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Construction officially begins on Vancouver’s central library expansion

Reading room and ‘garden in the sky’ public garden are part of the project


April 3, 2017

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Construction officially begins this week to expand Vancouver’s central library, renovating the building’s top two floors to include a reading room, new community event and meeting space, exhibit spaces, a theatre and a ‘garden in the sky’ public garden, among other enhancements.

Anticipated opening of the new floors is spring 2018.

Over the coming months crews will be refitting the space to expand the library by 35,000 square feet and transforming Levels 8 and 9 of the building – floors that were previously leased out – into a vibrant public learning and gathering space.

Key components of the project include:

  • Removing sections of the roof.
  • Opening up the floor between Level 8 and Level 7 (currently the upper-most publicly accessible level of the building).
  • Connecting Levels 7 and 8 with a new escalator.

Vancouver Public Library and its contractors are working hard to minimize the impact on library users, although there may be unavoidable periods where construction noise is noticeable in the building, particularly on the upper floors.

VPL will alert central library users with as much notice as possible, and the first anticipated construction noise could be in mid-April.

What visitors to central library will see during construction:

  • A construction crane on the north plaza; flag personnel will be on site to ensure pedestrian and passer-by safety when the crane is in operation.
  • Weatherproof coverings on the building’s roof and Level 9.
  • Restricted parking along the west side of Library Square during unloading of construction materials and supplies.
  • Elevator work; the building’s public elevators are being upgraded for access to Levels 8 and 9 when the new space opens.
  • Temporary closures of library space on upper levels of the building, as needed, during periods of construction between floors.

Now on display on Level 2 of the central library – just inside the main entrance – are floor plans for the refitted Levels 8 and 9, architectural renderings of the spaces and a model showing the completed renovations.



About Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library has been dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading and information needs of Vancouver residents for more than 100 years. Our vision is an informed, engaged, and connected city. Our mission is a free place for everyone to discover, create and share ideas and information.

Last year, VPL had more than 6.8 million visits with patrons borrowing almost 9.4 million physical and digital items including: books, ebooks, movies, music and magazines. Across 21 locations, VPL is the most-visited major urban library per capita in Canada.