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Starting in May, construction began on the Central Library Revitalization Project! We expect that there may be some changes to programs, hours and use of space at Central Library over the course of construction. Our goal through this project is to ensure that our collections and resources are available as much as is possible and we will work hard to ensure that you are able to continue to use the Central Library during the project. However, as with any renovation project, there may be times when temporary changes are required, short closures are needed and an increase in noise levels or other construction-related issues affect your use of the space.

Please check this page regularly for notice of any changes or interruptions to services, programs, spaces or access to Central Library (including the Children’s Library) during construction. Once construction has begun, an alert with detailed information will appear at the top of this page. You can also choose to call us at 519-661-4600 before you visit for up-to-date news about Central Library services during construction.

We look forward to sharing a new and improved Central Library with you and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as we embark on this much-needed revitalization project.

The Project

Exciting changes are coming to your Central Library!

With attendance of over one million visitors per year and a total of 13,157,302 visitors since opening in 2002, Central Library is an extremely popular destination. The Central Revitalization project will not only update heavily-used infrastructure, it will deliver new experiences, program formats, technology, and service approaches designed to support your current and evolving needs. You’ll still find the library that you know and love and we know you’ll find even more to inspire and interest you as we bring your community’s vision to life with the Central Revitalization project.

In 2002 London Public Library opened its new, expanded, state-of-the-art Central Library at 251 Dundas Street. The Library purchased and renovated the former Hudson's Bay Company department store, bringing public space onto Dundas Street. It was one of three significant City of London Millennium Plan projects designed to redevelop the downtown. Your Library was considered a best practice for service innovation and accessible design across North America, and over the years it has served as a model for many other communities.

Teen Annex Crafts
Youth Concert at Teen Annex

Central Library is a welcoming space free to all Londoners that contributes to the rich culture and diversity of the downtown. It also offers unique services and programs that bring out-of-town visitors who support London's tourism. Central Library users, visitors and staff boost the downtown economy through their spending at local stores and restaurants.

During our recent strategic planning process we heard from the public through significant community consultation. You told us that we need to keep the public spaces offered in the Central Library relevant and up to date. Our in-depth research into best practices for public space in international "liveable cities" reinforced what you told us. With continued positive input from the community and commitment from the London Public Library Board, the City of London and our entire staff, the timing is now right to move forward with the revitalization of Central Library.

"We look forward to seeing some bold changes take shape for the benefit of residents, for the downtown and for the overall benefits to our library system."

Julie Gonyou, Senior Director and Project Manager, Central Revitalization, London Public Library

Your vision for Central Library



New "User First" customer service experiences


Destination for art displays and cultural events

Ease of Use

Improved layout and helpful wayfinding

London's Story

A place to share London's story, past, present and future


Community Place

Safe welcoming and attractive space where members of the community meet and interact

Creative Spaces

Spaces to support creativity and innovation

Family Destination

Space that encourages educational and recreational activities for children, teens and parents/caregivers


Space that is accessible to everyone


Spaces that grow and change with community interest


Spaces and furnishings that support the use of technology and personal devices


Multiple Zones

Areas to balance needs for quiet or activity


Brightly lit space with lots of natural light


Space for collections of all types


Enhanced technology for all ages


Energy efficient and sustainable design

Central 2014 snapshot of use

  • 265,109 reference questions answered
  • 165,772 uses of Central's public computers
  • 79,301 uses of Central's wireless
  • 328 Book Club meetings
  • more than 4,000 children and caregivers attended a storytime
  • 1,350 One on One English Conversation sessions
  • Study rooms: booked an average of 26 times per day
  • Groups and organizations booked our meeting rooms 927 times
  • 43,076 people attended a library program or co-sponsored program
  • 50 community art exhibits
  • 242 community and library displays
  • 1,553,785 items borrowed and renewed

of Londoners have an active Library card

  • 1,553,785

    Items borrowed and renewed*

  • 2,397

    Programs offered*

*in 2014 at Central Library


Design and Construction ● Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc.

Environmental Graphic Design and Wayfinding Consulting Services ● Entro Communications Inc.

Construction Management/General Contractor ● Bronnenco Construction Ltd.

Mechanical and Electrical Consulting Engineers ● Chorley & Bisset

Structural and Consulting Engineers ● Hastings & Aziz Ltd.

Meet John Nicholson
of Nicholson Sheffield Architects

John Nicholson

John Nicholson is a principal in Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc., the firm recently awarded the contract to act as prime consultants for the Central Library Revitalization project. As Malhotra Nicholson Architects Inc., this firm worked with architects Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners to design the current Central Library, built in 2002.

Meet Walter Derhak
of Nicholson Sheffield Architects

Walter Derhak

Walter Derhak is a Principal of Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. He acts as a team lead and client-liaison for many of our projects, bringing a collaborative approach to working with clients and an aptitude for resolving complicated design considerations. He has more than two decades of professional experience, having worked in Ottawa before joining the Nicholson Sheffield Architects.



Conceptual Renderings

Take a sneak peek at our new spaces, courtesy of Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. These renderings do not reflect final furnishing and colour choices. Click the thumbnails to see the full sized image of each rendering.

Design rendering of stairs from 1st floor

Design rendering of stairs from 1st floor.

Design rendering of stairs from 1st floor

Design rendering of stairs from 1st floor.

Design rendering of study rooms near elevators

Design rendering of study rooms near elevators.


While there will be some upcoming changes at Central, some things never change - like the loyalty and love of our patrons and staff!

We decided to interview them and find out "What does Central mean to you?"