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Project Reports

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Project Reports

FEBRUARY 1st, 2015

We are hard at work finalizing the construction schedule of the first phase of the Central Library Revitalization. Our goal is to keep as much of your Central Library available to you as possible through the upcoming renovation work. As the project progresses, you will find up-to-date information about which Central Library areas, services and programs may be affected on our website, in person at Central Library or by calling 519-661-4600. Construction may be under way by May of this year and will continue for approximately 12 months.

DECEMBER 1st, 2015

For many months we have been hard at work putting the pieces in place to ensure a successful launch of the revitalization of your Central Library. This would not be possible without the support of many: our Library Board, our City Council, our expert team of architects, construction managers and consultants, our hardworking, creative staff and, very significantly, you, our community.

Tonight, we share the initial concepts and plans for the first phase of the Central Revitalization with you. We hope that you see your ideas, comments and dreams realized through the spaces, places and experiences we are building with this project. Here are some of the improvements and changes we are making to better meet the needs you told us were important to you:

  • A mix of collections, programs and technology for every age on every floor
  • Technology that supports you in accomplishing many tasks
  • Spaces that support creating and making with both low-tech and high-tech elements
  • Collaborative spaces
  • More light and expanded views of the Rotary Reading Garden
  • A Branch Library feel on the first floor
  • Spaces that facilitate exciting new program formats
  • Stronger relationship with Dundas Street and with Citi Plaza
  • Easier to use lending and welcome area
  • A place to celebrate community art
  • Added digital technology dimension to the London Room
  • Traditional aspects that you know and love retained
  • Logical layout and flow
  • Express checkout on every floor
  • Repurposing of existing materials and infrastructure as much as possible

We look forward to sharing updates, photos and plans with you here as the project progresses and your dreams become real.

SEPTEMBER 1st, 2015

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.

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. It is a popular destination with attendance of OVER ONE MILLION VISITORS per year. Because of such extensive use, this popular and highly used destination is in need of revitalization.


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.

  • a place used by a diverse mix of individuals and groups
  • a place that is accessible to all
  • a welcoming, flexible space that serves people at all stages of life
  • a place for civic participation, engagement and actualization
  • a key contributor to the energy and prosperity of downtown London
  • a key contributor to London’s culture and cultural prosperity
  • a space that ensures the visible presence of community partners, both as tenants and programmers
  • a place that incorporates customer feedback in its design and amenities
  • a place that demonstrates and allows for innovation among staff and users alike

MAY 29TH, 2015

We are pleased to announce that Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. will be architectural consultants for the Central Library revitalization. Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. is an award-winning architecture firm based in downtown London that offers three decades of experience and has designed a number of landmark buildings in the city, including projects for the Library like the original Central Library built in 2002. Their approach to the revitalization project focuses on three core ideas: creativity, collaboration and responsibility.

In the next several months the design process will go from concept drawings to construction documents, then to the actual construction. Construction is projected to begin in April 2016. The first items on the list are infrastructure and life cycle improvements, including removal of escalators, replacement of flooring, painting, washroom refurbishments and updating of electrical and information technology infrastructure, where necessary, to ensure integration of new “spaces and places” throughout.

We know that London cares deeply about its Central Library and we look forward to sharing news and information about the Central Revitalization project with you in the coming months.