Hamilton was the first city in Canada to construct a building for the sole purpose of housing a library. The first library in the city was opened in September of 1890 by Lord and Lady Aberdeen. The library thrives over the turn of the century. Nearly twenty years later, in May of 1908, the first library branch in the city was opened on Barton Street East.

The Barton Street Library has remained a neighbourhood landmark in the community since its opening. Over the years, it has undergone numerous relocations and renovations from its original site until its movement to the present day location in November of 1963.

It currently sits on the corner of Barton Street East and Milton Avenue.


Today, the library acts as an important resource and community space to local residents. The Barton Street Library hosts public use computers, wireless internet access, interview and meeting space and free parking in the back. A play corner for children, complete with toys and play space occupies one area of the library.