Building Projects

Edmonton is growing rapidly and EPL is keeping pace. We have several approved library building projects at various stages of planning, design and construction. From brand new libraries in new locations to renovations and expansions in existing communities, we're growing to serve our customers and communities even better than ever!

The New Highlands Branch is Now Open!


The previous Highlands Branch was 47 years old and was in need of significant repairs. Community needs have also changed, along with the availability of new types of library services, requiring additional space and adjustments to the layout to accommodate those needs. The previous branch closed on Monday, November 21, 2011 and moved to a temporary location one block east at 6516 118 Avenue while the new branch was being built.

The new Highlands Branch -  re-built in its current location - is a distinctive landmark for the district and corridor with its bold form and openess. EPL anticipates that the new construction of this new library acts as a catalyst for further development and upgrading along 118 Avenue as well as improving the quality of life for area residents.

Interesting Facts

  • The original Highlands Branch began serving customers in northeast Edmonton, Highlands, Montrose, and Bellevue communities in 1962 in a storefront location. In 1963, the branch moved into a cottage at 8606 118 Avenue and was affectionately known as the "Little House Library"
  • The new branch design enables customers to embrace public space and be a place to read, a place to learn, and a place to meet

New Branch FAQ

How big will the collection size be at the new library?
We will have approximately 30,000 items available to be borrowed from the branch.

How big is the new library?
The new branch is approximately 11,800 square feet over two floors which is 2,200 square feet larger than the old branch.

What are some of the features of the new library?

  • 18 public computer stations
  • Larger children's area
  • Bigger program room
  • Expanded reading areas for adults
  • Dedicated teen space
  • Quiet study & reading area
  • Second floor mezzanine
  • New technologies and devices to promote making and creation in branch
  • Two 24 hour return chutes

When will you be offering programs at the new branch?
We are now offering a wide variety of programs such as Sing, Sign, Laugh, and Learn and Minecraft Tournaments. For a complete listing please visit our Programs page.

What are the hours of service for the new library?
Mon-Thu - 10am to 9pm
Fri & Sat - 10am to 6pm
Sun - 1pm to 5pm


Highlands Branch Library by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Opens

LEED Certification

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Participation in the LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.The new Highlands Branch is aiming for LEED Gold certification.

The new Highlands location recently passed the LEED Indoor Air Quality Test. As per Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Standards for New Construction (NC2009), the following levels were required to pass the test:

1) Carbon Monoxide - Less than 9 parts per million (ppm)
2) Formaldehyde - Less than 27 parts per billion (ppb)
3) Total Volatile Organic Compounds - Less than 500 micrograms per cubic meter (218 parts per billion as isobutylene equivalents)
4) Particulate Matter 10 Microns - Less than 50 micrograms per cubic meter

Architect's Renderings


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In partnership with the City of Edmonton, the Clareview Community Recreation Centre and The Clareview Library is a year-round multi-purpose facility which integrates the library with an aquatic centre and fitness centre along with outdoor sports fields and park spaces. Construction on the entire facility began in Fall 2011 with expected completion in late 2014.

The library will be approximately 18,000 square feet and features:

  • Public computer stations (free wi-fi) and photocopiers
  • Community program room
  • Quiet study rooms
  • Childrens, teens and adults reading areas
  • Freshwater aquarium and fireplace
  • Express checkout stations
  • 24 hour item return (exterior)

Architect's Renderings

(Prime Consultants: Arndt Tkalcic Bengert Architecture and Teeple Architects)


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Click here for more information on the Clareview Community Recreation Centre & Edmonton Public Library.

The Meadows Community Recreation Centre and The Meadows Library, located along 23rd Avenue and 17th Street in southeast Edmonton, is a collaboration between EPL and the City of Edmonton. In addition to the library, this multi-purpose facility includes indoor skating arenas, swimming pools, fitness centre and gymnasium, as well as outdoor sports and recreation fields. Construction on the entire facility began September 2011 and is expected to open in late 2014.

The library will be approximately 15,000 square feet and features an outdoor culture bowl and reading garden. Other library highlights include:

  • Public computer stations (free wi-fi) and photocopiers
  • Community program room
  • Quiet study room
  • Children's, teens and adults reading areas
  • Freshwater aquarium and fireplace
  • Express checkout stations

Read the latest newsletter for more information.

In the News

Ground breaks on multi-use facility, Edmonton Examiner - October 5, 2011

Municipal Sustainability Initiative, Alberta Municipal Affairs Website - September 2011

Dynamic Community Hub Growing in the Meadow, City of Edmonton News Release - September 28, 2011

Article from ArchDaily - October 22, 2010

Architect's Renderings & Construction Photos

(Prime Consultants: Group2 Architecture Engineering Ltd. and Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will)


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About EPL's Mill Woods Branch

The new Mill Woods Library, Seniors and Multicultural Centre will be situated in the immediate vicinity of the Mill Woods Town Centre and Mill Woods Transit Centre. The new library is planned to be in the order of 25,000 square feet, almost double the size of its current location (approx. 12,800 square feet). Expected completion date is Spring 2015.

Currently the Mill Woods Branch is the only library branch serving residents in the City’s southeast, defined as the area south of 63 Avenue/Argyll Road and east of Gateway Boulevard.

