Today, March 29th, 2021, the City of Winnipeg officially opened the new Bill and Helen Norrie Library (15 Poseidon Bay) to replace the former River Heights Library.
Named after former mayor Bill Norrie and his wife Helen Norrie, who worked as a teacher/librarian in public schools in Winnipeg, the new 14,000 square foot facility will better meet the needs of the community, offering a fully accessible multi-use public space, tutorial and programming rooms, improved study and leisure areas, and a 24/7 book return chute.
“The new Bill and Helen Norrie Library is an exciting addition to our city’s community services facilities,” said Sherri Rollins, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks. “From its innovative design and accessibility, to the acknowledgment of Rooster town, this library will be a gathering place for many years to come."
The new $9.3 million facility’s design responds to community feedback received during the planning process, including an outdoor reading deck and programming area, double-sided gas fireplace, children’s area with three reading nook playhouses and a Family Literacy playground, non-gendered universal washroom, single floor layout with two moss feature walls on the interior.
Another important building element includes the recognition of the history of the site. After consulting with the families of those who lived in the area formerly known as Rooster Town, the library was designed with a pitched roof, wood panelling and earth tones. The library features images of Rooster Town, interpretive panels, artifacts, and books. Glass walls etched with Saskatoon berry designs and lighting features have also been incorporated into the interior. It also features accessible parking, and proximity to public transportation.
Construction for the new Bill and Helen Norrie Library was identified as a priority in the Library Redevelopment Strategy.
For more information about the new library, programs, services, and hours of operation, see: winnipeg.ca/library