Renovations


#ThrowbackThursday: Renovations Before and After (Plus Coats!)

Construction on Phase 2 of the renovations project continues to march forward, and I’ve recently been through the space to take a look. Back when Phase 1 was still being renovated, we had to come into the space far more frequently, so I was able to get more photos. For the second half of the project, my trips in are far more irregular, but it does mean I see more significant changes every time I venture in!

Today’s throwback quite honestly makes me shudder. I’m talking of course about the old coat storage area / corridor when you walked into the lounge. Behold!

Before:

Those dingy ceilings, the inadequate storage, the poor lighting, those carpets! I don’t think any of us will miss any of those. From standing in this perspective now, the view is quite different …

After:

Yes, that’s the same area! We’ve moved the coat storage right out of there (see below for more on coat storage), and raised the ceiling up to the slab. When all is said and done, there are going to be beautiful new light fixtures, new flooring, and our donor wall will be on the wall where the coat closets were. It feels so spacious and bright through this area now – I really can’t wait to see it all finished. For those wondering, to the left is the space for our new training rooms. The perspective on that is a bit hard to show right now, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the reveal there.

So as for coats, as it’s now getting into coat season, let’s look at the new coat storage options!

When all is said and done, there will be three coat closets available.

In the lounge, two of the three closets are currently being constructed. You can see these below (pardon the bad angles – it’s not easy to get a shot of them!):

The third, and biggest, coat closet is located in the library, immediately to your left when you enter the front doors. That space is already open for business, and since this picture was taken, actually has hangers!

In total, these three rooms will provide greater storage capacity for coats that we had previously. This should alleviate the coat mess that erupted every winter in the old lounge. Also not pictured above are new stools currently on order for this space, to aid in boot and shoe removal in the winter months. We will be cracking down on items left overnight in the closet, however: there were far, far too many items left behind and creating clutter in the old lounge, and we hope to keep the new space clean and running smoothly.

 


Before and After: Furniture Restoration 1

Last week, we posted about our Reserve collection, which is now housed in a charming barrister bookcase that we had refinished. We had a few other pieces restored at the same time, so I figured that I should write a post about them too!

Chairs Before:

These chairs were at the back of our library before the reno, looking pretty unremarkable.

Chairs After:

Their final destination is unknown, but you can find them now at the front of our space, near the reference desk.

Small Square Table Before:

A few of you may remember this as the small table that used to hold the Library printer, and later (and most importantly) the Library phone charging station.

Small Square Table After:

We had this piece cleaned up, and I have to say I completely love it. I didn’t think much of it before, but it looks really sweet now. As soon as we have some art hanging over it, and maybe a more to-scale plant, I think it could look really cute here at the front of the library.

Our tables are made from ash, and using quarter cuts of wood (which is more wasteful, but gives this beautiful appearance). You can see that below:

Large Work Tables Before:

We have four of these tables (2 longer, 2 shorter), and these probably have had the biggest transformation!

Large Work Tables After:

These beauties were lovingly restored, taking out decades of pen and book scratches, old adhesive velcro strips, and treated with a nice durable top coat. The restorers told me they fixed old repairs that had been made at some point, and cleaned up a significant number of cigarette burns (GASP!). We’re all thrilled with how rich and wonderful these look in the back of the library, especially next to the great purple wall and with these comfortable and stylish new chairs (which also were chosen to actually fit under the skirt on these tables). Our restorers figure our tables to be at least 100 years old – how great do they look?

This isn’t a sponsored post, but since several people have asked, all furniture refinishing was done by AJ Furniture Refinishing here in Ottawa. We’ve been incredibly happy with the results!


Post-Library Reno Update: Reserve Books

A few people have asked after our old “Reserve” collection – where is it now that we don’t have a row of shelves behind the front desk? The answer: we decided to do away with a large bookshelf wall behind the front desk, and have pared down what we wanted to keep in a Reserve collection. These are the most in-demand texts. All killer, no filler, you might say. As always, books aren’t to leave the courthouse, but if you need the most recent Criminal Code, Family Law Rules, civil practice, small claims guide, or the ever-popular Ontario Courtroom Procedure, stop at the front desk and we can get it for you.

Since we’re only keeping a small number of books in Reserve, this is a great opportunity for us to use our old barrister bookcase, which we had restored over the winter.

Before:

This sweet little shelf sat outside of Rick’s office. The metal mechanisms on the doors were all in terrible condition. Frankly, opening a shelf always felt like a bit of a dare – would this be the opening that broke the metal brackets or glass?! The finish had also turned a bit yellow with age.

After:

How great does it look now? Fun fact: when the refinishers started work, red dye was coming out of the literal woodwork, telling us that this used to be a mahogany colour many years ago. We opted for a more natural wood colour, and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. You can see our small Reserve collection in here for now. We may opt for something more industrial or modern (in keeping with the space) in the future, but for now we quite love how this looks, and the mix of old and new that it brings to the Library.


#ThrowbackThursday: Renovations Before and After

Visitors to the Library have been raving about our new space, but construction carries on in Phase 2 of our renovations. We haven’t shown too many pictures of the work being done in the Lounge side of the space (simply because we don’t have access to the space like we did to the library), so here are a couple of new before and afters! This side has enormous change happening, and the biggest might be how fresh it feels! So much fresh air and natural light!

Before:

These shots are looking into the library from the Lounge doors. There were cubicle offices along most of the windows, blocking all of the light and views, and lots of bookshelves. Unfortunately, many of the books back here were seldom-used, and aisles became overflow storage.

