Monday, June 24, 2019

New Use

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.


  1. Very grand looking library. A good opportunity to visit when opened to the public.

  2. I love a library ... I'm featuring some shots from our State Library this week.

  3. That looks a very fine building indeed. Banks always seem to find money enough to build themselves grand offices.

  4. Very European looking building !

  5. I would be willing to bet that few Canadians know that we still have a Poet Laureate, and I wonder who outside his/her family could name him/ her?

  6. This is a very beautiful library! I'll start in the autumn a new series with the most beautiful libraries in the Netherlands!

  7. Hello, what a nice looking library! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

  8. I would love to see this!

  9. Those stacks are mouth is open in awe! Seriously.

  10. A beautiful place, and I enjoyed learning more about it through your commentary and pictures. Thank you. :-)

  11. It looks like an interesting building. I love seeing those stacks of books.

  12. Excellent Use Of Lighting - Well Done


  13. I love old banks. Old post offices, too.

  14. Well . it's not the old library but it is stunning in it's own way.

  15. Doors Open is such a brilliant event.. just to be able to see spaces like this is fabulous!

  16. Wonderful and a nice tour though this old building. I like to see this kind of older buildings with new functions.

  17. @Nancy: definitely.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Joan: good!

    @John: these days most banks built are utilitarian.

    @Gattina: very much so.

    @David: that's true.

    @Ella: I look forward to it.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Laurie: it's quite a space.

    @Barbara: the contemporary and the older were well put together.

    @DJan: you're welcome.

    @Aritha: thank you.

    @Tom: definitely.

    @Sharon: so do I.

    @Padre: I agree.

    @Jennifer: me too.

    @Red: that's true.

    @Grace: I agree.

    @Jan: so do I.

  18. Impressive building and great photos!

  19. What a beautiful library! Nice photos, William.

  20. That is a great looking library!

  21. Such a great place to take in the setting!

  22. @Denise: thank you.

    @MB: definitely.

    @Bill: thanks!

    @RedPat: it is.

    @Marie: I agree.

  23. I love a library with lots and lots of stacks.

  24. It's too bad this has such limited public use. It's gorgeous.

  25. love the architecture. so amazing. ( ;
    i gotta say though ... that it reminds me of how u see those jails on tv ... never been to jail ...but if you watch those crime shows ... i guess they have so many books ...they had to pack them in there?

  26. It's always interesting to see how a building has been converted and I'm all for libraries! Very nice use of the space.

  27. Love recycled buildings ~ great photos ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  28. @Joanne: so do I.

    @Kay: it is, yes.

    @Marie: definitely.

    @Beth: I can see that.

    @Italiafinlandia: definitely.

    @Jeanie: that's true.

    @Carol: thank you.

  29. This is a nice looking library … which reminds me I need to visit my local library next week!

    All the best Jan

  30. WOW. I love libraries! Amazing!