Canadian Public Libraries

The majority of these postcards are of Carnegie buildings. Dates from Wikipedia.

Carnegie Libraries

In contrast to the US libraries, these are in alphabetic order by the city name, rather than by the province name.

 Aylmer, Ontario

Aylmer, Ontario Carnegie Library

1911 building superceded by the Old Town Hall in 1979, ostensibly due to size constraints.
Part of the Elgin County library system.

Photo postcard may date to the 1930s.
Surprisingly, Aylmer has a sizable Amish population.



 Calgary, Alberta

Calgary Carnegie library Calgary Carnegie library

Aka Memorial Park Library.

(L) 'SceneOchroM' brand card, made in Canada by the Gowen, Sutton Co. of Vancouver.
(R) Self-framed card published in Saxony by the Pacific Novelty Company of San Francisco. Mailed in 1913.


1912 Carnegie building, still in use as a library.



 Chatham, Ontario

Chatham Carnegie library Chatham Carnegie library

Warts and all.

Canada's first Carnegie Library (1902). Reminscent of US ideas, this was demolished by 1983.

(L) Rather pretty card bears a Confereation commerative (1927) stamp.
(R) Different corner view, never mailed but nonetheless, bedraggled.




 Midland, Ontario

Midland, ON Carnegie library

Heliotype brand card mailed in 1936 to Wisconsin.


1910 grant: opened 1915. In 1967, the library moved from the Carnegie building into an older, Romanesque building, formerly used as a Customs Office, among other govermental functions.

The Carnegie building is now in use as a restaurant, of all the unusual things.




 New Westminster, British Columbia

New Westminster, BC Carnegie building

Heliotype brand card: never mailed.

The first building burnt and the library was reopened in a reading room in 1899.
1902 grant: opened 1905. Closed 1958. Current fate unknown.
The 1958 building was renovated in 1978. and has since been replaced.




 Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa Carnegie library Ottawa Carnegie library

Currently 33 branches and 2 bookmobiles comprise the capital city's public library system.

(L) Valentine & Sons' cards were produced for Canada as well as the US. No legible postmark.
(R) Tinted card bearing an Edward VII stamp on the photo side was mailed to the United States in 1911.

1901 grant.
Demolished.



 Paris, Ontario

Paris, ON Carnegie Library

Designed by Alexander Frank Wickson, apparently using the Classical Revival Type A plan. Built in 1903.

Canadian card by the International Stationery Co. of Picton.




 Pembroke, Ontario

Pembroke, ON Library

December 24, 1907 Carnegie grant. However, it was not built until 1914, in a rather spare Prairie style.
Still in use.

The photo card, unattributed, was mailed in 1947.





 Saint John, New Brunswick

St. John, NB Carnegie Library

Logo of PE CO in a maple leaf. 1950s 4 cent QE II stamp, but never mailed. However, the card looks much older, probably from the 1920s.


1904 building, replaced in 1983, now houses the Saint John Arts Centre.




 Saint Thomas, Ontario

St. Thomas, ON Carnegie Library St. Thomas, ON Carnegie Library

Both cards also feature the city hall.

St. Thomas is not on Wikipedia's list of Canadian Carnegie buildings, but the Library itself states that it first petitioned for Carnegie funding in 1903, received its grant in 1904, and opened the resultant building in 1906.
The Carnegie library was replaced in 1973. Fate unknown.

(L) Valentine and Sons card of British manufacture.
(R) Canadian publication.

 Sarnia, Ontario

Sarnia, ON Carnegie Library

Built 1902-3: demolished 1960.

Evidently the Canadians also imported German postcards. This is from the Edwardian era. It features a bandstand, a gazebo, and a cannon.
Which one of these objects does not belong with the others?




 Shelburne, Ontario

Shelburne, ON

Still in use.

Modern chrome multiview card featuring the Shelburne Community Centre and the Dufferin County Museum, in addition to the library.

1911 grant.




 Stratford, Ontario

Stratford, ON

Late 1901 grant: built 1903. Still in use.

According to the Dexter Colour Canada card, mailed in 1990, it opened September 19, 1903 and is believed to be the oldest Carnegie building still in use as a library.




 Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Carnegie library Toronto Carnegie library

(L) Public Reference Library, Toronto, Ont. Quality postcard for Ballantine Bros. of Toronto.
(R) Linen finish card by Colourpicture, of Boston, Massachusetts.


1903 grant. Closed 1977.




 Vancouver, British Columbia

City Hall and Carnegie Library, Vancouver B.C. City Hall and Carnegie Library, Vancouver B.C. Carnegie Public Library and City Hall, Vancouver B.C.
Embossed card, unevenly divided,
yet mailed to the US in 1906.
Edwards Brothers card, printed in Germany. Battered Valentine & Sons' card,
mailed in 1909.

Another library omitted from the Carnegie list on Wikipedia. All 3 cards call the building a Carnegie structure.
The building is now the Carnegie Center, but has a reading room for those without ID and borrowing privileges.

 Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, BC Carnegie library

Valentine and Sons Souvenir Post Card printed in Great Britain and mailed in the States.


1905 Romanesque building stands vacant.





 Wallaceburg, Ontario

Wallaceburg, ON Carnegie library

Warwick Bros. and Rutter card, printed in Toronto. Isn't the reverse of this card fantastic?


1906 grant. Current function unknown.




 Windsor, Ontario

Windsor Carnegie library Windsor Carnegie library

Canada's first Carnegie library grant.


(L) Valentine & Black card, printed in the US.
(R) Warwick Bros. and Rutter card, printed in Toronto. Mailed in 1910.


1901 grant. Demolished.




 Woodstock, Ontario

Woodstock, ON Carnegie library

Built in 1909 from a 1905 grant. Architect: William Craven Vaux Chadwick.


Another rough card which was never mailed, by Valentins & Sons.




Non-Carnegie Libraries

 Chatham, Ontario

View of the newer Chatham Library's interior.

 Halifax, Nova Scotia

Strong resemblance to the second London, Ontario library building.

 Kitchener, Ontario

Very mod.

 London, Ontario

London, ON Library

The first London Public Library was built in a 'Romanesque Lite' style in 1895. It served until 1940, when the building below was opened.

(L) Photogelatine Engraving card mailed in 1923, to Elgin, Illinois.
Postage: one cent.





London, ON Library London, ON Library

(L) Photogelatine Engraving card mailed in 1955.
(R) Smug, victorious evergreen on a Valentine-Black card, mailed 1948.

In a weird twist, Reverend Dr. James Ross, a library board member, was killed while on a trip to the US, in pursuit of a Carnegie grant which was never made.
This appears to be the Elsie Perrin Williams Memorial Building, opened in 1940. It replaced the Princess Rink and Winter Gardens.

 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw, SK Library Moose Jaw, SK Library

(L) Photogelatine Engraving Co., Ltd. card, mailed in 1951.
(R) No publishing information or plate number on the tinted, white border card.

The building is still in use.





 Port Colborne, Ontario

Port Colborne, ON

The Curt Teich postcard empire extended into Canade: Hamilton, Ontario to be exact. This card was published in 1958.

Per Teich:
This modern building, erected in 1956 and set amidst beautiful lawns and gardens, presents an opportunity for enjoyment and higher learning to the people of this busy town.




 Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, BC Library

Opened in late 1957. Hotel Vancouver in background.

Looking for Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America?

© 2009 - 2014 Judy Aulik
Uploaded 15 July 2009.
Updated 05 January 2014.