Queen Street West gained another arts hub on Wednesday when the Theatre Centre, an incubator for theatre arts, opened in an underused library.

The Carnegie Library underwent a $6.2 million redevelopment for the new space. It was originally one of eight libraries funded in part by 1900s philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It had been used by Toronto Public Health since 1964, and is considered a heritage building and an icon on the Queen West strip that includes numerous art galleries, restaurants and revitalized boutique hotels.

Renovated library on Queen West

An artists rendition of the renovated library on Queen West (Theatre Centre)

Carnegie Library on Queen West

One of eight Carnegie Libraries in the city is now a theatre arts hub. (Theatre Centre)

The Theatre Centre organization will offer space, subsidies and mentorship to artists.

The Centre began as the BAANN Theatre Centre in 1979. It was a co-operative of five independent theatre companies, including a few — Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Autumn Leaf Performance and Nightwood Theatre — that still thrive today.  

It became independent in the 1980s and operated as an incubator ever since.