Sparks Street runs east to west one block south of Parliament Hill, and is a pedestrian outdoor mall. Among its mix of architecture is the former main branch in the city for the Bank of Nova Scotia, dating to the 1920s. It is regularly part of the Doors Open circuit each June. For years, it has been an annex branch of the Library of Parliament. With the work going on at Centre Block, the central Library is not accessible to anyone, so this is for the next few years the main branch of several annex locations for the Library.
Having had once been a bank, the building includes a banker's office, which is warm and inviting.
The main space preserves the original features of the old bank, and adds in modern infrastructure that doesn't clash with the older elements. The modern touches are because this space is an archive. Usually Doors Open is the only opportunity the public will get to be in here, because it's used by members of Parliament and their staff. Since the last time I was in here, the central area on the floor has gone from having cubicles to more of a lounge setting- members of Parliament, being deprived of the main Parliamentary library for the next few years, can come down here, read newspapers or periodicals, and keep an eye on the news on television monitors nearby.
Along one side at the front of aisles are photographs and poems from the poet laureates of Parliament, a position that has been around for a number of years and varies between Francophones and Anglophones.