Case Study

Northview Branch Library

Transforming Northview Public Library: A Comprehensive Renovation by J.R. Freethy Architect

Discover how J.R. Freethy Architect revitalized Northview Public Library with innovative design, accessibility upgrades, and a stunning new roof.


Northview Branch Library

Ritson Rd, Oshawa, ON

Birdhouse Style Cottage for Adults
Birdhouse Concept Cottage for adults
Birdhouse Concept Cottage 3D Model

Project Sustainability

  • 60% Recycled Materials
  • 85% Energy Self-Sufficient
  • 60% Less Construction Waste

Client: Oshawa Public Libraries

Completion: 2016

Project Type: Renovation

Architects: J.R. Freethy Architect

Revitalizing Northview Public Library: Innovative Design and Accessibility Upgrades by J.R. Freethy Architect

J.R. Freethy Architect recently undertook a transformative renovation project at Northview Public Library, enhancing both its functionality and aesthetic appeal. The project began with a complete roof replacement, where Marley concrete tiles were removed, and the roof profile at the main entrance was modified. To address the issue of leaking skylights, they were serviced, and a new standing seam roof was installed, significantly altering the library’s exterior look. This roof not only improved the building’s appearance but also enhanced its thermal properties, thanks to the use of polyiso insulation, which prevents condensation.

Inside the library, substantial upgrades were made to ensure full accessibility and compliance with LDA standards. The stacks were reoriented, and new floor finishes were applied. Lighting modifications further enhanced the interior ambiance.

J.R. Freethy Architect collaborated closely with the library’s interior designer to select and coordinate new furniture, ensuring a cohesive and welcoming environment for patrons.


The entrance underwent a complete overhaul, with the original entrance removed and a new, more accessible entrance form added above. The washrooms were also upgraded to meet accessibility standards. The library’s superstructure, composed of glue-laminated timber and heavy timber planks, provides robust structural support.

These renovations have not only modernized Northview Public Library but also ensured it remains a functional and accessible community hub. The innovative design and careful attention to detail by J.R. Freethy Architect have truly transformed the library, providing a refreshed and inviting space for all visitors.

The Northview Public Library in Oshawa, now known as the John Aker Northview Branch, is owned and operated by the Oshawa Public Libraries (OPL). The branch was renamed to honor the late John Aker, a long-serving City and Regional Councillor who had a significant impact on the library’s development. The library serves as a community hub offering various programs and resources to the residents of Oshawa.



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J.R. Freethy Architect

Established in 1989, J.R. Freethy Architect is a practice working extensively in Clarington, Durham Region area, Kawartha and Northumberland. J.R. Freethy Architect has successfully implemented a diverse range of projects since the inception of the practice.

Reg Freethy B. Arch., MOAA, MRAIC, is the principal of J. R. Freethy Architect. As the lead architect for the practice, he takes a leadership role in all phases of each project undertaken.