While certain civic bureaucracies continue to confound and anger many Torontonians, the Toronto Public Library seems to be doing everything right. They’ve hosted rock bands, extended their hours (perhaps soon until midnight), continued their general bookishness and today we discover the Toronto Reference Library finally has Wifi. While this is one of Toronto’s most wonderful places, the lack of wireless internet has been the only drawback, as laptops get lonely when they can’t connect to anything, and sometimes books just aren’t enough.
There are little signs around the library directing people to the 1st and 2nd floor to connect, but I’m on the 4th floor now and my Powerbook is picking up a usable signal. This place, along with Wireless Toronto locations in Dundas Square and Dufferine Grove park, provide Toronto with some great wired public spaces. Cafe’s and bars with free wifi are good and should be encouraged and patronized (tell them that’s why you buy stuff from them) but sometimes you don’t want to buy something to rent out the seat. Best part of the TRL wifi is all you do is hook up, check a box that says you agree to terms and conditions, and that’s it, you’re on. None of the overly paranoid and secure network policies you might expect from a bureaucracy.
Now, if only we could get the TPL folks to run the TTC too.
(Picture of brand-new Reference Library atrium from 1977 when only Al Gore knew about the internet.)