Nova Scotia

5 neat things about Halifax's new Central Library

Here are five cool things about one of Halifax's most talked about new construction projects.

$57.6M building is expected to open some time this fall

A view of the interior of the new Halifax Central Library. (Robert Short/CBC)

For months, pedestrians walking through downtown Halifax have watched as crews worked on the eye-catching, glass Halifax Central Library.

We look at five cool aspects of the building. 

1. Design

The new Halifax Central Library has a striking design. (Robert Short/CBC)

From the outside, the skewed angles of stacked glass levels look like simple geometry, but Roland Doucet, construction manager for Ellis Don, said there was nothing simple about the design.

"The geometry of this building is very unique. We’re used to building square buildings. This is a collection of square buildings stacked one on top of another — kind of twists and turns — so that's been a huge challenge for us," he said.

"Lines are offset one to the other and we’re kind of used to building things plumb and square, right angles and this one is all about being offset and not lining up with things so visually it’s very challenging for us to construct something like that."

2. Music studio

The new library will have a space dedicated for teens that includes a gaming centre and a recording studio. (

The new library is breaking old library conventions, encouraging visitors to make noise at the on-site recording studio. People can bring instruments to the library and play, record, and burn a CD.

"What we've created in the red corner there is actually a music studio — mixers and instruments to allow children and teens to be creative," said said Bruce Gorman, the director of library services.

3. Halifax's living room

A coffee shop on the building's fifth floor offers spectacular views of the city in what’s being dubbed "Halifax's living room." The spot is on the cantilevered portion of the building that hangs over Spring Garden Road.

An artist's interpretation of what the finished library will look like. (Halifax Public Libraries)

"We've come a long, long way. Modern libraries are not what they were. In this library you don't have to be quiet, you can drink a coffee in this library," said Gorman.

"Modern libraries have changed. Communities need social spaces now and that’s what this library provides."

There is also another cafe on the bottom floor.

4. Naming rights are up for sale

Naming rights for individual rooms and facilities within the building are also up for grabs — for the right price, of course.

5. New auditorium space

The 108,000 square-foot library also boasts a 300-seat auditorium with collapsible bleachers. That's perfect for smaller performances in Halifax's entertainment scene.

The $57.6-million building is expected to be completed in the summer and should open some time this fall.