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Muskoka Lakes Public Library


Bala Library

Bala Library's History

Bala LibraryPhone: 705-762-1086

Email: balib@muskoka.com

1008 Maple St. (in the community centre)

Mailing Address:
Box 189
Port Carling, ON
P0B 1J0

Circulation Staff:

Cathy Duck, CEO/Chief Librarian CDuck@pclib.ca
Eva Moore


Sunday: Closed
Monday: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am -1:00 pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10:00 am -1:00 pm


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Muskoka Collection

Bala Library's History

Information is scarce as to when the first library started in Bala. It is known that many of the early settlers brought a collection of books with them. E.B. Sutton brought his own personal library to Bala when he emigrated in 1882. Apart from building the Bala Bay Inn in 1912, he was a prolific writer and historian until his death in 1917.

Thomas Burgess who started the first school, the first church, the first general store and a saw mill, no doubt contributed to the literacy in the community of which he was a founder.
It is known that the Women's Institute did tremendous work in the community and shared their books with anyone interested. Initially the books were kept in private homes, particularly in the home of the Gowland family.

In those early days great credit must be given to Edna Templeton and Ruth Stainer Orchard for their endless work and enthusiasm in establishing a small library in the Bala Public School under the direction of Jess Johnston. This is home to the Bala Legion today. Through the 1950s the library flourished until the school moved to Glen Orchard. Once again the Women's Institute were responsible for finding space in the United Church building.

Finally, the library moved to the Community Centre in 1970 and continued to be well supported by the Women's Institute. The space was very limited, however, and far from ideal. In 1994 an addition was built to the Community Centre and this is where the library stands today with Mrs. Mari Carson as librarian. This branch has a wonderful selection of current adult fiction, a large children's selection, an internet connected computer, and wifi  available for public use. The selection of books continues to grow with added support from the community and an annual generous financial donation from the Cranberry Festival.