Whitevale Arts and Culture Centre
(Former Whitevale Library)
Original Building: Standard Bank of Markham
The Whitevale Library started as the Standard Bank of Markham, until it was purchased for $500 in 1925 by the Whitevale Library League.
The library was in need of books and other reference materials. Most of the books in the library were donated. Pictures were purchased for the library thanks to a donation of $50 from George Tait. A 25 cent per year membership fee was also used to buy new books for the library.
The first librarian was the local blacksmith, Norman Miller, who served as librarian until 1955, which was the same year the Dewey Decimal System was introduced to the library.
The Whitevale Library continued to run as a local library until 1967. The Pickering Township Public Library Board was obliged under the terms of the Public Libraries Act, to bring all the existing libraries from each hamlet together into one library system. Ross Kinsey, the Chairman of the Whitevale Library League, negotiated with the Public Library Board. He proposed that the Whitevale Library League be allowed to keep the deed to the building and the land and rent it back to the Public Library for $15 per month. He also requested an annual budget of $500 to pay for a librarian and to buy new books.
The Whitevale Library finally became part of the Pickering Public Library system in May 1967 and was given an operating budget of $1,500 for that year.
Library Closes: The Pickering Public Library Board voted to permanently close the Whitevale branch at the end of 2012 due to declining circulation.
Whitevale Arts and Culture Centre:The building remained vacant following the closure of the Whitevale Library. Meanwhile, residents of Whitevale prepared and submitted a proposal to the City of Pickering to preserve the building and convert it into the Whitevale Arts and Culture Centre (WACC). The proposal received approval from the City and the WACC had its grand opening on October 1st 2015.
The Whitevale Arts and Culture Centre will be used to host annual cultural events and run a media borrowing centre. The WACC is run by volunteers in the community and is open: