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Bracebridge Library sets last day at Carnegie building

The Bracebridge Library will vacate the Carnegie Library building on Saturday, July 6, 2024.

The day will serve as a celebration of the 115 years’ worth of memories the library has shared within the walls of the historic structure at 94 Manitoba St. in downtown Bracebridge.

The festivities will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and will feature displays of how Bracebridge has changed from the early 1900s until now.

The library is moving its operations to the Coulson Family Bracebridge Library inside the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre (MLCC) on Salmon Ave., which is only a few minutes from the library’s current location. The MLCC is set to open this summer.

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Crystal Bergstrome, chief executive officer and chief librarian, says there is no better way to spend the library’s last day than with the community.

“I want to express my profound gratitude towards everyone for their unwavering support throughout our journey in serving you from this location and in the endeavours to expand into a new home,” she says. “After 115 remarkable years within these walls, filled with treasured memories, we’re so excited to embark on a new chapter in the Coulson Family Bracebridge Library location. The new library space is poised to offer so many engaging opportunities for our community. We promise it will be Anything but the Ordinary.”

According to, the building opened on March 23, 1906 thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation. George Martell Miller, who passed away in 1933 at the age of 78, is listed as the architect.

It’s explained on the website that the foundation was created by Andrew Carnegie, a philanthropist and businessman, who spent most of his self-made fortune supporting educational causes.

It says Carnegie spent over $2.5 million to help construct 111 libraries in Ontario with another 14 outside the province.

The Bracebridge building is – for now – one of 53 still being used for its original purpose. However, in a few months, it will join the list of buildings that have been repurposed.

Bracebridge council discussed what may happen to it during their March 2024 meeting.

The suggested ideas include a museum, a satellite office for municipal services, or rental office space.

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