The simple forms and generous high ceilings of the public library in the town of Rimouski on Québec’s Gaspé peninsula bring to mind the best examples of modernist architecture. Yet this project by the firm Gagnon, Guy, Letellier, Ross Architectes inc. (now GLCRM) was completed in 1991.
When the first town library opened in 1944, Rimouski was a logging town of 7,000 inhabitants, whose livelihood largely depended on the ebbs and flows of the pulp industry. On May 6, 1950, a fire starts in the pulp yard of the Price Brothers and Company and quickly spreads to the town with devastating effects. While thankfully no lives were claimed by the fire, it destroyed the timber industry that the population depended on and prompted Rimouski to quickly diversify its economy towards mining, hydro power and services, eventually establishing itself as the regional capital. In the 1990s, the population had swelled to over 40,000 and a vast new library was among the services the city developed to meet its needs. In 1996, the library was named after local journalist and broadcaster Lisette Morin.
Today the Rimouski library holds over 80,000 documents and operates three branches in le Bic, Sainte-Blandine and Pointe-au-Père, which were all former villages that have since been incorporated into the municipality of Rimouski.
Library detail pages are primarily a place for me to collect information I gather on the libraries I visit, and are frequently updated. None of this should be considered authoritative, I am not an architect, nor a historian. If you notice something incorrect, please let me know!