The Parliament Buildings

Parliament has three main buildings: the East Block, the West Block and the Centre Block. The Centre Block you see today is not the original— the first Centre Block burned down in 1916. The only part to survive was the Library of Parliament, which has fireproof iron doors. The East and West Blocks were untouched by the fire.

ORIGINAL CENTRE BLOCK

 

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Before the fire of 1916.

 

LIBRARY OF PARLIAMENT

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  • the research centre for parliamentarians and their staff
  • over 600,000 items in the collection
  • over 350 people work for the Library of Parliament
  • statue of a young Queen Victoria

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AERIAL VIEW OF PARLIAMENT HILL

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Mike Carroccetto, Ottawa Citizen

1 Centre Block
2 East Block
3 West Block
4 Library of Parliament
5 National War Memorial
6 Langevin Building (the Prime Minister’s Office)
7 The Rideau Canal and Locks
8 Centennial Flame

DID YOU KNOW?

The difference between gargoyles and grotesques is that gargoyles are usually waterspouts, while grotesques are fanciful and playful carvings. The word gargoyle comes from the French word gargouille, which means throat or pipe.

CANADIAN POLICE AND PEACE OFFICERS’ MEMORIAL

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  • pavilion and memorial behind Centre Block
  • honours all peace officers killed in the line of duty
  • hosts the National Memorial Ceremony every September

 

THE CENTRE BLOCK

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1 Peace Tower — 92.2 metres high
2 the carillon — 53 bells
3 grotesques — these mythical creatures are fanciful and playful carvings
4 observation deck — visitors can look over all of Ottawa and Gatineau from here
5 the flag — the national flag of Canada with the red maple leaf was first flown in 1965
6 Centre Block offices — lots of politicians have their offices here
7 Memorial Chamber — the names of Canadians who have died in military service are honoured here, in the Books of Remembrance
8 Library of Parliament — opened in 1876