Library Transition Plans Announced

The announcement that the City of Windsor is investing a piece of Windsor history by purchasing the iconic Paul Martin Building (185 Ouellette Avenue) and that  two floors will serve as a temporary home for Windsor Public Library, was welcome news for WPL CEO Kitty Pope.

“The Paul Martin site is in a prime location close to bus and bicycle routes with plenty of parking available in the area and convenient to St. Clair College and University of Windsor students,” she said. “Materials and resources not making the move to the new location will be distributed to other library branches. Library staff has been working hard for the past several months to formulate transition plans and will be working hard to ensure the temporary location is a welcoming public library space.”

Plans are currently being finalized for library services to be spread over two floors of the Paul Martin addition. The addition was completed in 1959 and complements the Art Deco Paul Martin Building that opened in 1932.  Previous occupants include Canada Post, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency and various other federal departments.

Concurrent with planning a temporary home, the Windsor Public Library Board approved the new Central Library Functional Plan that staff and architects began in 2016. The two-phase initiative captures the vision for a new central library and includes costing estimates and the results of external community consultations. The Plan provides a road map for the WPL Board and City Council to follow and move forward to build a new Central Library in the downtown core.

To better prepare for the move to the Paul Martin building, library service at 850 Ouellette Avenue will be reduced to one floor at the end of April, with Central Library closing its doors to the public on Saturday, May 18. WPL will occupy 850 Ouellette until June 28 with the intervening time spent decommissioning the building and initiating the move. Popular materials, such as DVDs previously housed on the second floor, have already been relocated to the first floor. More details will soon be available about library services being offered in the downtown core during this transition period.

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10 Responses to "Library Transition Plans Announced"

  1. Candace Kwasnicki says:

    I am relived that the new location is on a bus route. it would have been very inconvenient for bus takers if not accessible.

  2. Vicki says:

    I am so glad the Library will be moving to this location. It is a fine old structure. And I am able to walk to it from my home in the west end.

    Brilliant move! Thanks.

  3. David Hanna says:

    Glad to see that a tiny bit of common sense occasionally prevails surpassing the incompetent whim by the Mayor and his WPL Board that first wanted to move the Main Library to a tiny, inaccessible portion of the 5th floor at new City Hall. Yes the consideration of using portion of a mostly empty former Federal, Paul Martin building is a good idea. But still doesn’t cover the waste of taxpayer dollars on having to renovate a building for temporary use, when the Main Library could have have remained on Ouellette until a new Library was built. In other words not selling the existing until the new one is built or better yet having kept the existing Main Library for shared and better renovated use for what it was built for – a Main Library!

    • Marlene says:

      Agreed Mr. Hanna. Agreed. I saw the Mayor last week asking him about his promise to make the move “seamless”, which it’s not. He said he is still striving for that to happen. OK. I wonder if that rush job was because the Downtown Mission of Windsor had too much money in their coffers compared to their expenses and Revenue Canada is getting impatient?

      • Pete says:

        Can you explain your comment a little more to me about the mission having to much money and Revenue Canada becoming more impatient, please sir and thank you.

  4. Sue Moore says:

    I have never seen the inside of the temporary facility but I am wondering why it cannot be the permanent library location.

  5. Margaret Liddle says:

    Could someone please confirm that the two floors of the Paul Martin Building, that will be the temporary home of Central Library, are accessible.

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      The Central Library branch, The city and the Mission, have reached an agreement in principle to extend the closing date until the end of February 2020. More information can be found at
      In the meantime The Paul Martin building will undergo $1.5 million worth of renovations to become the temporary home of the library in 8 months.

      • David Hanna says:

        So basically $1.5 million for a ‘temporary’ home renovation (at the Paul Martin Building) for the “Main Branch” of the WPL and the additional loss of $1/2 million+- private donation used to specifically create a permanent Local History Room (second Floor Main Library), Tech Room and Book Publishing rooms (on the Main floor of the existing Main Branch Library) only several years ago – now completely lost due to poor, fly by night planning of the WPL Board, City of Windsor Administration and City of Windsor Council? Imagine how that public money could have been spent, saved or more wisely used on a proper permanent solution from the start .- Had the WPL Board been fiduciary responsible to the taxpayer, instead of ad-hoc, pseudo long range planning and appearing to endeavour at times in amateur decision making.

    • Chris Woodrow says:

      Yes, I can confirm the temporary library location will be accessible and meet AODA requirements.

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