Friday, January 19, 2018

The Hill

Between Christmas and New Year's, when the city was in a bitterly cold spell, I wanted to get into Centre Block to head up the Peace Tower, and to photograph the Christmas decorations (which will be left for a post in December). On that particular day, when I checked in at the visitor center, I was told that because it was so cold, the elevator heading up the tower had been shut down as a precaution, and that my alternative for the decorations would be to take a tour of Centre Block. I've done this before- once when I had family visiting, and once just for the sake of the photoblog. Most of my visits here have been just for going up the tower. So I decided to go in. Approaching, I photographed the building. As it turned out, by the end of the tour, the elevator up the tower was running, so I got a chance to head up to the viewing platform, which is right beneath the clock faces.


Inside, visitors wait for their guide after going through the security screening. There are a series of panels and displays on the Canadian Parliamentarian process as a way to introduce the visitor to the tour. It includes this cap belonging to a Speaker of the Senate.


The guide arrived and took charge of the full group- quite a large number, as it turned out. Each guide tailors a tour in their own way, so it's different each time. Tours stop first in this large hall, where paintings of former Prime Ministers are on the walls. It's a familiar spot to Canadians- the doors heading into the House of Commons are found here, and when the House is in session, reporters are often in this hall to press the leaders with questions when the House adjourns for the day.


The architecture is exquisite. Centre Block is the second structure to stand here, being newer than the East and West Blocks. The original Centre Block was destroyed in the 1916 fire and rebuilt in the years afterwards, following the Gothic style of its predecessor in a new way. John A. Pearson and Jean Marchand, the architects, intended that the building would have spaces for carvers and other artists to add on features as the nation evolved.

36 comments:

  1. ...wow, built when details were important.

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  2. The architecture and designs on the ceiling and wall are amazing!

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  3. gorgeous, so fancy!! i love the ceiling. neat-O!!! ( ;

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  4. Wonderful details William.. I'm hoping we'll see those views from the tower tomorrow 😊

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  5. @Francisco: thank you.

    @Tom: this was built to last!

    @Nancy: they certainly are.

    @Marie: it's quite impressive.

    @Beth: I do too.

    @Grace: yes, in a few posts.

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  6. That's a beautiful decorated building.

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  7. Hello, beautiful building. I love the ceiling. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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  8. These are really nice shots, William. Thank you

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  9. That first shot is wonderful showing the full height of the tower. Such a beautifully ornate place.

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  10. Lovely photos of the Tower and interior ~ can see the British influence ~

    Happy Weekend,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  11. such amazing detail...love that ceiling!

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  12. @Jan: it certainly is.

    @Eileen: it's like Hogwarts. Without the quidditch.

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @Sharon: it's quite a tower.

    @Carol: there's a lot of British influence, particularly in how our Parliament is run. It's pretty much the Westminster system transferred to the New World.

    @Tanya: it's a tremendous ceiling.

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  13. As I sit here with the AC on 24/7, I was interested in the part where you said the elevator operation was suspended because of the severe cold. I hadn't really thought of that happening before - but could the cables possibly break because they are frozen?Is that why? That clock tower is beautiful. It must be a spectacular view from up there. Looking forward to seeing your pics from that perch.

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  14. It is a great building. I have not been there for so long.
    We stayed at the Chateau Laurier. They were offering great deals that particular long weekend, imagine so! We were lucky. : )

    And the most amazing thing happened. A friend of mine - who had gone back to Portugal and was working at the Canadian Embassy in Lisbon, called me saying that she was going to be in Ottawa on business that particular weekend. She would be staying at the Sheraton. We had chosen the same weekend to visit Ottawa!!

    What a nice coincidence! : ))

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  15. A veritable cathedral of government.

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  16. I love the beautiful details, William !

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  17. Thanks for taking us on your tour! Most ornate details everywhere!

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  18. So many wonderful details, William!

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  19. Lovely photos. I really like that clock tower.

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  20. You are a super tour guide! Thank you :).

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  21. Lovely and beautiful building.

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  22. @Susie: they were concerned about the cold affecting the elevator's ability to function. It's an elevator car that can hold about eight people, and generally speaking, it's full each time it goes up and down. Not exactly the sort of circumstances where one wants to be stuck in there if it stops.

    @Catarina: small world!

    @Revrunner: it certainly is.

    @Karl: so do I.

    @Christine: much more of that to come.

    @RedPat: it's quite a building to see.

    @Lois: so do I.

    @Lauren: you're welcome!

    @Orvokki: it certainly is.

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  23. Thanks for taking us on a tour. You can spend a lot of time looking at the parliament buildings.

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  24. You show some beautiful details!

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  25. The details are very impressive and beautiful.

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  26. Those lovely arches and faces! Great photos, a place I should visit someday.

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  27. Another fanstastic place to wander through.

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  28. Great photos. I love the ceiling. Looks gorgeous and very eye-catching!

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  29. Beautiful details! What a gorgeous place!

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  30. I love that first shot of yours.
    Lovely to see this beautiful building, and what a ceiling.

    All the best Jan

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  31. I love sculptures and details on the walls.

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  32. I've loved everything about your tour of the Hill.

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  33. Fabulous!
    Thought you;d like this article.
    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/2018/01/19/union-station-renovation-delayed-again-will-cost-23m-more.html

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  34. One of these days, you'll have to do a book of your photography.

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