I've always had an obsession with libraries so I was very excited to recently discover the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (thanks to my friend Jesse) at the University of Toronto. I'm at my most productive when working at libraries (vs. coffee shops etc.) so I've taken to holing up at some of Toronto's finest.
The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is the largest repository of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts in Canada, and one of the leading research libraries in North America. This little gem is tucked away in the ginormous Robarts Library (where I've been working). While you can't sit and toil away in this great room, the books are available to review in an adjacent reading room.
There are early editions of Shakespeare, a copy of Alice and Wonderland with watercolours by Salvador Dali, and manuscripts dating back to the year 1050.
The intricate detail of the paper, bindings, illustrations and ink are so fascinating to me. Back then it would have taken a lifetime for someone to write and create a single book (prior to typewriters and printing presses etc). I love the smell of old books too, like musky vanilla and smoky leather.
If you're a bibliophile and find yourself near St. George and Harbord St. in Toronto, it's worth a quick pitstop. I've lived here just over a year and I'm still stumbling on new nooks.