Library branch moving to ‘considerably smaller’ Brampton ski chalet

By

Published March 29, 2023 at 11:31 am

The Brampton Library Chinguacousy branch is set to be evicted to make space for a new med school campus.

The Brampton Library has found a new but much smaller home for the Chinguacousy branch as the City makes room for a new medical school.

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) will be taking over the Bramalea Civic Centre for its new school of medicine, which could open as soon as 2025. City Council gifted the property worth some $48 million to TMU, forcing the Brampton Library to search for a new home for one of its busiest branches.

Now the Library says it has found a new, temporary home for the soon-to-be displaced Chinguacousy branch at the Mount Chinguacousy ski chalet. But the Library’s CEO says the “considerably smaller” space only has around one-third the room of the current branch, meaning not all features and amenities will make it into the new building.

“While a portion of the building will continue to be used separately for ski operations, the remainder will be turned over for Library branch operations for an as-yet-undetermined period of time,” read a report to the Library Board from Brampton Library CEO Todd Kyle.

The report said the current Chinguacousy branch has over 30,000 square feet of space, while the ski chalet building is approximately 17,000 square feet. But because the building will be shared with ski operations staff, the library’s footprint will be reduced even further to 14,000 with usable public space as low as 10,000 square feet.

The report also said the smaller, more compartmentalized space means the ski chalet branch won’t have the same “clear sightlines and contiguous spaces typical of library design.”

Kyle the branch will transition to the new location within the year. And while the report said the ski chalet is “well-positioned geographically to serve the existing Chinguacousy community,” Kyle said the new space is less accessible overall.

“In particular, we are concerned about the loss of what is an ideal walkable, transit-accessible, centrally-located library location serving the dense Bramalea neighbourhood,” Kyle told Insauga.com.

To help meet those concerns Kyle said the Library is accelerating plans for an additional library branch “in a separate, underserved area of the city.”

He also said the board will be looking for a commitment from Brampton City Council that the ski chalet “is a temporary solution and that adequate permanent space for the Chinguacousy Branch will be planned in the future.”

The Library says the new location will have some of the amenities of the current branch like a closed quiet study area, a small program room and Makerspace equipment. But the building will not be able to house the Recording Studio, and the Library says it is still searching for a new location for that.

Coun. Rowena Santos voiced concerns earlier this month about how TMU moving into the Bramalea Civic Centre could impact arts development in Brampton, particularly the branch’s recording studio.

Kyle said the Library Board was handed “an immense challenge” with the Chinguacousy branch displacement and says the board is concerned about “the shrinking of library space across the city, the uncertainty of the cost implications, and the need for a longer-term solution to better serve the needs of the community.”

The new School of Medicine could start accepting students as soon as 2025 and is set to receive 80 undergraduate seats and some 95 postgraduate positions.

Premier Doug Ford visited Brampton back in January to announce the location of the new school, which is the first new medical school in the GTA in over a century and the first in Ontario in over 30 years.

The Civic Centre was chosen as the location for the school due to its proximity to both Brampton Civic Hospital and the Peel Memorial Centre, as well as its accessibility to municipal transportation, GO transit and highway systems, the City said.

The site also meets space requirements to build 250,000 square feet of classrooms, offices, research facilities and an integrated health clinic.

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising