As many of you know, the Ottawa Public Library has undertaken a process to site a new Central Public Library in the core of our city. This is a significant city building initiative and will be a community fixture for years to come. Libraries are the heart of a community and are vital to the health of a city and its citizens. It is important that we get this project right.
The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) released a report recommending that the new Ottawa Central Library (OCL) be built as a joint facility with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) at 557 Wellington Street, which is located steps from Bronson and Albert Streets.
An expert site evaluation committee evaluated 12 potential sites against criteria developed with public input. The City-owned site at 557 Wellington Street ranked first at all stages of the evaluation process. Staff has estimated the City-funded portion of the new joint facility to be $99 million. OPL and the City will develop the funding strategy for the new facility in the first half of 2017.
The public had six weeks to review the report prior to it being approved by the Ottawa Public Library Board at its meeting on January 31, 2017. The recommendations will now rise to City Council on February 8, 2017. The Government of Canada is expected to make a decision regarding Library and Archives Canada’s participation in the joint facility in the spring of 2017. If approved, the new Ottawa Central Library will open in 2022.
Have your say
The preferred site at 557 Wellington St. is at the eastern end of LeBreton flats and at the bottom of the escarpment. Concerns have been expressed about the accessibility of this site. I’d like to hear from you. Should City Council move ahead with the construction of a new ‘Central’ Library on LeBreton flats or should other sites closer to the core be prioritized?