Ottawa

Plans show 1st detailed glimpse of new central library

Updated floor plans of Ottawa's new central library offer a first glimpse of what the landmark facility will look like, though its due date has been pushed back a bit.

Facility beside LeBreton Flats now expected to open in 2025

A City of Ottawa development sign for the new central branch of the Ottawa Public Library is seen on Albert Street on Feb. 19, 2018. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Updated floor plans of Ottawa's new central library offer a first glimpse of what the landmark facility will look like, though its due date has been pushed back a bit.

According to a report to be tabled at next week's Ottawa Public Library Board, the official opening has been pushed back from 2024 to 2025.

The building, which will be situated at the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats, has also been reduced from six storeys to five, and will include an area devoted to Indigenous people and the study of their culture.

According to the report, there will be less space for Ottawa Public Library (OPL) staff than originally planned, adding more space for other functions. The space will be split 60-40 between the OPL and Library and Archives Canada. 

The updated ground floor plan for the Ottawa Public Library's proposed joint central library-Library and Archives Canada facility. (City of Ottawa)

The ground floor will include an open "town square," exhibition space and a space for Library and Archives preservation.

The second floor includes an area for programming related to Indigenous people, specifically the Algonquin people who have inhabited what's now the National Capital Region for thousands of years.

In the top right of the drawing, there's a space for Indigenous programming on the second floor of the new central library. (City of Ottawa)

The city report said staff have been consulting specifically with people from Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan to design the space.

Additional consultation with local Indigenous communities including Inuit and Métis are planned for later this month.

The floor plan for the third floor shows space for the OPL's teen collection and creative spaces, including some kind of 3D printing lab.

Floor space for the Ottawa Public Library is indicated in violet, while space for Library and Archives Canada is indicated in pink. This drawing shows the third floor. (City of Ottawa)

There's a significant space for Library and Archives Canada employees on the same level.  

The OPL's adult fiction and non-fiction collection will be on the fourth and fifth floors. There's a music and instrument rental section and a rehearsal room there, too.

The fourth floor includes Library and Archives Canada reading and reference space. The adult fiction and non-fiction section of the public library begins on this floor, too. (City of Ottawa)

Plans for the fifth floor also show a rooftop terrace and café with views toward the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill.

The floor plan for the fifth floor indicates a rooftop café in light blue and a rooftop terrace in green. Views will be toward the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. (City of Ottawa)

Underground, there are 200 parking spaces on two levels.

The drawings in the report are part of the preliminary design phase for the $192.9-million project, funded mostly by the city with a major contribution from the federal government.

More detailed designs are expected to be completed by March 2020, with contracts drawn up by the end of 2020

The staff report says contract documents are expected to be drawn up by the end of 2020. 

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