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Library board supports architectural design of new central library

Final schematic design to be approved by the board this fall
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On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the Guelph Public Library Board held a special meeting to review the latest architectural design for the new Central Library. Diamond Schmitt Architects presented a revised three-storey design that will result in a stand-alone institutional anchor in the Baker District Redevelopment project.

“From the beginning of our involvement in this project, community input has played a significant role in the development of the design,” says Duncan Bates of Diamond Schmitt, architects of the new Central Library. “We are incredibly proud to have had the ongoing opportunity to work alongside a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, councillors, members of the Library Board and most importantly, members of the community. To hear and help develop inspiring thoughts about the future of our City, and to use these to steer and shape Guelph’s most important civic building in a generation, has been an incredible experience. The outcome is entirely reflective of the feedback we’ve heard from our community.”

The Guelph Public Library Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the new Central Library architectural design that is contained in the updated Baker District Urban Design Master Plan for the following reasons: 

  1. The design incorporates and concludes a comprehensive three-year community engagement process; 
  2. The design embraces inclusivity and flexibility; and
  3. The design represents an iconic facility that will allow for the delivery of 21st-century library services.

The Central Library will be a place for community gatherings, sharing and discovery, celebration, storytelling and for the safe keeping of our history. It will create and present a space for all manner of uses, activities and voices. The collective sum of the parts that make up the Baker District Redevelopment will positively impact the City of Guelph for years to come with significant social and economic benefits in the city center.

“The Baker District, featuring the new Central Library, will be an immense benefit to the city,” says Scott Butler, Chair of the Guelph Public Library Board. “It has been a difficult process to get to this juncture. But everyone in Guelph is the better for it. This project has everything. An iconic new home for Ontario’s oldest public library. More retail. Affordable housing. More condos. Environmentally responsible outcomes. And beautiful new public spaces. It also cleverly addresses all transportation issues. Rarely do entire block developments come up. This is one of them. Windmill and the City of Guelph have done this right.”

On July 21, 2021, City of Guelph Council will consider the updated Urban Design Master Plan for the Baker District Redevelopment. 

The final schematic design of the new Central Library will be approved by the Guelph Public Library Board this fall followed by an unveiling of the final design to the community.