Skip to content

Proposed library/art gallery expected to open by the end of 2026

The latest incarnation of the Junction East Cultural Hub project, situated within Tom Davies Square, is estimated by city staff to take 30 to 36 months to complete, on its current momentum

The long road toward Greater Sudbury’s new central library/art gallery is projected to take another three years to complete, bringing its grand opening to the end of 2026.

“This has the potential of being the heart of our community which we’ve never really had with all the services that would be joined here,” Mayor Paul Lefebvre said during the Sept. 26 meeting of city council. “There’s a lot of excitement out there.”

During the Sept. 26 meeting, city strategic initiatives, communications and citizen services executive director Ian Wood offered city council an update on the project.

In his presentation and an accompanying report, Wood outlined the latest from the proposal, which aims at bringing a new central library/art gallery to Tom Davies Square.

Several years in the works already, the time required to complete the project is currently estimated at 30-36 months, according to Wood’s report, which also notes, “there is a need to better understand the demand for parking within and around the facility.”

City administration received city council direction earlier this year to pare a $98.5-million project approved by the former city council down to $65 million by investigating alternative locations.

Staff narrowed in on Tom Davies Square in a report to city council in July, which proposed shifting most existing municipal operations out of the building and into the building to its immediate north (199 Larch St.), which the city also owns and is more than half empty.

The One-Stop Service centre, which opened in the foyer at Tom Davies Square last year, is expected to remain in place, adding to an “inspiring combination” of services slated to be delivered in the proposed library/art gallery/municipal space, Wood said at the time.

The arrowhead-shaped building is a unique structure, Wood told city council, noting, “This is not just a rectangle in which you place things.”

In addition to its projected timeline, some other key updates in Wood’s latest report and presentation include:

  • An eight-week structural capacity analysis process will begin in October to confirm whether Tom Davies Square is a viable space for program occupancy. This is important, as the Ontario Building Code requires higher floor loading capacities for libraries and art galleries than for general office space.
  • Staff plan to negotiate a single-source contract for architectural services required to develop a detailed project design and construction drawings so work is ready to proceed as soon as it’s determined to be a viable structure (expected by the end of the year).
  • The Greater Sudbury Public Library, Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Sudbury Multicultural Folk Arts Association have all continued as partners, and “have worked with us in a spirit of collaboration,” Wood said.
  • Various provincial and federal funding opportunities are being pursued.
  • Between the mothballed Junction West project (proposed conference centre) and Junction East, the city has spent or has committed to spending approximately $5 million, leaving $64.7 million in the project’s existing budget.

City staff are expected to return to council on Dec. 5 with a detailed update report, including conceptual designs and a projected budget for both the Cultural Hub at Tom Davies Square and the municipal services relocation effort.

“We should have a high-level costing at that point, and are hopeful to have more detailed cost estimates early in the new year depending on the timeline,” Wood said.

The Dec. 5 meeting will also offer city council a decision point, including recommendations for council consideration to direct the project’s future.

At least two unsolicited proposals have been submitted to the city, including ideas to use the long-vacant old brewery building on Lorne Street to accommodate an art gallery, and using the downtown Elm Place mall. City council has not directed staff to pursue either proposal.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
Read more