The Carnegie Library, located at the corner of Park and Victoria, was the
first in Windsor to be built specifically to serve as a library. The construction of the library was made possible through a bequest from Andrew Carnegie. Windsor was the first city in Canada to receive a Carnegie grant for a library, though disputes over where the library should be located delayed construction, resulting in Chatham’s Carnegie library to be the first open in Canada.
Lambie Hall, Windsor’s first public library, had become too small to adequately serve all of Windsor’s citizens needing library services. Andrew Braid, Secretary of the Library Board, made an application for a grant and was successful in securing a $20,000 allowance for the construction of the building. That amount rose to $25,000 and then to $27,000. Thousands of Windsorites got their first library card at Carnegie branch, especially after the expansion in 1957, which allowed for enhanced Children’s services.
The Carnegie grant was awarded in 1901, with the grand opening of the library in October 1903. Carnegie library rapidly became too small to accommodate all users. Even after the expansion in 1957, quarters were cramped and the Library Board started looking for a new location for the Main branch of the library. The new Main Library on Ouellette was opened in 1973, and the Carnegie branch closed its doors. The building was demolished and is now the site of an apartment building, which still bears the name “Carnegie”.
Hume, Anne. Library Service in Windsor, Dec. 1894-Dec. 1936.
The Opening of Carnegie Public Library.