The following announcement was written by the Archives of Ontario:
TORONTO, Dec. 18 - The Ontario government is partnering with York University to create a new home for the Archives of Ontario, Minister of Government Services Gerry Phillips announced today.
A new and modern facility for the Archives will be built on the main York University campus, at 4700 Keele Street, in Toronto. Over the next two years the Ontario government, in partnership with York University, will oversee the construction of a new archival facility that will provide better public services and enhance access to the province's history.
"Partnering with an educational institution of international renown such as York University to build a new archival facility is an innovative and cost-effective way of protecting our province's information legacy," said Phillips. "Our government recognizes the importance of protecting Ontario's documentary heritage and the need to provide easier access to the province's largest information asset."
The new building, about 98,000 square feet in the heart of the York University main campus, will more than double the size of the current public reference area. The new, self-contained facility will meet international archival standards and make it easier to showcase some of the Archives' most valuable collections by serving a broader clientele, including school groups and delegations.
As part of the government's commitment to creating and promoting a culture of conservation in Ontario, the new archives building will meet the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) silver certification, a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
"I am looking forward to working with York University to create a new home for the Archives of Ontario. This partnership will go a long way to ensure our collections are properly preserved so we can leave a more secure and prosperous legacy for future generations," said Archivist of Ontario Miriam McTiernan.
The Archives of Ontario, which entered a long-term lease agreement with York University, is the largest provincial archives in Canada, with a collection valued at more than $400 million. It is responsible for preserving the documentary history of the province and is an important source of research for the police, courts, historians and genealogists.
"We are very excited to be able to work with the Ontario government to create a custom-designed building that will protect important public assets and have opportunities for collaboration on educational, research and related activities," said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna Marsden.
The project has been proceeding under ReNew Ontario, the government's five-year, $30-billion infrastructure renewal plan to build strong and prosperous communities. It was implemented according to the principles of the Building a Better Tomorrow Framework for planning, financing and procuring public infrastructure, which protect the public interest and ensure that processes are fair, transparent and efficient.
The new Archives facility is expected to open in 2009.