New downtown library, theatre and art gallery ‘really close’, says Oakville Mayor


Published March 28, 2023 at 9:50 am

Rob Burton believes it won’t be long until the town has a new central library, performing arts centre and gallery in downtown Oakville.

The Oakville mayor admits he’s a “bullish” when it comes to the Downtown Culture Hub (DCH) becoming a reality.

“We’re really close,” Burton told Khaled Iwamura of in their weekly one-on-one chat. “We’ve started the work to revive the project in this budget this year. I am very, very confident that we’ll be breaking ground on that this term.

“We’ll start before the end of the term. My understanding from construction is it takes about two years to build almost anything.”

Town Council directed staff back in late September of 2022 to begin capital planning this year and planning for the cultural facilities to be distributed throughout the downtown area after receiving the staff report on the DCH Workplan Update.

The DCH plan includes a new library, gallery and performing arts centre, as well as major open space areas, including a Navy Street Plaza and a new Riverfront Park.

The project will provide greater public access to the riverfront and more open space areas and cultural facilities.

“The full downtown vision is a new parking structure with something on top that’s worth visiting,” said Burton. “So you can see forever over the lake and a new performing arts centre and new central library and, as a kind of bonus, a cultural facility.”

The downtown facility would provide local galleries with a “new and better” presence.

“They’ve always been suburb-oriented in an old mansion that was donated to the town years ago,” added the Oakville Mayor. “It’s not really suited for a gallery, so they’ve long wanted to be downtown.”

The DCH is part of the Downtown Plan, which was originally launched in December 2013.


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