City staff recommend new central library be located west of Bronson
Staff recommended 557 Wellington Street despite pressure to pick a location closer to the current Metcalfe branch.
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City staff are recommending a site just west of Bronson, at 557 Wellington Street, for a new iconic central library that will be a partnership with Library and Archives Canada.
The total cost of the library is expected to be around $168 million dollars, not including the potential cost of parking facilities. The city would be expected to fund $99 million of that cost.
Staff are hoping part the city’s portion of the costs could be covered by the sale of the current Metcalfe library, as well as infrastructure grants.
“We should be celebrating the fact that we could have an iconic, central library in the city,” said board chair Coun. Tim Tierney, who added the close proximity to the Pimisi LRT station will improve access.
Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney was less impressed, and said she doesn’t believe the choice is located in the core or easily accessible by cycling and walking.
“I’m not in the least bit surprised,” she said. “It was the preferred site back in June of 2015 – the community knew it, we all knew it – and it was the preferred site today. I’m not sure how we can go back and tell the public that we listened to them,” she said.
The recommendations will be discussed at the Jan. 31 meeting of the library board.