[Another post from Sam on tour—explanation here.]

48 hours in Montreal and Toronto gave me a chance to visit one of the largest and then one of the smallest branch libraries I know. I’m all for both, but you know where my heart lies. I love small, especially for cities, and I think now is the moment for small, especially as we try to understand what’s next for public space and libraries alike.

Here’s the Grande Bibliothèque in downtown Montreal:

Inside are exhibits, food, a soaring lobby with seating, and a security guard who reminded me that photography is not permitted, even in the outer lobby/atrium. Perhaps this last shot from my Montreal hotel window sums it up best: extra large and somewhat distant:

Now, cut to Toronto, the next day. Here’s the mini-branch of the Toronto Public Library, located inside City Hall:

Putting a little library right where people already go.

An interesting project to read books together in the city.

Some local titles about the city and city hall, for sale in the branch.

You are here. Library in a City Hall.

City Hall Plaza

Skating and recreation built into the City Hall Plaza. How about a Uni?


And just across the street, an interesting idea...


...a mini-rainforest in the city. "Indoor" public park.




We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 700 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.

For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!