British Columbia

$15.5M plans to revitalize Vancouver Public Library include rooftop garden and theatre

The Vancouver Public Library has plans to revitalize the top two floors of its central branch with a $15.5 million project that includes an expanded rooftop garden, a silent reading gallery and a theatre.

Chief librarian Sandra Singh says the central branch is the only free public indoor space downtown

The Vancouver Public Library's $15.5 million revitalization project will include a rooftop garden. (VPL)

The Vancouver Public Library plans to revitalize the top two floors of its central branch with a $15.5 million project that includes an expanded rooftop garden, a silent reading gallery and a theatre.

The renovation of the 21-year-old building would affect the branch's eight and ninth floors, which are currently being used as office space by the provincial government. 

"A lot has changed in 20 years, in terms of technology, in terms of the community around the central library, so we are looking at this revitalization," said chief librarian Sandra Singh.

She said more families have moved into the downtown core since the branch opened in 1995, adding that the library is the only free public indoor space in the area.

A bird's eye view of what the library will look like by early 2018. (VPL)

The library currently has a green roof, but it's not accessible to staff or the public.

The VPL is aiming to have the space ready by March 2018, with construction beginning in early 2017. Singh said the library is still waiting for its development permit application to be approved.

Singh said the city is contributing $9 million towards the $15-million project, with the remainder of the funding coming from the VPL Foundation.

With files from Wanyee Li

The rooftop garden will be free and open to the general public. No library card will be needed to access the new space. (VPL)