Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Canada, Explore, North America

Spending a day wandering Parliament in Ottawa, Canada

Spending a day wandering Parliament in Ottawa, Canada

Few Canadian symbols are as well known as the Parliament Buildings with its distinctive Peace Tower and Library. 

The Centre, East and West blocks of the Parliament Buildings were built between 1859 and 1866. One year after completion, Confederation was brought in, and the buildings were immediately chosen as the seat of government for the new Dominion of Canada.


Canada had not even celebrated a half a century before tragedy struck. ON February 3, 1916 a small fire started in the Commons Reading Room in the Centre Block. The fire raged and everything but the northwest wing and the Library.


Rebuilding of the new Parliament buildings commenced amidst WWI and wasn’t completed until 1922. The Peace Tower was finished later in 1927. The new Parliament buildings were designed by John Pearson and Jean Omer Marchand in the Modern Gothic Revival style.


My favourite part of any Parliament tour is viewing the Library. Built in a circular formation with beautiful floor features made from cheery, oak, and walnut. Hundreds of books line the shelves and in the centre stands grandly a white marble statue of the young Queen Victoria. The exterior is just as stunning as the interior, made of Nepean sandstone with turrets and peaks. The library has more than 17 linear kilometres in its collection.Sadly, you cannot take photos within the Library- you’ll have to see it yourself!


The Peace Tower is synonomous with Canada’s commitment to peace. On the third floor is the Memorial Chamber built to honour Canadians who died in military service and symbolizes that the struggle for peace comes at the cost of human life. The Chamber has high vaulted ceilings with white marble pillars and 3 walls of stained glass. The poem of “In Flander’s Fields” is ingraved into white marble on one of the walls.


The best part about the Canadian Parliament buildings, aside from the knowledge you will learn and the architectural beauty, is that tours are offered for free. Every day of the week Parliament is open to the general public for guided tours. Simply show up, take a ticket, and tour. Depending on the day and the happenings of Parliament you can view the Senate, House of Commons, The Memorial Chamber, and on really good days take the elevator up to the top of the Peace Tower.


Who doesn’t love Free Beauty?



  1. 2012 Summary | - [...] Rural Canadian Life Prepares You To Travel Eating Good in Ottawa Wandering the Parliament of Canada Chateau Laurier’s Ode…