The City of Pickering is planning for a new, 44,000 sq. ft. facility that will celebrate the city’s rich heritage by bringing together Museum, Library and Community Centre into one dynamic space.

Facility Amenities

  • Exhibit gallery
  • Program room
  • Multipurpose Hall, including a stage
  • Kitchen suitable for public programs
  • Collections storage for the museum artifact collection, City’s archives, and the Public library’s local History collection
  • Gift shop and coffee bar
  • Outdoor program spaces include an art garden and patio

Community Benefits 

This facility, anticipated for 2026, will be located on the upper site of the Pickering Museum Village and will:

  • Serve as a new Visitor’s Centre for the Pickering Museum Village and replace the small, aging administrative building that currently exists on the site. The existing Museum Administration Building, also known as the Robert A. Miller Building, is a hybrid structure including a 1867 post and beam wood framed barn with a 1967 wood frame addition.
  • Preserve local history and provide much-needed storage space for over 11,000 artifacts, with special environmental and lighting controls, for collections, artifacts and records for the Library, Pickering Museum Village, and City Hall.
  • Replace the aging Greenwood Community Centre, and provide a modern and accessible space for community groups, programs and services, and events and exhibition space.
  • Include the first public exhibit/art gallery to Pickering to showcase travelling exhibitions, and artworks by local artists.
  • Be more accessible to the broader community. It will serve more residents and visitors than what the facility can currently accommodate. We anticipate to welcome up to 300 users at one time.
  • Be zero-carbon – meaning the facility will be highly energy-efficient and minimize greenhouse gas emissions from building materials to operations, and support Pickering’s journey of becoming one of the most sustainable cities in Canada!

Replacing Aging Infrastructure

The City is committed to maintaining safe and accessible infrastructure for all community members, and as such, replacing the aging Greenwood Community Centre, which dates back to 1970, has been identified as a priority for the City. Located immediately to the east of the Museum's lower site, at 3551 Greenwood Road, the Greenwood Community Centre is a roughly 8,400 square foot, two-storey structure built of concrete block and steel framing. It was constructed in 1970 and has no wall insulation. Lack of insulation, aging windows and the poor condition of the building envelope also makes it expensive to heat and cool. The building is at end of life and would require significant investment within the next ten years in order to maintain. A new building to be located nearby on City property with larger and newer amenities will be more cost effective and will best serve local residents and the municipality as a whole, over the long term.

Library Spaces

The Pickering Public Library is designing two valuable spaces within this new facility: our Local History Resource Centre and an Express Library Kiosk.

The Local History Resource Centre will be a destination for a wide variety of visitors, offering access to collections, staff assistance, and innovative programming. Students, researchers, and family historians will be able to comb through documents and photographs that bring the people, places, and events of Pickering’s history, stories and journeys to life.

And for all residents, library services will be available through the Express Library Kiosk. This innovative service prototype will be open the same hours as the rest of the building and feature holds pick-up, freshly, curated collections, comfortable spaces and access to essential technology.

Progress Update April 2024

April 30, 2024

1. Project Construction is officially announced

On March 26, Mayor Ashe and Members of Council were joined by MP Jennifer O’Connell to announce the official start of construction.

“On behalf of the City of Pickering, I’d like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Canada for investing $16.5 million into the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre. This milestone marks Pickering’s first new community centre in decades, and our first zero-carbon facility. This project reaffirms our steadfast commitment to preserving local arts and natural heritage, while spearheading sustainable initiatives to build a strong, more resilient community for generations to come.” Kevin Ashe, Mayor, City of Pickering

“Cultural spaces are part of the foundation that creates healthy, vibrant communities where visitors can discover our diverse heritage and learn more about who we are. By enhancing its infrastructure, we are helping the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre to improve its infrastructure so it can continue to inspire, bring people together and allow everyone to learn from our shared history.” The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Our government is proud to support the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre. Thanks to this funding, Pickering’s community will be able to preserve and celebrate its diverse heritage for generations to come.” Jennifer O’Connell, Member of Parliament (Pickering-Uxbridge)
March 26 - Group Photo - Official start of construction


2. Site Preparation began in March

J.R. Certus Construction Co. Ltd began site preparation.

