The centrepiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape, Parliament Hill is the political and cultural heart of the city.

Colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in Downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural elements of national symbolic importance. Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year.

Originally the site of a military base in the 18th and early 19th centuries, development of the area into a governmental precinct began in 1859, after Queen Victoria chose Bytown as the capital of the Province of Canada. Following a number of extensions to the parliament and departmental buildings and a fire in 1916 that destroyed the Centre Block, Parliament Hill took on its present form with the completion of the Peace Tower in 1927. Since 2002, an extensive C$1 billion renovation and rehabilitation project has been underway throughout all of the precinct's buildings; work is not expected to be complete until after 2020. Based on Wikipedia "Parliament Hill"


 The Centre Block contains the Senate and Commons chambers, and is fronted by the Peace Tower on the south facade.  The foundation stone which survived the 1916 fire was re-laid by by the 10th Governor of Canada in 1916 into the Library block, at the rear, which survived the destruction.


Located on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the Centennial Flame commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation. The Flame was first lit as the climax of the centennial celebrations of January 1, 1967, in the presence of then Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. He was joined on the hill by leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, and Secretary of State, who was in charge of the Centennial, Judy LaMarsh as well as thousands of onlookers. The Flame is fuelled by natural gas and surrounded by a fountain whose ledge contains the shields of 12 of Canada’s provinces and territories—Nunavut is absent as it was not created until 1999.

This Centennial Flame was erected as a temporary monument, but due to great public support it still stands today. It is located near the Queen's Gates (the centre gate), in front of the stairs leading to the Peace Tower and Centre Block.  Based on Wikipedia "Centennial Flame".

The East Block (officially the Eastern Departmental Building;  is one of the three buildings on Canada's Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, containing offices for parliamentarians, as well as some preserved pre-Confederation spaces.

Built in the Victorian High Gothic style, the East Block is, along with the Library of Parliament, one of only two buildings on Parliament Hill to have survived mostly intact (surviving the 1916 fire) since original construction.  Based on Wikipedia "East Block".


The Library of Parliamen is the main information repository and research resource for the Parliament of Canada. The main branch of the library sits at the rear of the Centre Block, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, and is the last untouched part of that larger building's original incarnation, after it burned down in 1916.  Based on Wikipedia "Library of Parliament".

The Victoria Tower Bell is the only relic remaining from the Victoria Tower. It was cast in 1875 and installed in the tower in 1877. The bell fell from the tower during the Centre Block fire of 1916. The actual tower structure (outer walls) survived the fire, but the upper bell tower had collapsed on February 3 and torn down during the reconstruction of the Centre Block.  It is now located near the Library.  Based on Wikipedia "Victoria Tower (Canada)".


The Famous Five or The Valiant Five were five Canadian women who asked the Supreme Court of Canada to answer the question, "Does the word 'Persons' in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?" in the case Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General). The five women created a petition to ask this question. They sought to have women legally considered persons so that women could be appointed to the Senate. The petition was filed on August 27, 1927, and on 24 April 1928, Canada's Supreme Court summarized its unanimous decision that women are not such "persons". The last line of the judgement reads, "Understood to mean 'Are women eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada,' the question is answered in the negative." This judgement was overturned by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on 18 October 1929. This case, which came to be known as the "Persons Case", had important ramifications not just for women's rights but also because in overturning the case, the Privy Council engendered a radical change in the Canadian judicial approach to the Canadian constitution, an approach that has come to be known as the "living tree doctrine". Wikipedia "The Famous Five (Canada)".



Looking north from the rear of the centre block.

Photographs taken on 3 & ^ April 2014 by Sid Katzen

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Page last updated Sunday, 27 July 2014