City Council approves new central library at 557 Wellington

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The city will prepare to dispose the existing central library after approving the new location at 557 Wellington St. to be shared with Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) has received City Council approval to develop a new 216,000 sq. ft. Ottawa Central Library joint facility with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) at 557 Wellington St. City Council further approved a design-bid-build procurement process in order to ensure maximum control over the facility design, as well as approval in principle for the City-funded portion ($99 million) of the $168 million facility.

“A new central library in the heart of the National Capital Region will have a positive impact on our city,” said Tim Tierney, chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board and councillor for Beacon Hill – Cyrville. “And, the collaboration with Library and Archives Canada is a unique opportunity to elevate the cultural significance of this facility and give it national stature.”

The library board believes the new central librarywill be a “creative placemaker” that inspires learning, sparks curiosity, and connects people. The joint facility will be a one-of-a-kind destination for residents and visitors – both a civic and national landmark.

Today’s decision gives approval in principle, and authority to proceed with next steps, including:

  • Negotiation of the Relationship Agreement with Library and Archives Canada;
  • Development of a funding strategy, including seeking both federal and provincial infrastructure grants, before final project authority is provided;
  • Investigation of options to dispose of the existing assets at 120 Metcalfe St./191 Laurier Ave. W.;
  • Initiation of the procurement process for design (pending final project authority); and,
  • Completion of a detailed study into parking requirements for the joint facility.

The Government of Canada will make a decision regarding LAC’s participation in the joint facility in spring 2017.

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