After:

The lounge will now be extending into this space, and we’ve taken everything off the windows! If you’ve been into the library and seen our massive lights, stay tuned: there will be large, equally impressive lighting going into this space as well. In addition to the nice, new soft seating we’ll have, we’ll also have a long, bar-height counter with stools and power outlets along the windows for a portion of the space (essentially, along the windows where that red work platform is in the first After photo). We expect those seats will be very popular, as the view from this room is pretty great.

Construction of this space is still on schedule, so provided everything continues to go well, we should be ready to welcome you in this fall!

 


#ThrowbackThursday: Renovations Before and After

While our new space is beautiful and a huge upgrade on the old library, I think the number one question is “Is this still a bathroom?” with a jiggling of the handle of the door next to the main entrance. Runner up questions include “Is there a washroom here?” and “Where is the washroom?” Sensing a theme, here’s a before and after (and a work-in-progress) shot for you on the state of our washroom!

Before

These are the rooms everyone is looking for! Immediately to the right when you walked into the library, these trusty washrooms served us all for decades.

After

This door is what you’ll see in that place now! It’s actually a new door (all of the doors in this space were no longer to code, so this one is a bit wider than previously), and it’s not the entrance to a washroom at all. This is our new IT room – the IT room was previously an office that was on a window. What a waste of a window!

Right Now

So to answer the earlier questions about where a bathroom will be, here’s a recent picture from the Phase 2 construction area. The new washroom will be in the lounge, and for the moment is simply a red outline on a brick wall. In the old library set-up, we used to have a rather large room sitting in the middle of our space that had nothing in it but a piece of decommissioned air conditioning equipment. Occasionally an awful smell would come out of the room and the building would open the door to investigate, but other than that the room was pretty well abandoned! We asked for this space to be included in the renovation, and it’s now being turned into a nice, new, clean, and accessible washroom. This picture gives the impression that this is some hobbit-sized door, but it’s definitely not! The ceiling is currently removed in the entire area, so it’s a bit of an optical illusion. When the ceiling is back up, it won’t look quite so pint-sized.


#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After

We should have some exciting news on the renovations project coming soon (subscribe to the CCLA newsletter for all the latest info, of course), but in the meantime, here’s a recent progress shot for you.

This was the old view when you came in through the front doors. Us library staff never particularly liked that we were tucked around the corner, which lead to plenty of awkward moments of people coming in and not knowing where anyone was to talk to.

Continue Reading…


#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After

Things are really starting to take shape in Phase 1 of our renovations project. It’s remarkable how quickly walls go down, come back up, and completely change the look of the space. I have a couple of photos here from before, and the current state of affairs. I’ll also answer a couple FAQs down below!

Before:

Visitors to the library will, of course, recognize where the bathrooms were, the old hallway into legislation (or more accurately for many people, the way over to the lounge), and the inside of the copy room. These walls are mostly all gone now, except for that rounded bit of wall in picture two (take note of that – it’s a load-bearing pillar).Continue Reading…


CCLA Renovations: Upcoming Service Changes

We are (finally) renovating our library and lounge space at the courthouse! It has been quite the long road to get to this point, so we are excited it is actually happening.

During the renovations we will be undergoing some service changes at the library. The following services will be affected:

December 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018

The CCLA library will be fully closed for the month of December as we prepare the library for renovations. This means:

  • No library staff, reference, or research services will be available on-site, by email, or by phone.
  • No access to print or electronic resources.
  • No computer access, printing, photocopying, scanning, or faxing available on-site.
  • Courthouse wifi and access to the lounge and robing rooms will be unaffected.

During this time, if you need assistance with legal research we recommend contacting our friends at the Middlesex Law Association (519-679-7046) or the Toronto Lawyers’ Association (416-327-5700), who are both extremely helpful!

If you prefer to use a local law library, you can use the University of Ottawa or the Supreme Court.

Computer access and scanning are also available at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

January 2, 2018 – December 2018

The CCLA library will re-open with limited services in January while the renovations are taking place. We anticipate the renovations will take between 10 – 12 months. During this time there will be the following changes:

  • During the first stage of renovations, the library front desk will be moved adjacent to the lawyers’ lounge. The main portion of the library will be closed and access will only be possible through the lounge. Halfway through renovations the library front desk will be moved back into the library and the lounge will be closed.
  • Photocopying, faxing, printing, scanning, and time-limited computer access will be available with a smaller number of machines. There will be no access to these services by members of the public or court runners.
  • Limited reference and research services available. Much of our collection will be packed away, but we will do our best to assist with reference requests during this time.

 

We are certainly looking forward to having brand new facilities that work better for our users and our space, but in the meantime we thank you for your patience while we renovate!


#ThrowbackThursday: Library Renovations, 1895

I can’t help it – I’m officially obsessed with the goodies I’ve found looking through old scans of The Ottawa Journal. Our last TBT was about the 1940 golf tournament; today’s is even older.

We’ve been deep in the weeds here at the CCLA with renovation planning over the last few months. Finding this news clipping from the December 14, 1895 Ottawa Journal on what was surely the first CCLA “renovation” has totally made my day:

Pictures of this “model law library” are at the very, very top of my wish list (sadly, none exist that we know of). I’m also amused that there was concern even then about room for lawyers to meet with their clients – this has to be one of the most frequently requested things at our current day courthouse!

In happy news, the move out from judges’ chambers was in fact approved by the gaol and building committee:


#ThrowbackThursday: Statutes of Canada 1888

This week’s Throwback was scheduled to be something else, but I found this book while weeding the legislation section of the library yesterday and couldn’t resist.

Below, pictures from one of our volumes of the Statutes of Canada 1888, where someone (the librarian? A lawyer?) pasted legal stories from the newspaper into the first pages of the book. A nice time capsule item of how legal information was captured way-back-when.