settling in at its current location 60 years ago.

Port Credit Library has also made national headlines in recent years.

In 2017, Chatelaine magazine named the branch one of Canada’s “15 coolest” library branches. It came in at No. 3, behind only Halifax Central Library and a Quebec City library.

And a little-known fact about the south Mississauga library: when the branch was first designed in the early 1960s, it was meant to have windows looking toward the nearby Credit River. However, budget cuts resulted in a solid concrete wall being built instead. But a 2013 renovation, which helped win a Governor General’s Medal for the designers, fixed that issue and gave library users a nice view of the river.

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