Toronto

#JacksLibraryTour sees father, son on mission to visit all Toronto public libraries

Five-year-old Jackson Ryan Bennett and his father Lanrick Bennett Jr. have embarked on a mission to visit all 100 of Toronto's public libraries.

Duo has visited 28 of the city's 100 libraries so far, reaching the branches via public transit

Jackson and Lanrick Bennett, Jr. were given a tour by the staff at the Weston library, who caught wind of their plan to visit the branch through Twitter. (Lanrick Bennett Jr.)

For some, Toronto's public libraries are something akin to civic sanctuaries, a place for community gatherings and learning.

For five-year-old Jackson Ryan Bennett and his father, Lanrick Bennett Jr., they're places of pilgrimage as they've embarked on a mission to visit all 100 of the city's libraries.

Dubbing the quest #JacksLibraryTour on Twitter, the idea first sprung up through a book they owned that included illustrations of Toronto's libraries by Daniel Rotsztain.

Morningside Library, Apr. 16. (Lanrick Bennet Jr.)

"I brought it home and showed it to Jack and he wanted to go to the Fort York library," the elder Bennett told CBC's Metro Morning. "I thought, 'nice and easy, we'll pop over there, take a look at it.' [We] had a fun time and went home and he was like, "I want to see the rest." And there were 99 more of these to see."

During the interview, young Jackson disputed his father's account of the genesis of their journey.

"Daddy, it wasn't like that," he said. "It was you."

Scarborough Civic Centre Library, June 1. (Lanrick Bennet Jr.)

The Bennetts have visited 28 libraries so far, reaching each of them via public transit.

They've been to Scarborough, and they've visited the libraries along Jane Street, Queen Street, College Street and St. Clair Avenue.

Jackson said he mostly likes to watch videos when he goes to the library, but at one location "there was only books."

So he checked out his favourite: Transformers Rescue Bots.

Parliament Library, Apr. 23. (Lanrick Bennet Jr.)

They spend two hours at each branch, walking around and reading and checking out books.

Lanrick's favourites so far are the Runnymede and Riverdale libraries.

Swansea Library, May 28. (Lanrick Bennet Jr.)

But his favourite part of the project is the chance to spend time with his son.

"I work Monday to Friday like many fathers," Bennett said. 

"You've got to find time to spend with your kids."

(Lanrick Bennett Jr.)

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