What do the Great Library, the Legislative Library, the Toronto Star Library, Hydro Library and the County of York Law Library have in common? Well they were once open to all.
By serendipity, in searching for sources on the Riddell Collection at the Great Library, I stumbled upon a 78 year old overview of the libraries of Toronto, which is quite fascinating in the extent to which private collections were prepared to welcome patrons. See the Annual Programme for the SLA in 1927 at pages 13-20: http://www.sla.org/speciallibraries/issn00386723v18n5.pdf
I haven’t seen a more recent listing. Can anyone provide one?