Guelph Central Library

“The end result here is the creation of a welcoming destination that will add to the vibrancy of our beautiful downtown and our sense of place.”

Jayne Holmes, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services, City of Guelph

The new Guelph Central Library will anchor the Baker District Redevelopment. The new district, nestled in Guelph’s historic core, will create a renewed area of activity, commerce and civic space for the local community and city. The building is designed to accommodate future growth in Guelph by providing collections, archives, and community amenities in a contemporary library.

The three-storey civic building provides a generous public square adjacent to the main entry on Baker Street. Seating and spaces for individuals, small groups, and large gatherings are accommodated throughout the square, with built-in infrastructure for outdoor library events.

The outdoor activity extends into the double height glazed atrium. The atrium functions as the heart of the building and will be a focal point of activity in the library with vertical movement up the central stair, views outside and across the urban realm and a place of social gatherings. Beyond the atrium, the ground floor houses a large children’s collection, support spaces, and a 100-person flexible meeting room. The meeting room offers space for community use with an adjacent catering kitchen, full audiovisual capabilities and dedicated exhausts for First Nations smudging ceremonies.

Connected by a feature stair, the second floor provides seating space around the atrium for patrons to engage in the activities below. The second floor houses the adult fiction and young adults collections, a large double height community living room, reading terrace, and makerspace studios.

The third floor reading room and non-fiction collections are bathed in overhead natural light from the articulated saw-tooth roof. The floor also houses temperature-controlled archival spaces and associated reading room and support spaces. Connecting to the exterior, the rooftop terrace overlooks the library square. The new central library will be a welcoming and dynamic presence in Guelph’s revitalized Baker District.

Client City of Guelph
Sustainability Zero Carbon Building-Design v3 Certified, One Planet Living Target

Team See full project team