McLaughlin Branch

1954 - present

In 1949, because of overcrowding at the library located at Simcoe and Athol Streets, Oshawa city council held a vote to build a new library. In July 1952, General Motors Canada founder, Colonel R.S. McLaughlin, offered the gift of a new library building, costing $450,000. Prominent Toronto architect, Arthur H. Eadie, was commissioned to design the new building. In 1954, with Ontario Premier Leslie Frost in attendance, the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Library on Bagot Street officially opened. A mural painted by William Winter was created specifically for the library’s opening. Winter said himself that he visited lots of libraries and made many sketches of what visitors did. He then made six 25-feet long panels in the creation of the mural.

The library has two floors—one for the children’s department on the lower floor and the main floor, which includes the main entrance and reading rooms. The layout of the rooms has changed over the years. A few rooms were previously installed, including the music/listening room and some offices.

In 1966, they opened a technology wing, now called the “third floor,” and is technically located the second floor. Some services and rules regarding book maintenance are still upheld today. Story-time, one of the core services provided at the Oshawa Libraries, is still offered today, in person and once online during COVID-19. Adult programs are also offered, along with family and teen programs.

Eight years after the branch opened, Colonel R.S. McLaughlin donated a bookmobile to Oshawa in 1962. The vehicle was electrically lit, heated, and cooled by a meter installed by the Public Utilities Company of Oshawa at each site. In only the first three months of operation, 111 adults and 357 children registered to use the mobile.

With sources from:

M. McIntyre Hood, Oshawa: “Canada’s Motor City,” (Oshawa: Alger Press Limited, 1968).

Rate and write a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bagot Street 65
Oshawa L1H 1N2 ON CA
Get directions