Public consultations invited to inspire new $192 million library building in Ottawa

library site
Site for the new library. Credit: Ottawa Central Library (site for the new

The City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada are inviting the public to inspire the design of the new $192 million Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint building.

The national engagement process for the building’s architectural design has been labeled the “Inspire555 Series,” in a nod to its address. 555 Albert St. is at the western edge of downtown Ottawa, five blocks from Parliament, and on the new LRT line at Pimisi Station.

Diamond Schmitt Architects from Toronto and Ottawa’s KWC Architects have been retained to design the building. At the first design workshop, the public will hear architect Don Schmitt explain why this is one of the most exciting sites he has ever worked with.

A date hasn’t been announced for the contractor selection process and construction, though the goal is to have the structure completed by 2024.

The Inspire555 Series includes design workshops, pop-up events, expert lectures, online activities and engagement (local and national), and knowledge sharing with Indigenous communities – all planned for 2019. The first in-person design workshops on Building Blocks are set for later in February.

Workshop participants will be asked to provide feedback on preliminary concepts and to share hands-on ideas. The public will have the opportunity to view preliminary outlines, share ideas regarding how to make the most of the panoramic views, and inform the physical orientation of the building. All Canadians, and those unable to attend the workshops in person, will be invited to engage online at

A series of visits and meetings are planned with local Algonquin communities, as well as with local urban and national Indigenous communities. Activities include community visits, design-focused meetings, knowledge sharing events, and engagement with National Indigenous Associations.

The building is scheduled to open in 2024.

The Inspire555 Series
Phase 1 Design Workshop: Building Blocks
Participants will be invited to register for one of two design workshops on how to make best use of the site for the new joint facility:
Thursday, February 28, 6 to 9 pm, Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall
Saturday, March 2, 9 am to 12 pm, location to be determined
Starting Friday, February 8, the public is invited to visit to pre-register for one of the two workshops.
Online consultation: Building Blocks
In early March, all Canadians are invited to visit to view the three concepts presented at the design workshop and provide input into how to make best use of the site for the new joint facility.


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