Waterdown’s new library and civic centre

As someone who works from a home office, it is bliss – especially on bad weather days – to not commute. On the other hand it can be isolating! For a change of scene, today I worked out of the new Waterdown library and wow, what a beautiful place.

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The front door to the library is at the back of the building.

I came across this Globe and Mail article about the building last week and was pleased to see that the story was a positive one. The architects incorporated the nearby Niagara Escarpment as the overall building theme and they used lots of glass. Even with today’s overcast weather there was plenty of natural light coming inside. (Check out the Globe and Mail link for great pictures of the inside.)

There were quite a few teenagers there today and with the open concept layout I thought that might be challenging from a noise perspective. But it was not a problem at all given that there are several seating areas to choose from. Although this is a one-storey building there are six levels and it is very accessible with wide hallways that are in fact ramps.

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The front door is at the end of this ramp.

The building is a multi-tasker: in addition to the library, there is a seniors’ recreation centre and a municipal customer-service area for things like paying your taxes.

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From the library entry, this ramp goes all the way to the top level where you can use the patio this spring.

My only disappointment was the lack of signage outside. After parking at the side, I walked up a large outdoor ramp to the street-facing door only to find it was locked. This turned out to be the access to a patio that will open during warm weather. So I walked all the way around the building to find the real front door and didn’t see a bit of signage for guidance the whole way.

Small point for me because I can benefit from the extra walking. But if you’re arriving for the first time in bad weather or you have mobility issues, it would be helpful to be clearly directed to the right door. Don’t let that put you off though, this is a great place to spend time.