City of Guelph to receive federal investment for new central library

New library also the first stand-alone library certified under the Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard

Guelph, Ont., March 25, 2024 – Guelph is set to receive a federal investment of $13.5 million to help support construction of the new central library. Announced today by Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield and Mayor Cam Guthrie, this funding will contribute to the creation of a vibrant new community hub in Guelph.

“Libraries are the trademark of educated, equitable and democratic societies. Cities across Canada are turning to these inclusive building types to revitalize their downtowns, boost visitors, and enhance access to information and resources. Guelph’s new central library will help contribute to a thriving community as a hub that will inspire residents to learn and explore for years to come,” says Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

This investment comes from Infrastructure Canada and is administered through the Green and Inclusive Buildings (GICB) program, which supports green and accessible retrofits, repairs or upgrades of existing public community buildings and the construction of new publicly accessible community buildings with a goal to help Canada towards its net-zero objectives by 2050.

“The Green and Inclusive Community Building program funding will help Guelph in building a new, state-of-the-art, fully accessible main library to replace the current library, which no longer meets the needs of the community,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie. “The funding will help us reduce capital costs while building a facility that meets the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard.”

The new central library is a pivotal part of the Baker District redevelopment, a former municipal parking lot that is being transformed to offer the new library, mixed-use residential and commercial towers, public parking, and public squares.

Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard certification

Guelph’s new central library is anticipated to be the first stand-alone library in Canada to achieve the Canada Green Building Council®’s Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard™ certification, verifying that the new facility is designed to be carbon neutral.

“Achieving this certification is a huge win for Guelph. We are dedicated to leadership in climate action, as outlined in our Future Guelph Strategic Plan, and the innovative design approach to the new library is a shining example of this commitment,” says Scott Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Guelph. “We’re going to keep this momentum going forward and continue making significant strides towards becoming a more sustainable city.”

Between this significant certification and conscious energy design considerations to the building (including renewable energy through rooftop solar panels, minimizing fossil fuel use, and a highly efficient building exterior), the new central library will help bring Guelph closer to meeting our Race to Zero commitment targets and becoming a net zero carbon community by 2050.

About the new central library

Set to replace the current central library that opened in 1965, the new library will:

  • Provide a variety of community spaces, such as quiet areas for reading and reflecting, as well as larger areas for performances or events;
  • Reduce barriers for residents to access enhanced technology, including a makerspace studio with 3D printing and audio/video recording and production opportunities;
  • Offer inclusive spaces for members of local Indigenous communities (such as spaces for Indigenous art and sharing circles), and new parents (including a space for nursing and stroller parking);
  • Supporting active transportation with covered bike parking;
  • Have back-up power sources and be able to offer emergency shelter during severe weather events; and
  • Be fully accessible.

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Media contacts

Stefany Snedden, Strategic Communications Advisor
Strategic Communications and Community Engagement
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3519
[email protected]

Patricia Halajski, Mayor’s Communications Advisor
Mayor’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2558
[email protected]