This included:

  • Installing a perimeter fence.
  • Installing construction signage.
  • Clearing and grading the site.
  • All trees removed on the site were subject to the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority’s ecosystem compensation policy where all removed natural features are replaced.
  • The photo below shows the construction site, south of Highway 7.

Construction site, south of Highway 7


3. Footings were installed in April 

  • Site excavation has taken place.
  • Trenches for footings have been dug.
  • Footings have been poured.
  • The building design includes a basement under a portion of the building (shown below).

Basement under portion of the building



4. Greenwood Updates

Traffic signs have been installed to help direct construction traffic to avoid driving through residential streets.

The Greenwood Recreation Association lease to operate the Greenwood Community Centre has been renewed for a new two-year term from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026 (Council Report CS 06-24).

Construction Update February 2024

The Pickering Heritage & Community Centre project has been tendered for construction. Construction will be undertaken by J.R. Certus Construction Co. Ltd. Site works began in February, 2024. 

Construction Background

From June 9, 2023 to July 27, 2023, the City invited interested pre-qualified bidders to bid on the construction of the Pickering Heritage and Community Centre (PHCC).

The City’s total available budget for the project is $38,560,569.00.

The lowest compliant bid submitted was in the amount of $57,300,084.00 (net HST rebate), resulting in a total net project cost of approximately $64,600,000.00.

At the September 5 Meeting of Council, after receiving Report to Council: OPS 22-23, outlining this update, Council directed staff to;

  • Cancel Tender No. T2023-6 for Construction of PHCC without award due to all bids exceeding approved budget.
  • Explore options to reduce overall project costs for PHCC by:

a) Obtaining an updated Class A cost estimate from Hanscomb Quantity Surveyors in the amount of $11,704.00 (HST included), for comparison to the previous Class A cost estimate received from the same firm in December 2022, to be retained as sub-consultants to Hariri Pontarini Architects;

b) Working with the project consultants, Hariri Pontarini Architects, to reduce the project scope and related costs, then re-tender the project in time to secure new pricing prior to the approval of the 2024 Capital Budget

  • Continue with Archeology on the site so the project can proceed in early 2024, if approved by Council.

This schedule will allow the City to begin construction in Spring 2024 and meet grant deadlines to complete all work by Spring 2026.

Project Renderings

Rendering 1 - Exterior view from Main Entrance

Side Elevation with signage

Rendering 2 - Exterior view from East

Front Elevation

Rendering 3 - Interior view of Lobby


Rendering 4 - Exterior Art Garden

Exterior Art Garden

Project Video – hear from key staff and the architect!

Watch the video

Video thumbnail


Project Background

The Toronto and Region Conservation’s Greenwood Conservation Master Plan (November 2012), recommended a feasibility study to investigate the relocation of Pickering Museum Village’s historic buildings, construction of a new museum visitor’s centre and installation of additional parking lots to service the visitor’s centre on TRCA lands, in partnership with the City of Pickering.

On June 9, 2014, Council approved the City of Pickering Cultural Strategic Plan (CS 02-14). Action item recommended that Pickering establish a Visitor’s Centre at Pickering Museum Village.

The Pickering Public Library completed the Pickering Local History Strategic Plan on June 15, 2016. The plan includes recommendations to create partnerships between the Pickering Museum Village, the City Archives and the Public Library History Collection for the purpose of storing collections and aligning collecting practices.

On June 18, 2018, Council approved that proposal No. RFP-6-2018, submitted by Hariri Ponterini, at the value of $743,675.60 (HST included) be accepted. The total gross project cost for design work for the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre was approved at $852,871.00 (CS 19-18).

Community Consultation

Since 2012, the Pickering Museum Village Advisory Committee has been discussing plans for a ‘Visitor’s Centre’. Supported by the Pickering Museum Village Foundation, and strongly supported by members of the Advisory Committee, the Visitor’s Centre project has evolved into the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre project from initial and ongoing discussions by the Advisory Committee.

Following approval from City Council (June, 2018), a working group was formed comprised of staff from Pickering Museum Village, Pickering Public Library, Facilities and Capital Projects, and Hariri Ponterini. The working group met monthly from June 2018 to April 2019 to advise on design plans and building requirements.

From November to December 2018, The City of Pickering held stakeholder consultations with the Museum Advisory Committee, Shuttlebug Weavers, Pickering Library Board, Museum Volunteers, City of Pickering Accessibility Advisory Committee, Museum Staff, Pickering Museum Village Foundation, Greenwood Recreation Association, City of Pickering Senior management, and City Council.

