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The House of Commons
Report to Canadians 2008

Photos of the stairways of the House of Commons and Members in the House of Commons, 39th Parliament

PHOTOS: © STAIRS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMOnS. HOC / BERnARd THIBOdEAU
HOUSE OF COMMOnS 39TH PARLIAMEnT. LIBRARY OF PARLIAMEnT / ROY GROGAn

"In all my thought of the tower, Peace was dominant. I believe there is a quiet peaceful dignity about it."

Centre Block architect, John A. Pearson

80th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Peace Tower and Centre Block

Peace-one of the values that Canadians cherish most dearly-is embodied in this prominent tower that forms the ceremonial entrance to the Parliament of Canada. Both the Senate and House of Commons chambers are housed in Parliament's Centre Block. Constructed following the Great Fire of 1916 that destroyed its predecessor (the Victoria Tower) and much of the original Parliament Building, the Peace Tower and Centre Block commemorate Canada's sacrifices in the First World War.

In 2007, Canada celebrated the 80th anniversary of this dedication, which took place in 1927 led by Prime Minister Mackenzie King. It is worth noting that the 1927 dedication was also the first live national radio broadcast in Canadian history.

The inscription on the central column of Confederation Hall reads:

ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH COLONIES IN NORTH AMERICA AS THE DOMINION OF CANADA THE PARLIAMENT AND PEOPLE DEDICATE THIS BUILDING IN PROCESS OF RECONSTRUCTION AFTER DAMAGE BY FIRE AS A MEMORIAL OF THE DEEDS OF THEIR FOREFATHERS AND OF THE VALOUR OF THOSE CANADIANS WHO IN THE GREAT WAR FOUGHT FOR THE LIBERTIES OF CANADA, OF THE EMPIRE AND OF HUMANITY.
Photo of original Centre Block and Victoria Tower. Photo of firefighters working to extinguish the Parliament on fire. Photo of Parliament and Peace Tower.

Parliament Buildings, original Centre Block and Victoria Tower, completed in 1878 and destroyed by a fire in 1916.

Photo: © LIBRARY AND ARChIVES CANADA / D.A. MCLAUGhLIN / NAtIoNAL Photo CoLLECtIoN / C-003760

February 3, 1916, firefighters worked to extinguish the Parliament on fire.

Photo: © FRoM thE NEw YoRk tIMES, FEB. 13, 1916 ISSUE. CREAtED/PUBLIShED: NEw YoRk : NEw YoRk tIMES, Co., 1916

Aerial view of Parliament and Peace Tower during summer of 2007.

Photo: © hoUSE oF CoMMoNS / ChRIS DIottE