City dedicates future site of central library branch, Library and Archives joint facility

Municipal and federal politicians today dedicated the site at Albert Street and Commissioner Street that will eventually be home to the city's new main public library branch – a joint facility with Library and Archives Canada. Beatrice Britneff / Global News

Municipal and federal politicians on Monday dedicated the site in downtown Ottawa that will eventually be home to the city’s new main public library branch — a joint facility with Library and Archives Canada.

Construction on the new multi-million-dollar central library — to be located at the corner of Albert Street and Commissioner Street, overlooking LeBreton Flats — is scheduled to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2024.

The site is now identified with a large sign, “so people across the city know exactly where the new library is going to be located,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, flanked by city councillors, members of Parliament and a group of school children.

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The dedication came about a month after Ottawa City Council approved the municipality’s plan for financing the library’s construction and selling the property downtown at Laurier Avenue and Metcalfe Street, where the main branch is currently located.

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The estimated cost of building the new mega-library, which officials promise will be a “world-class” facility, is $174.8 million.

Before the sign was unveiled, Coun. Tim Tierney, chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, said he wanted to honour the people and the land of the Algonquin Anishinaabe First Nation, on whose unceded territory the new central library will be located.

Catherine McKenna, the federal environment minister and MP for Ottawa Centre, attended the ceremony and made remarks on behalf of Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly.

Five teams for architects are currently competing for the design contract, shortlisted from 33. Watson reiterated that the contract will be awarded “by this fall at the latest.”

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