Hamilton Public Library
Hamilton Public Library, view from top of Stelco Tower
43°15′33″N 79°52′13″W / 43.259160609618206°N 79.8704048290868°W / 43.259160609618206; -79.8704048290868
Location55 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON L8N 4E4, Canada
Typepublic library system in Hamilton, Ontario
Items collectedBooks, DVDs, Blu-ray DVDs, Music CDs, Audio Books, E-books, Archival materials related to the region, Artwork and Ephemeral
Access and use
Circulationover 7 million items circulated
Other information
Budget31 million dollars
DirectorPaul Takala, CEO & Chief Librarian
WebsiteHamilton Public Library website

The Hamilton Public Library (HPL) is the public library system of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.[1]


HPL services include the Local History and Archives department (formerly called Special Collections), which houses an extensive collection of local history resources and government documents from the City of Hamilton, and the Learning Centre, which provides access to language materials for new Canadians. In recent years, the HPL's collection of online resources has expanded rapidly, and now features more than 30 databases covering a great variety of topic areas.[2]


Public libraries have operated in Hamilton since the 1830s, although the first branches were privately operated and tended to be ephemeral in nature.

Hamilton and Gore Mechanics' Institute was one of a series of Mechanic's Institutes that were set up around the world after becoming popular in Britain. The Mechanic's Institutes libraries eventually became public libraries when the establishment of free libraries occurred.[3]

Hamilton city council voted to publicly fund the construction and operation of a library in 1889. This building opened in February 1890. Hamilton was the first city in Canada to erect a new building for the express purpose of housing a library. A HPL branch opened on Hamilton's Barton Street in 1908.[4] Andrew Carnegie funded a new main library, which opened in 1913. This was in turn replaced by a new, six-storey central library in 1980. Today, only one half of the building houses public collections. Once restricted to the city of Hamilton, the HPL service area was expanded when the outlying townships were amalgamated into the City in 2001. The now-amalgamated City of Dundas had had its own library in operation since 1822.[4] The outlying rural towns had previously been served by the Wentworth Libraries system. In 2001, the Wentworth and Dundas libraries amalgamated with the HPL into a single system with 22 branches,[5] 34 bookmobile stops, a virtual online branch and a Visiting Library Service for the homebound.[4]

List of branches

Branch Name Address Location within city
Ancaster 300 Wilson St. E. Ancaster
Barton 571 Barton St. E. East
Binbrook 2641 Highway 56 Binbrook
Carlisle 1496 Center Rd Carlisle
Central Library 55 York Blvd. Downtown
Concession 565 Concession St. Central Mountain
Dundas 18 Ogilvie St. Dundas
Freelton 1803 Brock Rd. Freelton
Greensville 59 Kirby Ave. Dundas
Kenilworth 103 Kenilworth Ave. N. East
Locke 285 Locke St. S. Downtown
Lynden 110 Lynden Rd. Lynden
Millgrove (Closed as of November 2015) 857 Millgrove Sdrd. Millgrove
Mount Hope 3027 Homestead Drive Mount Hope
Parkdale 256 Parkdale Ave N. East
Picton (Closed as of June 2009) 502 James St N. Downtown
Red Hill 695 Queenston Rd. East
Rockton (Closed as of December 2012) 795 Old Highway 8 Rockton
Saltfleet 131 Grays Rd. Stoney Creek
Sherwood 467 Upper Ottawa St. East Mountain
Stoney Creek 777 Highway 8 Stoney Creek
Terryberry 100 Mohawk Rd. W. West Mountain
Turner Park 352 Rymal Road East South Mountain
Valley Park 970 Paramount Dr. East Mountain
Waterdown 163 Dundas St. E. Waterdown
Westdale 955 King St W. West

See also


  1. ^ "Community Highlights for Hamilton (City)". 2001 Canadian Census. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  2. ^ "Hamilton Public Library Home". Hamilton Public Library website. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
  3. ^ Harris, Michael. History Of Libraries In The Western World. 4th ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, p. 153.
  4. ^ a b c "History of the Hamilton Public Library". Hamilton Public Library website. Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  5. ^ Dongen, Matthew Van (2017-01-27). "4 million: Visits surge to Hamilton's 22 library branches". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2019-03-07.