Parliament Hill is where Canada and its politicians govern the country and conducts most of its business. It is located on Wellington Street in Ottawa, Ontario. Parliament Hill consists of four main buildings: the Centre Block, West Block, East Block, and others. House of Commons and Senate chambers are located in the Centre Block. The centre block’s main room is where debates occur, and laws are created. The Senate chamber is also found there.
1. During the mid-1800s, Parliament Hill was an abandoned military base.
2. Parliament Hill was home to the first parliament buildings in 1859, but they were destroyed by fire.
3. As a replica of the British House of Commons, the Centre Block was built in the 1870s. The West Block is where the ministers’ offices are situated, along with a library and a reading room for MPs. There are also two dining rooms for MPs and guests in the West Block. There is also an underground vault where records destroyed in a fire in 1922 are kept and tunnels leading to other buildings on Parliament Hill (notably the Library).
4. The East Block was built in the years 1866-1875. It contains ministers’ offices, a dining room, kitchens, and a few meeting rooms.
5. On Parliament Hill, the Peace Tower stands 99 metres (328 feet) tall. During Victoria Day, Canada’s national holiday, bells ring in the tower.
6. There is an outdoor skating rink set up on Parliament Hill every winter to give children a place to skate so they don’t have to go down to the Rideau Canal Skateway, which is popular with adults, too, for ice skating.
7. An accidental fire started by a window washer almost destroyed the Centre Block in 1916.
8. There are paintings of Queen Victoria, the Queen of Canada, and King George VI hanging in the House of Commons.
9. There are three main statues on Parliament Hill: “Justice” by sculptor Hamilton Hartland Sise, “Abraham Lincoln” by Henry Leonard O’Donovan, and an unnamed bronze figure for the memory of the fallen men who died in World War I.
10. The war with the United States is not commemorated on Parliament Hill because the government did not want to upset Americans.
11. Canada’s government plans to replace the East Blocks with a new central library.
12. The Centre Block, West Block, and East Blocks were all built in different styles: Richardsonian Romanesque for the Centre Block, Neoclassical style for the West Block and Second Empire Style for the East Blocks. Each building’s interior was also built differently because each had different functions.