A Library Says A Lot About A Town, 1852 - present
The Brooklin Public Library
T.J. Holliday Store
T.J. Holliday Store Details

According to the Tweedsmuir History written by the Brooklin Women's Institute, the village of Brooklin had a circulating library as early as 1852. Jeremiah Frost, the Clerk for the Township of Whitby, was appointed the first Librarian in 1859. The Librarian was tied to the Township Clerk's position until Daniel Holliday retired as Librarian in 1916 and his daughter, Robina Marie took over the role.

The circulating library lasted until the Brooklin Public Library officially opened in 1897 with a Board of Directors. By 1912 the Brooklin Library had 141 members and just over 2800 volumes. At this time the library was located on the second floor of the building at at 58 Baldwin Street (formerly Thomas Jackson Holliday's store). Members paid an annual fee to access the library's services.

Attempts were made to procure a Carnegie Library Grant for a new building but this was never realized. In 1921, the Library Board appealed to the Brooklin Women's Institute for assistance in finding a new location for the library. The joint-committee asked Township Council for library space and were successfully allotted an area in the basement of Township Hall at 45 Cassels Road East. The collection was moved in September 1921.

From this point, the Women's Institute informally took over responsibility for the Brooklin library, with the exception of fuel and heating which was paid for by the Township. They raised funds to purchase new books, provided an annual grant, and appointed the head and assistant librarians.

Brooklin Baptist Church
Brooklin Baptist Church Details
8 Vipond Road, December 1960
8 Vipond Road, December 1960 Details

In 1959, the Library had again outgrown its location and Whitby Township Council passed a motion to consider an application from the Library Board for land for a new building. In the same year, the Township Council decided to make the library a tax-supported institution and the Brooklin Public Library was born. Members were no longer required to pay an annual fee.


The new library building was officially opened by John Robarts, Minister of Education, on February 8, 1961. It was located at 8 Vipond Road, housed 5000 books, cost $25,000, and was built with the possibility for expansion should the public demand and the book volume warrant it. The Brooklin Public Library officially became a branch of the Whitby Public Library in 1968.

Brooklin Library, c.2000
Brooklin Library, c.2000 Details
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