Mississauga Library reopens after two years of renovations
A new range of books and magazines, enhanced light fixtures, and more self-serve options are just a few new features of Hazel McCallion Central Library’s recent renovation project.

The Hazel McCallion Central Library has finally reopened this January after more than two years of renovation. The Mississauga Central Library first closed its doors on March 20, 2021, and began construction in April. 

During the library’s renovations, an alternate pop-up library was constructed in the Living Arts Centre, equipped with a small browsing section and some computers, printers, and copiers for the community.

Originally predicted to cost C$42.8 million, the new state-of-the-art architecture comes with a C$49 million price tag—a 14 per cent increase from the previously projected price. According to Irene McCutcheon, the Senior Communications Officer for the Mississauga City Council, the budget was increased to accommodate “inflation and market conditions,” add ecologically sustainable building features, and upgrade the library’s mechanical and electrical systems.

This upgrade also comes with a change in identity. Originally known as the Central Library, the institution has now been renamed the Hazel McCallion Central Library to honour the late mayor Hazel McCallion’s 100th birthday and her 36 years of faithful service to the City of Mississauga. 

All five floors of the library underwent renovations. This is the library’s first large-scale renovation since opening in 1991. 

Laura Reed, manager of the Hazel McCallion Central Library and lead of the project, commented on the library’s renovations in an email interview with The Medium. “The recently renovated Hazel McCallion Central Library is a space for our community, which is sure to delight, inspire and engage our customers.”

Reed continued, “We have also listened to the community, and have included a lot of study space, including space group work, and a multi-faith prayer room. We know that everyone is going to be able to find a spot where they are comfortable, and they will discover all sorts of new things.” 

To get a first-hand account of these exciting new changes, The Medium visited the library to get a lay of the land. At first glance, the library appeared larger and more spacious, with a new hanging light art installation in the centre, long and winding staircases, and elevator access to all five floors. There were tons of spaces for children, collaborative learning areas, and solo spaces. The library was filled with residents on all floors, also exploring the new changes.

The floors were filled with a whole new range of media, including thousands of new and updated books, DVDs, magazines, video games, graphic novels, and cookbooks. There were also many more self-serve options, like self-checkout for books and access to new technology throughout the building, including a new “makerspace” which features photo and video studios as well as 3D printing.

There was also a gaming room with a considerable amount of equipment, a programming room, and computers with 60-minute access windows on every floor, alongside many printers and copiers.

The Hazel McCallion Central Library also underwent an increase in square footage with an addition of nearly 28,000 square feet, 6,000 of which were dedicated to the fourth floor. Seating options across the library continue to provide a direct view of Celebration Square as they did before.

The library continues to accommodate people with disabilities, ensuring barrier-free access. The library has also been equipped with updated heating and ventilation, and contactless fixtures in washrooms. 

Countless new spaces promote collaborative learning, such as seating areas with large tables, or separate multi-use meeting rooms for a more enclosed approach. There is also a bright, colourful, and interactive play area for children, where mini book clubs are often held to promote interest in reading among young children. As for students, the library also features quiet, single-person study spaces. 

Other features like a new kitchen, a reflection room for prayer and meditation equipped with a foot bath, and an enhanced Open Window Hub for the promotion of homelessness outreach and prevention have also been included as part of the redevelopment. 

Construction in certain areas of the library is still underway, such as in the Noel Ryan Auditorium and the café on the ground floor but, overall, the library’s new look has attracted a multitude of visits from Mississauga residents. 

As the library continues to operate with limited services and hours, the grand opening is scheduled to take place on February 3, 2024. 


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