Plaque, 78 Adelaide St. East, Toronto

The plaque commemorates the first workers’ school in Ontario, established in 1830 as the York Mechanics’ Institue with the support of the Reformers. “The first of many such institutions in Ontario, the Institute attempted to educate all workingmen (mechanics) by setting up a library and offering classes ranging from philosophy to architecture and mathematics. It met in various locations until 186l when it moved into its own building on this site. . . After passage of the Free Libraries Act in 1862, its property was transferred to the City and provided the basis of the Toronto Public Library”.