During your tour of Parliament Hill, your step-on-guide will give you detailed information on some of Parliament Hill’s most incredible landmarks. See the highlights of Centre Block and delve into the history of the House of Commons and Senate Chambers, the Hall of Honor, Library of Parliament and other significant landmarks during your tour.
The Hall of Honor
A long, rib vaulted space, the Hall of Honor was originally intended to be a gallery filled with statues of notable Canadians. However, the plan was later abandoned to commemorate the famous fire of 1916 and the individuals who fought in the Great War. Admire the architectural design of lancet arches atop clustered columns and pedestals. The north end of the hall is the only area with completed carvings including a low relief memorial dedicated to Canadian nurses of World War I and Canada Remembers, a tribute to those who served in the Second World War.
Library of Parliament
Designed by Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones, the Library of Parliament is the Parliament of Canada’s main information repository and research resource. Situated at the rear of the Centre Block, the library has been augmented and renovated a number of times.
Did You Know…
The Library of Parliament has become an iconic Canadian landmark and can be found on the obverse of the Canadian ten-dollar bill.
In the east wing is the Senate Chamber, one of the components of the Canadian Parliament. Decorated in red, similar to the color scheme of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, the Canadian monarch and her consort, or the federal viceroy and his or her consort come together in the Senate Chambers to speak and grant Royal Assent to bills passed by parliament. Don’t forget to look for the eight renowned murals depicting scenes from the First World War. Painted between 1916 and 1920, these murals hang on the east and west walls and once belonged to the Canadian War Memorial Fund.
The House of Commons can be found in the western wing and makes up another component of the Canadian Parliament. Enter the white oak doors with hand-wrought iron handles. The room is decorated in greens which are visible throughout reflecting the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. The centerpiece of the House of Commons is the speaker’s chair gifted to the Canadian Parliament by the British Branch of what is known today as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Built in 1921, it’s an exact replica of the speaker’s chair which sits in the British House of Commons and is topped with a remarkable carved wood canopy bearing a version of the royal coat of arms of Canada.
The Statues of the Hill
Scattered behind the parliamentary buildings are a number of statues. Come face to face with some of the most influential Canadians and others respected individuals throughout the world who have impacted Canada. The first statue erected on Parliament Hill was that of Sir George-Étienne Cartier. Between the West and Centre Blocks is a statue of Queen Victoria. Sculpted by Louis- Philippe Hébert, the statue of the first monarch was sculpted in 1900. Look out for the sculpture of the famous five, donated in 2000; this notable sculpture is actually five separate sculptures of the famous five- Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Edwards. Other notable statues include that of Queen Elizabeth II, Thomas D'Arcy Etienne Hughes McGee and Sir John Alexander Macdonald.