History of EGPL

Our Origins

The Town of East Gwillimbury recognizes and acknowledges the lands originally used and occupied by the First Peoples of the Williams Treaties First Nations and other Indigenous Peoples, and on behalf of the Mayor and Council, we would like to thank them for sharing this land. 

We would also like to acknowledge the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation as EG's closest First Nation community and recognize the unique relationship the Chippewas have with the lands and waters of this territory.  They are the water protectors and environmental stewards of these lands, and we join them in these responsibilities.

The Queensville Public Library was formed in 1890, although the location of the original library is unclear. In 1893, the library was opened in a shop that was owned by Wright Fogg and later moved into a tiny building that was located on the east side of Leslie Street, south of Queensville Sideroad. The new building was originally a bank, then a bakery shop, before finally becoming the Queensville Public Library.

The first Mount Albert Library was opened in 1898 with W.T. Lloyd as the first librarian, located in part of Lloyd’s Drug Store. In 1912, the library was moved to the upper floor of Allen Theaker’s store with a woman named Miss Rear as the librarian. It remained there until 1932 when it was moved to the Odd Fellows building.

Photo of a building and an old car in front of it with a sign that reads "East Gwillimbury Library, Mount Albert Branch".

Exterior image of the old Mount Albert Branch, circa 1970's.

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Recent Library History

In December 1974, the East Gwillimbury Public Library was created through a Town By-law, and the first members of the Board were appointed starting on January 1st. In 1975, the Mount Albert and Queensville libraries were dissolved and became separate branches of the East Gwillimbury Public Library. The inaugural board members included Mary Pegg (who was instrumental in forming EGPL), then-mayor Gladys Rolling, Mr. Mackenzie Porter, Ms. Mary Slingerland, and Ms. Gail Kay.

In 1975, the Mount Albert library moved locations from Odd Fellows Hall into a building on 72 Main Street. Five years later it moved again to the former fire hall. Finally, the library found a permanent home in the Mount Albert Leisure complex on October 25th, 1998, now called the Ross Family Complex, where it continues to serve patrons to this day.

In 1975, the Holland Landing branch opened in a small room on Bradford Street and in early 1985, moved temporarily to a location on the west side of Yonge Street in the plaza. In the fall of 1985, Holland Landing branch moved across the street to its present location in the Community Centre, located at 19513 Yonge Street.

Interior image of the old Holland Landing library from 1975, showing a person standing next to a counter in a coat and behind her are shelves of books.

Figure 2: Interior view of the Holland Landing branch in about 1975, showing a person wearing a heavy jacket standing near the front desk.

The Queensville library was moved to the Queensville Community Center in 1976 and the original tiny building was moved to the entrance of the Sharon Temple by the York Pioneers. However, the Queensville public library was closed in 1992 due to budget cuts. However, there will soon be a library in Queensville once again, as the new Health and Active Living Plaza will contain the library's first new branch in 25 years.

For more information on this new branch and the Health and Active Living plaza visit our dedicated page for the project:

Health and Active Living Plaza page