Ottawa

Ottawa library board approves plan for new central branch

Ottawa's library board has approved a plan for new central library but passed amendments to make sure the city isn't bound to a particular funding model, or a specific location.

Ottawa's library board has approved a plan for new central library but passed amendments to make sure the city isn't bound to a particular funding model, or a specific location.

Last week the Ottawa Public Library board released a consultant's report suggesting the city should build a new 132,000 square foot library at an estimated cost of $86 million rather than try to refurbish the existing library at 120 Metcalfe Street.

Ottawa Public Library's board approved a report recommending the central branch move from 120 Metcalfe to 557 Wellington Street. (Kate Porter/CBC)
The report suggested a number of potential locations, but suggested 557 Wellington Street — at Commisioner Street near LeBreton Flats — was the preferred location.

Sarah Anson-Cartwright with the group Bookmark the Core, which is lobbying for a more central location, said she was pleased the board didn't lock in with a particular plan.

"It was absolutely very heartening to see that the doors are being kept open in terms of what site, and to make sure that there's a good investigation of what's needed," said Anson-Cartwright.

At a public forum Monday night, the union representing library workers questioned the reports plan for a public-private partnership and said the location needed to be more central.

City council will vote on the proposed plan on July 8.

If council approves the plan, library staff will issue a request for proposals and report back in about a year. Construction could begin in 2018.

A look at what the city considers the central area of Ottawa in determining the location of the central branch of the public library. (City of Ottawa)

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