by Mac Christie Flamborough Review
The former TD Canada Trust bank branch at 277 Carlisle Rd., will be the new home of the Hamilton Public Library’s Carlisle branch after TD donated the property on Feb. 6. – Hamilton Public Library photo
The new Hamilton Public Library branch in Carlisle will be located in the former TD Canada Trust building.
TD announced the donation of the property at 277 Carlisle Rd. to the Hamilton Public Library on Feb. 6. The bank branch shut its doors on Aug. 24, 2018.
Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge she is thrilled about the news, adding city staff have been doing a feasibility study on the former bank location over the last couple of years, assessing the structure and the interior of the building.
Partridge added $1.75 million has been secured from the library board for the project — $1 million of which was secured through the sale of the Hamilton Technology Incubator to Clearcable it 2017.
“We’ve secured the building now, secured the property … we have the money put aside in the budget,” she said. “We’re ready to go.”
Partridge said she doesn’t have a firm timeline on the project, she would like to see it open as soon as possible.
“I would love to see it open by November at the latest,” she said. “I mean, I’d like to have it open in June, so that it’s open for the summer.”
However, HPL CEO and chief librarian Paul Takala said he didn’t want to commit to a timeline, adding the timelines for the project will be finalized in the next couple of months.
“We have the capital funding approved to renovate the building, so we have to finalize with the board, the scope of work we’re going to do,” he said. “Within the next couple of months the timing will become clear.”
The library board had previously done a feasibility study in 2017 when they were considering building the new library as an addition to the Carlisle Community Centre. At that time, the building was expected to be about 3,000 square feet, and have a price tag of between $2.7 an $3.1 million.
While Partridge said she believes the TD building is a slightly smaller footprint, in the range of 2,500-2,800 square feet, the larger footprint at the arena site included a community room and access into the arena.
Takala added the donation of the building will save the library at least $1 million.
In a press release announcing the donation, TD Bank’s district vice president for the Greater Hamilton area Jayme Martin said TD is committed to creating opportunities for people in communities where they live and work.
“We’re thrilled to be able to give back to the Carlisle community with the donation of this space and to continue serving Carlisle residents through this partnership with the Hamilton Public Library.”
While the building will need some renovations, Partridge said the building already has a kitchen and washrooms — though it may need another accessible washroom installed.
“There’s things that need to be done, but it’s not major construction at this point,” she said.
Takala added the work that is required on the building will be mostly cosmetic.
“We really want to make this a library that the community is going to be proud of,” he said. “It’s a great facility, and it’s a perfect location, so we’re super excited about it.”
Partridge said residents in Carlisle have been working to get a new library for Carlisle for at least 12 years.
“We worked very, very hard to make sure that the Carlisle library was not closed,” she said, noting around that time several other library branches were closed, including Rockton and Millgrove. “We were really worried about the Carlisle library closing, so this is such a good news story for our community.”