New (relocated) Esquimalt Library now open

Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) Esquimalt branch

The children’s space at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s Esquimalt branch.

The wait is over for library lovers in the Esquimalt area with Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) relocated Esquimalt branch doors now open. After months of planning and construction, the new library, which is located inside the Esquimalt Town Square development at #101-503 Park Place, opened Thursday, March 31.

Replacing the branch that had been located in the Esquimalt Municipal Hall, the new library is a true community living room with a modern design and décor. With large floor-to-ceiling windows, visitors will be immediately struck by the dramatic design features of the space, including soaring ceilings, exposed natural wood beams, concrete floors, and a calming colour palette inspired by the surrounding landscape.

GVPL CEO Maureen Sawa said she is thrilled to welcome the community into the beautiful new space.

“We are especially proud of the children’s area, which has been thoughtfully designed to encourage discovery and safe play for children who are crawling, learning to walk, and interacting with the space. The space is anchored by an interactive learning play structure that was purchased with funds from the Friends of the Library. The Play and Learn Pod will allow children aged five years and younger to develop and practice early literacy skills through play.”

“With dedicated areas for children and teens, comfortable reading areas, public computers with printing, bookable study rooms, flexible program space, and Wi-Fi throughout the branch, this is truly a flexible and inclusive space that will both inform and inspire the community,” added Sawa.

The library’s collection features the latest fiction and non-fiction books for adults, youth, and children, as well as mystery, romance, and other fiction genres. Audiobooks and music on CD, feature films and TV series on DVD and Blu-ray, video games, and newspapers and magazines are also available. The branch also features resources that are staples of GVPL’s system-wide collections, including large print books and an Indigenous Reads display.

Surrounded by a vibrant town centre and open-air gallery and public art walk, the branch has an innovative floor plan that can accommodate both quiet and lively activity due to a custom-built ceiling system that reduces noise by absorbing sound.

It is also home to GVPL’s Digital Media Lab. This specialized creative space, which is being introduced in three phases, will provide library users will access to a range of tools that enable digital creativity, collaboration, and storytelling. The Digital Media Lab is partially funded by the Victoria Foundation and the Friends of the Library. The first phase of the space is geared toward younger patrons, providing a range of discovery and STEM-based activities that encourage learning through play and technology.

Designed by the firm, D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism and developed by Aragon Properties, the library boasts several sustainability enhancements to help ensure its operations minimize environmental impacts, including a geo-thermal heating and cooling system.

Grand opening celebrations are being planned for May and further details will be provided as they become available. For more information on the Esquimalt Library, see

Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) Esquimalt branch

The interior of Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) Esquimalt branch.

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