May 17, 2022

Design Revealed for Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility

UPDATE August 14 Three Firms Have Been Shortlisted in a Competition to Build the $192.9-Million Super Library (via Ottawa Citizen)

UPDATE June 16
City of Ottawa is Taking First Steps Toward Building New Joint Ottawa Public Library/Library and Archives Canada Facility (via CTV)


From Library and Archives Canada:

The design is the direct result of an unprecedented public co-design process that asked Ottawa residents, Indigenous communities, and Canadians from across the country to provide inspiration at every stage. This collaborative engagement process helped shape all aspects of the facility, inside and out. Public input informed the shape of the building, its entrances, the interaction and location of its spaces, the indoor look and ambience, the inclusive and sustainable features, the landscaping and public art, and the exterior materials. Public and Indigenous engagement for the facility will continue as we finalize the design and move forward with the next stages of the project.


The design connects the facility to Ottawa’s rich history and natural beauty: its shape is reminiscent of the Ottawa River; its stone and wood exterior reflects the adjacent escarpment and surrounding greenspace. The large windows and top floors offer unparalleled views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills. With its central town hall, children’s discovery centre, genealogy centre, reading rooms, creative centre, meeting rooms, cafés and stunning views, the new facility will be a welcoming home for the stories of Canadians and Ottawa residents.

This innovative collaboration between a public library and the national library and archives will offer an enriched experience for customers and clients, bringing together diverse collections, providing exhibition and event spaces, along with comfortable gathering spaces and free and open access to millions of documents and the rich Canadian documentary heritage.

The library is scheduled to open in 2024.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

Learn More, Explore the Building

See Also: Backgrounder About the New Joint Library

Selected Renderings via Library and Archives Canada

Exterior Albert East Entrance

Indigenous Space

LAC Reference Room

OPL Reading Room

Media Coverage

Take a First Peek at What Ottawa’s new ‘Super Library’ Will Look Like (via Ottawa Citizen)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.