Carnegie Community Centre is located at 401 Main Street at the corner of Hastings Street, in the old Carnegie Public Library building in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 1901 Vancouver requested $50,000 from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for the purpose of building a library. Carnegie agreed, provided the City of Vancouver supplied the site and contributed $5000 a year. The original public library was completed in 1903. For decades, the top floor was the home of the Vancouver Museum. The Vancouver Public Library moved into a more spacious building at 750 Burrard Street in 1957 and the Carnegie building eventually fell into disrepair.
Neighbourhood poverty activists from the Downtown Eastside Residents' Association convinced city council to turn it into a public space for local residents, and it opened as the Carnegie Community Centre in the 1980s. It now houses recreation facilities, a low-cost cafeteria, a branch of the Vancouver Public Library, and a variety of services and programs for the neighbourhood, which is one of the poorest in Canada. The Carnegie Centre is a drug and alcohol-free area.
The Carnegie Community Centre is owned by the City of Vancouver and is funded by the Social Planning Department. It is open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days per week and every day of the year.
The centre is run by the board of directors of the Carnegie Community Centre Association, which is elected annually from the members of the association. Membership costs one dollar per year and is available to neighbourhood residents, and all the centre's programs are free to members.
There is also an Adult Learning Centre on the top floor, which provides an informal one-on-one tutoring. There is a computer lab containing multiple computers for educational use located inside the Carnegie Hall as well.
The Carnegie Centre puts out a bi-monthly newsletter with articles concerning the Downtown Eastside Community. The Institute for stained glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at Carnegie Community Centre.
The Carnegie Centre supports and provides a home for a number of projects, including the political group known as CCAP (Carnegie Community Action Project), which has recently been associated with the anti-gentrification protests in the DTES.