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

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Lead support from Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation helps launch TPL’s new Feeding Young Minds initiative

Moez and Marissa Kassam are deeply committed to realizing an equitable world where everyone has access to opportunities and no one is left behind. With a particular focus on children and immigrant and diverse communities, Moez and Marissa are especially concerned about the lack of food security among families in Toronto, and the impact on children’s ability to thrive. We’re excited to partner with them.

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What is the Feeding Young Minds Initiative?

In response to the growing food security issues in Toronto, TPL is now providing regular healthy food options at 30 library branches delivering After School Club programs, giving kids the fuel they need to succeed. For children, food insecurity is associated with delays in emotional, cognitive and motor development, higher levels of hyperactivity, inattention and poor memory, and higher rates of chronic illness.

We are grateful to Lead Donor, the Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation, for their visionary support in establishing the Feeding Young Minds Initiative. We are also grateful to Supporting Donors, Phil Cowperthwaite and Susan Hunter, Adrian and Ange Rocca, and Linda Dagg and Kenneth Wiener for their commitment to this program.


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

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.

“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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  • 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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  • Building confidence in Toronto’s children

    As Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program, TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) has reached over 8 million children, offering fun, free programming and activities at more than 2,000 public libraries across Canada and online. The Club helps kids or all ages, interests and abilities to explore the joy of reading their way – while improving and maintaining their literacy skills during the summer.


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  • Getting Youth Job-Ready

    What is the Career Coaching in Residence Program?  With youth unemployment is at an all time high in Toronto, this program connects young adults who are experiencing barriers to employment with remote career counselling and workshops to help them navigate the current labour market. Generously supported by Lead Donor The Azrieli Foundation and Supporting Donors, Linda Dagg and Kenneth Wiener, and RBC.

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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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