Ottawa, Canada Photo Gallery

Nestled on the banks of the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers, approximately 200 kilometres west of Montreal and 400 kilometres northeast of Toronto, Ottawa is Canada's capital city.

Founded in 1826 and formerly called Bytown, Ottawa was named Canada's capital by Queen Victoria in 1857, with its location picked because it would be difficult for the Americans to invade from the south.

Parliament Hill

Parliament consists of 3 buildings atop Parliament Hill. The Centre Block, the main building with the distinctive Peace Tower, houses the chambers of the House of Commons and the Senate. The historic East Block looks much the way it did at the time of Confederation. Inside are the restored offices of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald and other early statesmen. The West Block houses offices for members of parliament and is closed to the public.

Parliament Website

Centre Block

Home to the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament, the Centre Block forms the heart of Canada's parliamentary system. The current building was built to replace the original building destroyed in a fire on February 3, 1916, which destroyed all except the Library. The Peace Tower, a free-standing bell tower in the middle of the Centre Block, rises 92.2 metres from the base to the bronze flagpole. The Tower contains an observation deck, a clock with four faces 4.8 m (16 ft.) in diameter, a carillon and the Memorial Chamber, honouring Canada’s war dead.

Peace Tower

The Peace Tower, so named to honour the thousands of Canadian men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country in World War I, stands at the front of the Centre Block. Its walls are made of Nepean sandstone. They rise 92.2 m (302 ft. 6 in.) from the base to the bronze flagpole. The roof is reinforced concrete covered with copper. The Tower contains an observation deck, a clock with four faces 4.8 m (16 ft.) in diameter, a carillon and the Memorial Chamber, honouring Canada's war dead.

More Information

Base

West Block

Officially opened in 1866, the West Block then contained the Postmaster General, Public Works and Crown Lands departments. Two extensions were later added to the original structure. The Mackenzie Wing and Tower was completed in 1878 and the Laurier Tower and Link was completed in 1906. The first renovations of the West Block took place from 1961 to 1965. Today, it is occupied by Ministers, Members of Parliament and their staff. The Confederation Room, one of the largest reception rooms on Parliament Hill, was created during renovations in the early 1960s. It is used for some state occasions, committee work and conferences.

East Block

The East Block on Parliament Hill was built in two stages. The main section went up in the mid-1800s at the same time as the West Block and the original Centre Block. Then, in 1910, a wing was added at the rear. The purpose, style and appearance of the 1910 wing were quite different from those of the earlier structures. The original East Block was once the domain of some famous Canadians. Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier had offices in this block, as did a number of Governors General and members of the Privy Council. The 1910 wing had 6 massive vaults, originally used for storing the nation's financial treasures before the Bank of Canada was constructed. Rumours have circulated for years that gold was once kept here. The vaults have been converted to office space, but the original doors have been preserved.

Statues

Front Gates

Changing of the Guard

View from Parliament Hill

Peace Tower Observation Deck
Downtown View

Around the Parliament

Gatineau

West

East

Rideau Hall

For over 130 years, Rideau Hall has been the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, the Queen's representative in the country.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court building was designed by Ernest Cormier, the Montréal architect who also designed the Quebec Court of Appeal building, the Government Printing Bureau in Gatineau and the University of Montréal. Situated just west of the Parliament Buildings on a bluff high above the Ottawa River, and set back from a busy Wellington Street by an expanse of lawn, the building provides a dignified setting worthy of the country's highest tribunal.

Two tall statues have been erected on the steps of the building, "Truth", on the west, and "Justice" to the east. They were made by the Toronto artist, Walter S. Allward, creator and architect of the Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge in France. At the rear, there are a fountain and a terrace overlooking the Ottawa River.

Confederation Building

Other Buildings

Museum of Civilization

As the national museum of human history, the Canadian Museum of Civilization is committed to fostering in all Canadians a sense of their common identity and their shared past. At the same time, it hopes to promote understanding between the various cultural groups that are part of Canadian society.

Museum Website

The Canadian War Museum

A stunning architectural feat, the Canadian War Museum is specifically designed to meet the needs of Canada's national museum of military history. Strategically located close to Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa, it includes sufficient space for the museum's diverse activities and offerings.

The Museum serves as the principal node in a network of military museums across Canada, sharing its artifacts, archives, and expertise with other museums. As a centre for the study of military history in Canada, it will be accessible to students, researchers, and others who are interested from across the country, and it will help to bring Canada's military history into the nation's classrooms.

Museum Website


Ottawa's skyline is fully visible from outside the War Museum.

Left & Middle : In 1759, the French and English fought at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. It was the beginning of the end to New France. This diorama traces the battle from both lines. Right : First Nations
The World Wars

Downtown

Confederation Square

City Hall

Rideau Centre & East

Chateau Laurier

Located in the heart of Canada's capital next door to the Parliament Buildings, the landmark Fairmont Château Laurier is a magnificent limestone edifice with turrets and masonry reminiscent of a French château. In 1907, Ottawa's premier hotel was commissioned by American-born Charles Melville Hays, General Manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway of Canada. Following a disagreement with architect Bradford Lee Gilbert, Ross and Macfarlane Contractors was hired to build the hotel in French Renaissance style using granite blocks for the base, buff Indiana limestone for the walls and copper for the roof.

Fairmont Château Laurier was opened by its namesake, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, on June 12, 1912. It was once dubbed 'the third chamber of Parliament' in reference to the number of politicians roaming the corridor.

Sparks Street

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