May 18, 2022

New ROI Report: Torontonians Receive $5.63 (CAD) of Value for Every Dollar Invested in Toronto Public Library

Note 1: $5.63/CAD converts to $5.27/USD.

Note 2: The Toronto Public Library is one of the world’s busiest urban library system. Next year the library plans to open their 100th branch. We’ve also included a link to the TPL’s 2012 annual report and bunch of fast facts about library at the bottom of this post. 

Now, news about the new ROI report.

From the TPL:

Toronto Public Library recently commissioned the Martin Prosperity Institute, part of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, to conduct the first Canadian study to measure the library’s economic impact on Toronto. Results clearly demonstrate that Toronto Public Library delivers a strong return on investment through the delivery of library services that enhance Toronto’s competitiveness and prosperity and contribute to a better quality of life for all.

Key findings include:

  • The total economic impact of the Toronto Public Library on the city of Toronto is $1 billion.
  • For every dollar invested in Toronto Public Library, Torontonians receive $5.63 of value.
  • For those who use the library, the average value of services accessed is as much as $500.
  • On average, one open hour at any one of the library’s 98 branches generates $2,515 in benefits for the city of Toronto. The average cost of one open hour is $653, so the average benefit is almost 4 times the average cost.
  • The study methodology quantified the total economic impact and return on investment of Toronto Public Library services based on analysis of direct tangible benefits, direct spending and indirect tangible benefits. Full study methodology is available in the report.

Direct to Full Text Report: So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto (66 pages; PDF)

Selected Graphics

Direct to Full Text Report: So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto (66 pages; PDF)

See Also: Direct to Toronto Public Library 2012 Annual Report (11 pages; PDF)

See Also: Fast Facts About the Toronto Public Library (via TPL Web Site, 2012 Data 

  • Torontonians borrowed 32 million items
  • Over 18 million people visited 98 branches
  • There were 25.9 million virtual visits and almost 1.5 million wifi users
  • 1.3 million people are registered Toronto Public Library cardholders
  • 72% of Torontonians use Toronto Public Library
  • Collections are comprised of over 10 million items including books, CDs, DVDs and eBooks, with 40 languages represented in library materials
  • Staff answered 7.3 million information requests
  • 769,534 participants attended 28,075 library programs
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.