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Original library was built, in part, with donation from Carnegie

The library was built in 1910 and officially opened on Dec. 28 1911, the Carnegie Foundation provided funding in the amount of $12,500
The Public Library and Opera House in downtown Orillia, circa 1914.

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

This postcard view of the new Carnegie Library and Opera House was taken before the devastating fire in July 1915 that destroyed the Opera House built in 1874. 

The building housed the Council Chamber and the farmers’ market as well as a large theatre auditorium. Working within a tight budget, the Opera House was reconstructed a year later without the large square tower. 

The library was built in 1910 and officially opened on Dec. 28 1911 when Mayor W. S. Frost formally handed over the keys to Mr. Issac Day, chairman of the Library Board.  

Funding of $12,500 was provided by the Carnegie Foundation. 

In 1912 a published report boasted that the Orillia Public Library had over 1,500 card-carrying members, a reading room well supplied with magazines and newspapers and over 6,000 volumes on its shelves.