TPL is making an impact on our city TPL is making an impact on our city

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Shawn Kimel and Kate Schatzky make a $1.25 million unrestricted donation to TPL

In December 2021, the Toronto Public Library Foundation received a donation from Shawn Kimel and Kate Schatzky for $1.25 million. What was so unique about this generous gift was that it was made with no conditions. Shawn and Kate’s extraordinary unrestricted donation empowered Toronto Public Library to invest the funds into areas where they were most needed.

One year later, TPLF is proud to share that several new initiatives have been launched as a direct result of the donation:
  • Librarians meet people at their point of need by working directly in Black and Indigenous focused agencies and delivering critical services to families and individuals.

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  • These teams are providing access and connection to social service and mental health supports to address challenges faced by our city’s most vulnerable residents.

  • TPL is offering equity deserving individuals and those living on low incomes access to financial counselling in select branches.

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“It’s hard to ignore how many people are struggling in our city, particularly those who were severely impacted by the pandemic. The City of Toronto is facing real challenges and Toronto Public Library plays an important role in getting to the root cause of many social issues by offering the support individuals and families need. We are proud to play a small part in the work TPL does to make Toronto a more inclusive and resilient city.”
– Shawn Kimel and Kate Schatzky

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Libraries lift up communities

TPL is impacting our city and changing lives in many meaningful ways. Thank you to everyone who donates – your generosity is making a difference to people like Tom, Manal and the Ahmed Family. Read their stories.


“I’ve been retired now for 35 years, and I come to the Library every day to read the newspaper. I love the staff and I love the Library”

I am Tommy and my branch is Cedarbrae.

My late wife and I bought a house five blocks from this branch when it first opened. We raised our family in this neighbourhood, and I have been coming here ever since. I am 92 years old and the Library really is my second home. I know all the staff here, and they know me! – Tommy

“It seems so mundane when you grow up with TPL, but as an adult, I recognize how remarkable our library system is. I don’t ever take for granted.”

I am Manal and my branch is Highland Creek.

Years ago I went through a rough patch of depression and financial instability, and at the time, I was so grateful for Highland Creek. Knowing that I had a right to be in this space, to borrow books, to use a computer and stay for as long as I liked (all for FREE!) was mind blowing. TPL helped me when I really needed it. – Manal

“I feel at peace knowing that whenever we’re at the Library, my kids feel a sense of belonging. In a world that can be pretty exclusionary, that means everything to us.”

We are the Ahmed family and our branch is St. Lawrence.

My family and I visit the St. Lawrence branch almost every week. We can spend hours at the library, finding new books in the children’s section or chatting with one of the friendly library staff. It’s usually quite peaceful, and the perfect place for my kids to unwind and relax after school. – Ahmed Family

Let us know why you love Toronto Public Library!

We always enjoy hearing from library users, so please get in touch.


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  • A digital Lifeline for Families

    What are Internet Connectivity Kits? These kits provide individuals and families with a free laptop, Wi-Fi hotspot and data plan so they can stay engaged and connected with their community and the library. We’re proud to share that 913 kits have been distributed to vulnerable residents across Toronto to date. Thank you to a lead Anonymous Donor, and many other donors who made this initiative possible.

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  • Supporting Kids After School

    After School Clubs provide children ages 6-12 with access to safe, supervised, fun programs that facilitate learning. Each week, kids can interact with others, build a sense of self, and develop new skills and interests together. The Feeding Young Minds initiative which provides healthy snacks to children, will be delivered alongside After School Clubs programming, thanks to the incredible support of the Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation.

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  • Getting Youth Job-Ready

    What is the Career Coaching in Residence Program?  It offers remote career counselling and workshops to younger adults as they navigate the current labour market. Youth unemployment is at an all time high in Toronto, so the program connects those experiencing barriers to employment to resources at the Library, and beyond. More than 1,850 participants have benefitted since 2020. The program is generously supported by Lead Donor The Azrieli Foundation and Supporting Donors, Linda Dagg and Kenneth Wiener, and RBC.

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