History, Art and Architecture Parliamentary buildings

Parliamentary buildings

Canada’s centre for government alternated between Toronto and Quebec until Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the new capital, due in part to its strategic location. Canada’s Parliament buildings have dominated the high ground over the Ottawa River since construction began on December 20, 1859.

The spectacular Gothic Revival structures were built of sandstone and slate; in materials emblematic of Canada’s tremendous natural resources.

Over the years the buildings have expanded, or even been rebuilt, as Parliament’s needs have shifted. The buildings are both constant and ever changing, much like the aspirations of the country itself.