Downtown Library

Why Do We Need a New Library?


We need to service a population of 208,000 by 2051. The library has to last 60 years just like the current one has and the Development Charge study only looks 20 years out. So those quoting that as our goal are just kicking the can down the street.


The audit requested by council members when they opposed the library (which added to costs) showed that in order to be fiscally responsible we need to stop renting library space in buildings owned by others. Having a large library downtown is the financially responsible choice.


The current downtown library has a lot of accessibility barriers. The Accessibility for Ontarian's with Disabilities Act is approaching 20 years old. Governments have a legal obligation to meet this deadline as spelled out in the act. 2025 coming up and that will cost us in law suits. So we need to move on this now.

The Truth and the History


  • The KPMG Business Case recommending 88,000 sq ft was approved by Guelph City Council on Feb 13, 2018. The vote was almost unanimous.

  • Dan Gibson voted for the approved size on January 24, 2018, Only Bob Bell voted against.

  • September of 2018, Council supported a motion to include the large $67 million library into the 2020 Capital Budget and Forecast, an estimated 0.86% increase to the property tax levy. This time Dan Gibson voted against it.

  • The 2020 Capital Budget and Forecast which included the library was passed on November 13, 2019 by City Council. Dan Gibson voted in favour of the budget.

The Cost to Build


As it stands, our partner Windmill and the Guelph Library has the cost at $62 million- which includes furnishing, equipment and contingency. But Dan and some others want to pull back on that with absolutely no data to back it up. This flip flopping costs us more than the library will.

The Cost to Tax Payers


Payment is not only from taxes. It comes from sale of property, reserves, debt, Development Charges and a levy of .39% or $14.65 annually for 20 years. This is recommended by City Staff. The new design is supposed to save approximate $25 million for the whole site including $5 million savings on the library.


Dragging our feet doesn’t make this cheaper to build. Thanks to Cathy Downer for doing the math.

".39% or (14.65 annually for 20 years)"



The Cost of Delays

Build materials aren’t getting cheaper and we are impacting other construction on Baker Street and this costs us in delays. If saving money is the goal, we should have started after approval. It costs us in staff time, and consultations plus we don’t want more situations like the police station where we went over budget by $2 million are being sued for $7 million by developers.


The plan for the library has come a long way. We shouldn’t be going backwards, pretending that is going to save us money. All those consultations are money already spent. We waste all that money if we turn back now, and it will cost us even more down the line.



Free Amazing Things You Can Do at the Library

Enjoy leisure time


  • Borrow books and movies in person and online

  • Borrow membership passes to museums, galleries and science centres

  • Join a kid playdate group

  • Join a book club


Create *


Use the Maker Space

  • Make a podcast

  • Use a green screen set up and media production space (aspiring YouTube stars take note)

  • Create and invent with a 3D printer

  • Portable 3D Scanner

  • Glowforge® Plus

  • Use an Apple Pencil

  • Use a button maker

  • Use a computerized embroidery machine

  • Use a CriCut cutter machine

  • Convert VHS and camcorder tapes to digital files using the Elgato converter, Video Capture software, and a VCR at the Makerspace

  • Use a photo scanner


Use the Robotics room

  • Ozobots

  • Cubelets

  • iRoots Robots


Book the Gaming Room

  • PlayStation4

  • Nintendo Switch

  • Oculus Quest


Book the Audio and Video Recording Room


Audio Equipment and Software:

  • Audio Interface

  • Microphone Condenser (2)

  • Monitor Headphones (2)

  • Studio Monitors

  • Keyboard Controller

  • iMac

  • Pro Tools and Audacity

  • iRig HD 2

  • M-Audio SP-2 Sustain Pedal


Video Software and Equipment:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera (New!)

  • Green Screen

  • iPad and stand

  • Adobe Premiere

  • Display your art


Adobe Suite Software

  • InDesign

  • Illustrator

  • Photoshop

  • Premiere Pro

  • Adobe XD, and more!


Hypervsn 3D Hologram

  • See the Hypervsn 3D Hologram


Do business


  • Start up a nonprofit by using funding databases they pay for

  • Get help with how to make your resume

  • Get access to free internet

  • Attend court virtually

  • Borrow a NetGear wifi hot spots

  • Use laptops, scanners, printers, chromebooks, tablets and microfilm


Participate in kids and youth programs/events


  • Story times

  • Concerts

  • Magic shows

  • Movie days

  • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math)

  • Infant literacy

  • Crafts

  • Music

  • Community partnership programs

  • Join the Library Teen Advisory Group to suggest events


Get tech support


  • eBooks and eAudiobooks

  • Simple tablet or phone troubleshooting

  • Online Resources

  • Basic computer and internet skills

  • Video chat platforms


Access resources for new Canadians


  • Get help with citizenship applications

  • Learn English

  • Get access to community services

  • Get books and movies in your native language


Manage your health


  • Borrow air quality monitors

  • Get help signing up for vaccines

  • Join groups and classes about health advocacy

  • Use screen magnification, text narration, and an on-screen keyboard are available on all public computers. There is a large print keyboard and trackball mouse available


* I should note that a lot of the cool maker space options that youth and kids would be into are currently only available at a South End branch, so people in Ward 1 will hugely benefit from the new library downtown.

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