On January 21, 2019 the City of Pickering held a community consultation at Greenwood Community Centre. There were approximately 75 members of the community in attendance.

On January 22, 2019 the City of Pickering held a community consultation at George Ashe Community Centre. There were approximately 25 members of the community in attendance.

The City of Pickering made a public survey available about the project to gather input from the community. The survey generated 182 responses (December 2018 – February 2019). Also, a project webpage was created in December 2018 that will be updated as the project progresses.

The City posted links to the survey and community consultations through social media and received 180 likes, 29 comments and 50 shares (January, 2019).

On April 8, 2019 the City of Pickering held a Community Workshop with community members who expressed their interest in participating in a design charrette. Approximately 100 members of the community participated and provided input on the types of cultural, recreation and leisure services that were most desired in the new Centre.

Council Reports & Decision History

  1. Architectural, Landscape and Engineering Design Services for the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre CS 19-18; Resolution #455/18
    RFP-6-2018 was awarded to Hariri Pontarini Architects in June 2018 for design and consulting services of Phase 1 of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre project, as per Council Resolution #455/18.

  2. Architectural, Landscape and Engineering Design Services for the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre CS 34-18; Resolution #08/18
    Council directed staff to expand the scope of the design awarded for RFP-6-2018 to include Phase 2 design and related consulting services in the amount of $660,654.50 (HST included).

  3. Canada Cultural Spaces Fund CS 20-19
    Council directed staff to submit an application for funding to the Government of Canada’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for the construction of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre in the amount of $9,300,189.
    The City of Pickering was successful in securing $4,000,000 from the Canada Cultural Investment Fund toward construction costs for the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre.

  4. Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Community, Culture and Recreation; endorsement of City of Pickering Application CS 40-19
    Council authorized staff to initiate and submit an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to fund construction of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre.
    The City of Pickering was not successful in securing funding from the Government of Canada Investing in Infrastructure Program.

  5. Direction as per Minutes for the Meeting of City Council Held on May 25, 2021 Resolution #595/21
    Council directed staff to submit an application for funding to the Government of Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Building Program for the construction of the Council approved Pickering Heritage & Community Centre.

  6. Request for Additional Funding for Consulting Services, June 3, 2021 CS 27-21; Resolution #612/21
    The Green and Inclusive Community Building Program (GICB) required that building designs meet a Zero-Carbon design standard. Council directed staff to finance the net amount of $126,691.00 in consulting costs to Hariri Pontarini Architects for the technical work required to complete the City’s application to the GICB program.
    The City of Pickering was successful in securing $12,500,000 from the Government of Canada for construction costs of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre.

  7. Additional Funds for Pickering Heritage & Community Centre OPS 17-22
    Council directed staff to allocate unspent funds provided by reports CS 19-18 and CS 34-18 for architectural, landscape and engineering services for the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre at the Pickering Museum Village be re-allocated for the conversion of existing technical documents to meet Net-Zero Design criteria in accordance with the City’s Green and Inclusive Community Building grant application in the net amount of $394,727.

  8. Pickering Heritage & Community Centre – Additional Archaeological Work OPS, February 6, 2023 03-23
    Council directed staff to award consulting and professional services to Archaeological Services Inc. in the amount of $364,708.00 (HST Included) to complete an archaeological review of existing property to be affected by the construction of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre.

  9. At the Special Council Meeting of January 18, 2024 (Report FIN 01-24), Council requested that the Mayor include the applicable funds in the 2024 Current and Capital Budget and Capital Forecast. The estimated gross construction cost is $61.2 million less Federal Grants of $16.5 million which results in net construction cost of $44.7 million.

  10. At the Special Council Meeting on February 5, 2024 (Report FIN 03-24), Council voted in favour of approving the Tender of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre project. 

  11. The next project update is expected at the June Council meeting. 



Current Facility Photos

Current facility, exterior


Interior, kitchen


Interior, washroom


Interior, sitting area


Exterior, front

This project is guided by the City’s Cultural Strategic Plan, which sets a vision for the place of arts, culture and heritage in the City and identifies strategic directions for policy, investment, partnerships and programs for 10 years.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.