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Next Steps for the Central Branch Design

During our public consultation from August 10-16th, we received many comments and 149 votes on the exterior design concepts from library patrons, members of the Heritage Kingston committee, and other interested parties.

We have reviewed all of the comments, questions and concerns and are moving forward with an application for a heritage permit. This application will go to Kingston City Council at their meeting on September 6th. A heritage permit is required as the Central Branch is a designated property under the Ontario Heritage Act and because the branch is located in the Old Sydenham Heritage Conservation District (HCD) and noted as a significant building in the HCD.

Over the past two weeks, we have been working very closely with the City's planning department to come up with a balanced solution that will fulfill the needs of a modern library and, at the same time, conform to the guidelines of the Old Sydenham HCD plan. 

Feedback and guidance received from the planning department have resulted in a decision to go forward with a design that aligns with our location in the heritage district. This design retains the entire arcaded walk and arched window pattern of the original facade. We have been given to understand that, under the guidelines of the Old Sydenham HCD plan, alterations of the arcaded walk and arched window pattern of the original facade cannot be made. This design also allows us to retain the honey locust tree in the corner parkette.

The design that conforms to the guidelines of the district plan will still offer a relocated entrance for improved accessibility and secure access to the meeting rooms after library hours. Some roof modifications are included in the design to keep ice and snow from falling on the walkway below and to improve drainage. Reconstruction of some upstairs windows is also being requested to provide proper drainage and a more efficient thermal seal, with a view to long-term building preservation.

The Library will be bringing a delegation to Kingston City Council at their meeting on September 6th at 7:30 p.m. as part of the heritage permit application. City Council meetings are open to everyone and the public is encouraged to attend, watch online or on Cogeco or to follow the City’s Twitter coverage of the meeting at Twitter.com/kingstonmeeting or through the hashtag #ygkc. More information about City Council meetings can be found on the City of Kingston's web site.

Once the heritage permit issue has been issued, we can move forward with finalizing the interior designs and our web site will feature regular updates on the progress. We have already received many suggestions that will be considered as we move forward. We are currently working on the answers to questions brought from the public about the interior of the building and will be updating this page with those answers on September 12.

Download Report 16-225 Application for Heritage Permit for 130 Johnson Street (pdf)