"Ontario - Ottawa, the Nation's Capital" Top 5 Page for this destination Canada Things to Do Tip by Bwana_Brown
Canada Things to Do: 485 reviews and 709 photos
In October, 2006 we had our most recent opportunity to take in the sights of Canada's Capital, the city of Ottawa located on the banks of the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec. First up on a beautiful Autumn day was a tour of the Houses of Parliament, located on a small hill overlooking the city.
The structures that first catch your eye are the Centre Block and a separate Peace Tower. This is where the Canadian government carries on its daily business in both the House of Commons and Senate Chambers portions of the building. The original building and its Victoria Tower were completed on this site in 1878 but were subsequently destroyed by a fire in 1916. The present structures, completed by 1927, are the replacements for those originals, using the Gothic Revival style of architecture similar to that used in Britain's capital. Because reconstruction was started in the middle of the First World War, the Peace Tower was named to honour the thousands of Canadian men and women who sacrificed their lives for Canada during that war. The 92-m (300-ft) tower is constructed of sandstone from a nearby quarry and it houses both a clock and a carillon for chiming out tunes on its various bells.
To me, the most impressive building on Parliament Hill was the Library of Parliament (2nd photo) that had been built over a period of several years (1860-1876) as part of the original buildings on the hill. It survived the great fire of 1916 by virtue of the fact that the first Parliamentary Librarian had recommended during the design stages that it be connected to the main Centre Block building by a stone corridor to protect it from possible fire damage. When the dreaded event actually did take place, a quick-thinking employee in the Library closed its massive wooden connecting door before evacuating, thereby saving this building from being destroyed.
Directions: On the Ontario-Quebec border about 2 hours drive west of Montreal
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