Uxbridge Public Library - History

Uxbridge LibraryThe Uxbridge Public Library, which stands on the southeast corner of Brock and Toronto Streets was built as a Mechanics Institute in 1887 with money left for that purpose by Joseph Gould. It continued the services of the Mechanics Institute which had been operating out of the Temperance Hall since 1859. When the building was officially opened by the Hon. Ross, Minister of Education, in 1888, he said that "This building is the first donation of the kind in the province, and the library itself is the best in the province for the size of the town." The building became known as the Free Public Library in 1898. It has continued to provide Library service to the Town of Uxbridge until the present time, and since the formation of Durham Region in 1974, has served the Library needs of the whole of Uxbridge Township as well.

The three-storey building is built on a steep slope with the basement opening at ground level on the east to Pond Street, and the second level opening to Toronto Street on the west. The building is of late Victorian style with Gothic proportions and detailing. Brickwork includes bands of red which contrast with the overall buff brickwork typical of the area and period of construction.

The clock tower of the library is one of the most interesting architectural features of the Town of Uxbridge. The library clock was installed on August 16, 1887, by the Seth Thomas Clock Co. of Thomaston, Connecticut, and it still works perfectly 125 years later. The clock remained silent from 1954 to 1999. In December 2000 the Verdin company installed new chimes in the clock tower. The chimes were possible with donations from Uxbridge citizens and businesses.

The basement has been largely renovated, but in such a way as to expose some of the original features. A section of the west wall has been left bare to show the pyramidal stone foundation which tapers from 4' at the base to 2' at the top of the foundation. Two original pine pillars and a beam frame this section.

One other feature of note is the open wooden bannister on the curving stairway leading from the second to the third storey at the north end of the building.

General Information

The Uxbridge Public Library is 125 years young.  Come join us for a year-long celebration.  Activities, displays and contests for all ages are planned for each month.  Check out our website at www.uxlib.com for more details and sign up for our eNewsletter. 

Our Mission:  The Uxbridge and Zephyr Public Libraries are information resources committed to fostering literacy and promoting lifelong learning. 

Our Vision:  The Uxbridge and Zephyr Libraries are recognized by our community and its leaders as an essential resource for information and ideas. 

Mascots:  Hyde (cat) and Squeak (mouse) 

More than books @ your library
The Library has an impressive collection of
Downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks
DVDs, Videos, and Blu-ray
Talking books on CD and Tape
Music CDs
Graphic Novels
Fiction and non-fiction titles
Magazines and newspapers
Large print books
Information and reference services
3 GPS Units
Juvenile French materials
Computer Games 

Browse our online catalogue of over 60,000 items at www.uxlib.com from the comfort of your own home.  If an item is on loan and you would like it, you can reserve it online yourself or we can reserve it for you.  

Free Internet Access and WiFi
Come in and use the Internet computers or take advantage of the hotspot.  You can even print in colour. 

InterLibrary Loan
If the library doesn’t have what you need, we will try to get it for you from another library.

Suggest an Item for the Collection
We always welcome suggestions for new items for your collection.
Teen Summer Reading Blog
Back by popular demand!  Great reads, lots of prizes, lots of fun!  A list of books for the summer long vote-off will be announced in the spring.  http://www.uxlib.com/modules/blog_teen/

A Wide Variety of Programs
In the Adult Department  author readings, workshops, tours, speakers, and other special events are planned for the coming year. For children we have three pre-school programs – Wiggles and Giggles with Cathy Reesor, Musical Moments with Kathy Reid-Naiman, and an Early Learning Years program.  P.A. Day Events are planned for students in both systems by Corrinne Morrison.  And don’t forget activities during March Break and the Summer for school-aged children. NEW  Movie Nights:  Come and watch a movie @ the Library.   Please see our monthly newsletter, The Old Town Clock, local newspapers, give us a call at 905-852-9747 or check our website, www.uxlib.com, for further details.  

Uxbridge Genealogy Club
The Club was founded by local genealogists to share a common interest and to assist those who are trying to trace their roots.  The aim of the Club is to provide genealogy expertise and, in partnership with the Uxbridge Public Library, support to the public in the Uxbridge, Ontario area.  The Club welcomes those that are new to genealogy and seasoned veterans to their monthly meetings (3rd Thursday).  Check out their website www.uxgen.net

Friends of the Library
Come and join the Friends of the Library and have the satisfaction of promoting reading and library services to the community.  This year they donated $2000 worth of BBC DVDs. These items do not stay on the shelf very long.  Thank you.  Stay tuned for their Book Sales and other events. 

Zephyr Public Library
The Zephyr Public Library offers an excellent selection of Adult and Children’s books, magazines, videos, talking books, and reference materials. If it is not in the library, the staff will try to locate it for you.  Computers with Internet access and word processing are available.  

Let the friendly staff at both of our locations help you satisfy your information, cultural, and leisure needs. 

Uxbridge Public Library
9 Toronto Street South
Tel: 905-852-9747 
Fax:  905-852-9849 

Zephyr Public Library
1300 Durham Road 39
Tel: 905-473-2375   
Fax: 905-473-2375             


Help Keep Your Library a Vital Part of the Community....

  • "Volumes of Giving" - a wonderful sculpture of larger than life-sized books designed to be inscribed with the names of special people, groups and businesses.  Look for Hyde and Squeak
  • Adopt-A-Book - Support a needy book by purchasing a book for the library. Be the first to read the book and also have your name inscribed on a special bookplate.
  • Note Cards - Now available at our circulation desk are packages of four note cards designed by a local artist, Christine Chown. There are four cards with different sketches of scenes within the library. These card sets are available for a donation of $3.00.
  • Library Book Bags - We have a new, very good quality canvas bag available for sale.

Please call the library at 905-852-9747 for further information about any of the above programs, or check the Library website at www.uxlib.com  The email address is information@uxlib.com

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