In 2010, the Mill Woods Branch was the second most visited EPL branch with nearly 633,000 visitors (a 5.6% increase over 2009). Items borrowed from the Mill Woods Branch increased by 19% during this time with over 1.2 million items borrowed in 2010 ranking it third among all EPL branches.

The Mill Woods Branch serves an area of about 84,800 people.

Mill Woods is a culturally diverse community, with many residents speaking languages other than Canada’s two official languages of English and French. The 2006 federal census shows that non-official languages are the mother tongue of 29% of the target area’s residents, as compared to 26% of Edmonton residents. As well, 17% of the Mill Woods Branch service area’s population speaks a non-official language most often at home, which is higher than the City figure of 13%. The 2006 Canada census data also indicates that compared to Edmonton as a whole, the residential neighborhoods of the Mill Woods Branch service area have a higher percentage of immigrants, with 28% of the population having been born outside Canada, as compared to 23% for the City of Edmonton.

The Mill Woods Branch works collaboratively with Mill Woods agencies and organizations to provide programs and services that meet identified needs, particularly those of newcomers and immigrants of all ages.

The cast iron mural formerly found at the north entrance of the Stanley A. Milner branch will be transported to the new Mill Woods branch. The mural was done by Jordi Bonet, a well-known artist from Montreal. Mr. Bonet's works can be found in many Canadian buildings, in particular the Place Ville Marie in Montreal.

There are ten sections to the mural, each weighing 1100 pounds. Shapes and figures are integrated into the mural. The dark surface was attained through burnishing and glazing. The work measures 10 x 20ft. the cost of the mural was $23,000. The project was commissioned for the opening of the Centennial (now Stanley A. Milner) branch in 1967. The mural is currently in storage and will be moved to the new Mill Woods location soon.

In the News

EllisDon Constructing new Mill Woods Branch - September 2013

Architect's Renderings

(Prime Consultants: DUB Architects and Hughes Condon Marler Architects)


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Calder is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Edmonton.  Originally an independent town housing workers for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, it was incorporated into the City of Edmonton in 1917.  Many of the houses from that era still serve as private residences for Calder citizens today. 

The Calder Branch of the Edmonton Public Library serves an extremely mixed clientele of approximately 20,000 residents and encompasses the neighbourhoods of Athlone, Calder, Kensington, Lauderdale, Rosslyn and Wellington.  The west-east boundaries of the branch catchment area are St. Albert Trail and 97 Street; the north-south boundaries are 137 Avenue and Yellowhead Trail.

The Calder Branch is currently located in a small leased space within a retail strip mall at 12522 132 Avenue, where ithas been operating since 1992. The existing branch is unable to meet the demands for study and community space, and limits the library’s ability to provide programming, adequate collections and the full range of services offered at other branches in the city.

New Location

EPL  and architects Manon Asselin (Manon Asselin Architecte) from Montreal and Marc Boutin (The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative Inc.) from Calgary envision the new Calder Branch as a welcoming, inviting space that encourages community gathering, conversation, studying and learning, exploration through play (for children and others), reading, listening and viewing, and use of computers and library services.  The library space will be designed for maximum customer convenience and comfort, as well maximum workflow efficiency.

This building project will relocate Calder Branch from its current leased space of 5,330 sq. ft. to a new 10,000 sq. ft. stand-alone LEED® Silver certified library facility that will meet the needs of a growing community and achieve the standard for small community branches. The increase in library space will result in increased usage by the community.  This will support rejuvenation of the surrounding neighbourhoods and expand active partnerships with schools and community organizations.

The proposed location for the new Calder Branch is south of Wellington Junior High School located at the intersection of 127 Street and 131 Avenue – a short distance from the existing location.  This proposed site is easily accessed via foot, private vehicle and public transportation, and has the added benefits of exposure along 127 Street.

Branch Features

One of the design goals of the new building will be to create an engaging, welcoming and inviting space where people of all ages can come together to celebrate, learn and be active contributors in their community. The proposed design will showcase an intimate relationship between form and the environment in which it is situated as a means of celebrating the important role the library plays in the community. The architectural consultants envision library customers being at the centre, the banquet table as opposed to the bookshelf, emphasizing the customer service focus. The central gathering point in the library will radiate into a series of branches or “arms.” The proposed sequence and arrangement of spaces in the library design share some similarities with the historical railway pattern that gave birth to the town of Calder more than 100 years ago. The iconic building will act as a community hub and will branch out on the site, symbolizing the library reaching out into the community.

The new library will be a dynamic, adaptable space, where visitors can quickly identify where to locate the service they need. The design will emphasize the importance of natural light with large windows and glazing on all sides of the building.  The building will take full advantage of the extensive southern exposure that is available on the site. There will be a welcoming forecourt with mineral surface, seating and designed planting. Various garden spaces are envisioned for the surrounding park area to extend the library out into the landscape and complement adjacent programming areas.

Other features being planned for the new Calder Branch include:

  •        Larger community room and flexible program space
  •        Quiet study room
  •        Collections that continue to meet community needs
  •        Central reading area with fireplace
  •        Freshwater aquarium in the children’s area
  •        Ample public parking with easy access to the entrance and 24-hour book return
  •       20 public access computers, plus three early literacy stations
  •       Comfortable seating, reading and flexible collaboration space
  •       Aquarium

Architect's Renderings
(Manon Asselin Architecte & The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative Inc.)

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