City Hall will be closed for the remainder of the summer starting Thursday, June 27th. A new lift, or elevator, is being installed to make the building more accessible.

Director of Operations Jocelyn Lequier-Jobin says it's part of the renovations being made to the structure. 

"The main part of the project is installing a lift from the first floor to the second floor. Last year, we completed the ramp into the first floor and the new service counter, making the first floor accessible. Phase 2 is going to make the second floor accessible. We will also be upgrading the washrooms upstairs to provide accessibility there."

Jocelyn Lequier-JobinJocelyn Lequier-Jobin

Due to this intensive work which will cause significant disturbance, they're moving much of their City Hall staff into other locations during the construction. 

"Starting on July 2nd, right after Canada Day, City Hall won't be accessible for service. We will be setting up a temporary service counter across the street at the Community Safety Office. It's not too far away and we'll have staff there ready to do the service that you normally would do at City Hall. Everyone will still accessible by phone and we'll have online Services still available. Mail can still go to City Hall through the slot there and we'll be picking it up."

Lequier-Jobin describes the work as as involving plenty of demolition, and will be quite messy and noisy. This led to the decision to close the building until early October.

While they're doing those renovations, flooring and painting will occur to give City Hall a nice refresh.

"Council meetings are going to be held at Prairie Fusion Arts & Entertainment for July, August, and September. We'll likely have four meetings over there. Our budget for the entire project is around the $800,00 range. It's going to be quite a change. The stairway is not being touched; it'll stay as is. The lift will be to the left of the stairway in the hallway, across from the stairway," notes Lequier-Jobin.

This is where the vault is located, which takes up two floors of the building. 

"The exit of the lift will be into the hallway area and the second floor. It'll be great for providing, not just for visitors, but also our own staff, because we are often having to carry heavy things up those stairs. It'll be well appreciated and some of our staff have some mobility issues and climbing. Those stairs are a challenge at times, so I think it's going to be a great addition for lots of people.'

Councillor Joe Masi adds the actual closure begins Thursday, June 27th, at noon with an anticipated completion date of September 30th, 2024.

"The project has been approved for a $100,000 grant from the Federal Enabling Accessibility Fund. Improvements include the installation of a lift elevator from the first floor to the second floor. Construction of new, accessible washrooms on the second floor and door modifications for accessibility. Other improvements that will be made during the closure include new flooring, paint throughout the first and second floors, updates to the first-floor washrooms, new window coverings, a new front counter, and fire shutters for the windows above the ramp that was completed in Phase 1. The lift will be constructed where the vaults currently exist on the first and second floors, and the vault doors, which are beautifully painted and have historic value, will be preserved and hung in another area of the building. The existing washrooms will be replaced with two gender-neutral washrooms, one of which will be fully accessible. The wood doors going into the Council Chambers will be preserved, but they will be modified for accessible passage. Beginning on July 2nd, 2024, the public can visit our temporary office."