24 Nov 2022
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Plenary Properties Gatineau team today celebrated the opening of the new state-of-the-art Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau, Quebec.
A plaque was unveiled and guests toured the site at the event, which was attended by, among others, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage; the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board of Canada; the Honourable Steven MacKinnon, Chief Government Whip and Member of Parliament for Gatineau; LAC and Plenary Properties Gatineau executives; and representatives from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation.
Completed earlier this year, the new facility enhances LAC’s storage capacity and provides optimum environmental conditions for the long-term preservation and safekeeping of Canada’s documentary heritage. For example, the overall design of the building provides the storage conditions required to preserve the documents for 500 years. In other words, a new piece of paper stored under these conditions in 2022 should still be readable in 2522.
The simple, sleek design of the new facility belies a technological and ecological gem. This facility is the first net-zero carbon archival preservation facility in the Americas, the first special purpose federal facility built to meet the requirements of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy, and the largest automated archival facility in the world. Each of the six vaults is equipped with an automated storage and retrieval system. This system consists of a lift and a crane, and it ensures that the archival containers being removed or returned are safe, secure and accessible.
Located beside and linked to LAC’s renowned Preservation Centre, the new Preservation Storage Facility reinforces the reputation of LAC as a global leader in the documentary heritage community. Together, the two buildings now form the LAC Preservation Campus. Visitors and passersby can now learn more about the two buildings and the work being done inside, through interpretative signage installed along the highly used pathway in the surrounding greenspace.
“Today’s opening is an important step in the preservation of our history. This new building will ensure the safekeeping of documents that bear witness to our collective past, giving us the chance to continue to learn important lessons from them. We are proud today to officially open the latest federal infrastructure built in accordance with new Canadian environmental requirements. Thank you to LAC and all those who helped make this project possible.”
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant
“The Government of Canada is leading by example to achieve net-zero emissions in its operations. The opening of the Library and Archives Canada Preservation Storage Facility today as the first net-zero carbon archive in America and the first special purpose federal facility built to the requirements of Canada’s Green Government Strategy, is a tangible example of how our commitment is being fulfilled.”
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board of Canada
“Gatineau will be home to Canada’s heritage treasures in a state-of-the-art, carbon-neutral building. The expertise of people in our region and of Library and Archives Canada is known around the world and is the model for its sector. I am proud to see this project come to fruition in our region.”
– The Honourable Steven MacKinnon, Member of Parliament (Gatineau)
“Twenty-five years ago, LAC was opening its Preservation Centre. Today, we are proud to continue our tradition of excellence by adding this state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly building that meets the highest international standards and norms for preservation. The new Preservation Storage Facility will help LAC to effectively preserve Canada’s significant documents for current and future generations.”
– Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
“On behalf of the Plenary Properties Gatineau team, we are honoured to be partnering with Library and Archives Canada to preserve Canadian heritage. The state-of-the-art Preservation Storage Facility delivered under the Gatineau 2 PPP Project has set a new benchmark for archival facilities worldwide. Congratulations to the entire team for their steadfast commitment to this exceptional project.”
– Brian Budden, President and CEO, Plenary Americas
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