About the project

In 2015, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) received approval to plan and build a new preservation facility next to our flagship building, the Preservation Centre, located in Gatineau, Quebec.

The project was identified as one of the priorities in LAC's Three-Year Plan 2016-2019: "We will implement our Long-Term Infrastructure Strategy, with a view to building a new state-of-the-art facility for preserving and providing access to our textual records."

The new facility will increase our capacity to store Canadian documentary heritage and address the critical shortage of space expected in the very near future. Plenary Properties Gatineau (PPG) began the construction in August 2019, and the opening is expected to take place in 2022. As part of the project we are also undertaking enhancements to our existing Preservation Centre and, starting April 1, 2020, coordinating the ongoing management of both buildings for the next 30 years with the same firm.

The new facility will set a new global standard for environmental sustainability and archival preservation storage, following the example of the existing award-winning Preservation Centre.

Our guiding principles

Our guiding principles
  • Capacity: Provides us with appropriate, secure, state-of-the-art archival preservation and access capacity.
  • Centre of Excellence: Builds on Library and Archives Canada as a centre of excellence that reinforces our role as a leader in the archival community.
  • Flexibility: Offers flexible spaces that may be easily adapted to meet our future needs and challenges.
  • Sustainability: Maximizes building sustainability while respecting collection and access requirements.
  • Innovation: Improves program delivery and facility performance through creative, yet tested, solutions in design, construction and operation.

Project objectives

  • Project objectives

    The new preservation facility will:

    Support our Long-term Real Property Plan: by further consolidating archival holdings at LAC’s Gatineau campus while expanding capacity to meet future needs, and by providing a renewed, state-of-the-art, sustainable real property portfolio for the foreseeable future;

    Support the storage and long-term preservation of our existing and future analogue textual holdings: by providing LAC with a state-of-the-art preservation facility with optimal infrastructure to ensure long-term preservation storage for its growing analogue holdings (such as physical books, original official documents, VHS video cassettes, and cassette tapes);

    Promote economic growth: by strengthening the economy through local and regional job creation during construction of the facility;

    Provide value for money for Canadians: by providing and maintaining a high-quality and long-lasting asset that will meet advanced preservation standards at the lowest life cycle cost possible;

    Foster sustainable development: by supporting the federal government's sustainable development goals with a design that meets the Greening Government Strategy’s Net Zero Carbon requirements, as well as the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, and by protecting the surrounding natural environment through environmental monitoring and mitigation measures; and

    Ensure urban integration: by contributing to Gatineau's landscape with architectural quality and features that complement the existing infrastructure.

Project timelines

Construction of the new facility began in August 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022. Planning began long before this. During the period from 2015 to 2019, the detailed plans and specifications required in order to conduct procurement and contract management activities in a fair and transparent manner were developed.

See the construction schedule on Plenary Properties Gatineau’s website and consult the Project Agreement section for more details.

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