Ceiling in the House of Commons foyer

Hello my name is Jabir and I am a Parliamentary tour guide. Today I will be talking to you about one of my favourite stops on Parliament Hill which is the House of Commons foyer. In particular I’ll talk about the House of Commons’ foyer ceiling which was designed in 1919 by John A Pearson, who was one of the architects of Centre Block on Parliament Hill. The actual glass panels that you are seeing are from Toronto, from the N.T. Lion Glass Company.

There are many different symbols that are represented on the ceiling. The large octagon panels are actually representing France and England, which are some of the founding nations of Canada. So we have the fleur de lys, which represents France and the rose which represents England. Now in the other, smaller, oval-shaped panels you can see the maple leaf which is the national symbol of Canada. As well, there are many other, smaller symbols, which are actually symbols of past ministries in our Government. So all of the ministries that were part of our Government in 1920 are represented on the ceiling. For example, you can see a steam locomotive which represents our old Ministry of Railways, which is no longer a ministry today. There’s also two panels that actually have colour in them: one is the pounds and dollars which represents the Ministry of Finance, which is still a ministry today. The second panel that you are seeing with colour is the one with the red stamp. So in that panel we have a crown, a mace, and a letter with a red stamp on it. The crown and the mace together represent the House of Commons and the Senate, and the letter with the red stamp represents Royal Assent. That’s the final step in when a bill becomes a law.

Thank you.