Since 2016, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Ottawa Public Library have joined forces on an ambitious project: the design of a shared building where the public services of both institutions will be made available. Architects have been working since early 2019 to design a modern, iconic facility at the cutting edge of technology.
Scheduled to open in 2026, the OPL–LAC joint facility promises to be a cultural showplace for the country’s heritage, a meeting place for local residents and visitors alike, and a prime example of the Government’s commitment to building sustainable infrastructure. This new building will be located at 555 Albert Street—in the heart of the nation’s capital—just a few hundred metres from the current LAC building on Wellington Street.
On August 5, 2021, on behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation gave the name Ādisōke for the facility. Ādisōke is an Anishinābemowin word that refers to the telling of stories. Storytelling is the traditional means by which Indigenous peoples share knowledge, culture and history over generations. Ādisōke is a meaningful and fitting name for the joint facility, as storytelling represents the coming together of knowledge, history, discovery, culture, creativity, collaboration, and connections. Ādisōke also evokes what is at the heart of the partner institutions: Library and Archives Canada as a keeper of Canadian and Indigenous stories, and Ottawa Public Library’s use of stories to build community and transform lives by inspiring learning, sparking curiosity, and connecting people.
Ādisōke is expected to attract more than 1.7 million visitors annually, and will be a great opportunity to showcase Canadian heritage and broaden access to our country’s history, culture and knowledge.
The new shared building will prominently and vividly express the value that Canadians place on libraries and archives. Just imagine, the richness of a public library and a national memory institution under one roof!
Evoking pride in Canada’s identity, the facility will provide a welcoming space for learning, discovery and collaboration, founded on an enhanced client service experience.