Today I was proud to open a brand-new library in River Heights – Fort Garry!
The Bill and Helen Norrie Library has been a long-time coming and was a much needed. The former River Heights Library was 60 odd years old, and our community needed more space and better accessibility in our library. While change can always be a little difficult, I know that this new library destined to become just as beloved and full of memories as its previous location.
Winnipeg’s former mayor, Bill Norrie, was a dedicated public servant and Helen is a former teacher and librarian. Being able to recognize their long-time commitments to Winnipeg with this new accessible, state-of-the-art space in our ward means so much to me.
New features in this library include a children’s play area, a double-sided fire place, two moss walls and universal washrooms. There is a cozy reading room, study space, WiFi, and community rooms in this 14,000 square foot space.
The intersection of Grant and Cambridge, the site of this new library has some very unique history that is recognized in its design. The area used to be part of Rooster Town, a Metis community that was forcibly removed in the 1960s. To recognize that heritage, families of those who lived in Roster Town were involved in the design. Images, artifacts and interpretive displays were also incorporated into the library to educate patrons about what used to be here. Being able to honour those who lived in Rooster Town is so important.
This new library is truly a phenomenal space, and provides the community with so much. I am incredibly proud to have this amazing community hub in River Heights-Fort Garry.