Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Wandering Through Parliament Hill

 A few days after the excursion in the post I showed two days ago, I decided to spend a bit of time around the Parliamentary precinct. It was a day with above freezing temperatures and melting snow. This view, from the terrace at the Bank of Canada, takes in the West Block at right and the Confederation Building at left as I'm approaching Parliament Hill. The Hill as properly known is on the north side of Wellington Street.

Coming around the corner, this shot includes the Confederation Building at right and the Justice Building at left. Both buildings were finished in the 1930s, and were done in the same Gothic style as the other Parliament Buildings.

To the west of the Justice Building is the Supreme Court of Canada, an Art Deco masterpiece. At the extreme left in this shot, one might make out a sitting figure. It's Louis St. Laurent, 12th prime minister of Canada, and the only one of the Parliament statues out here. It's fitting, as he spent many years as a respected lawyer, and probably would have been a Justice in the Court had he not gone into politics.

Behind the Court is a viewing outlook over the Ottawa River at the bottom of the Hill. As you can see the winter ice was wearing down below when I took these shots. The Alexandra Bridge is seen in the distance, spanning the river between Gatineau and Ottawa.

A look east from here gives us the dramatic highest ground of the Hill. A close eye at the slope leading up from the river at left might make out the artificial lines in the trees of what is a staircase leading to the top.

I looked back to photograph the Confederation and Justice Buildings.

Then my route led me onwards. The West Block takes centre stage in this shot.

And here are a couple of detail shots of West Block. Another Prime Minister can be seen here in the foreground: Robert Borden. The Hill contains a number of prime ministers, leaders of the country, and monarchs in statues scattered here and there. Some have been removed at the moment because of the work going on at present. Others have simply been moved to other spots. And more are inaccessible because they're behind the lines of the work going on, generally behind Centre Block. Borden led the country through the First World War.

Another side of the West Block. While Centre Block is the focus of much work at present, the House of Commons is meeting inside here. I hope to get in sometime, but public tours are out of the question due to Covid restrictions.

Turning around from the above shot is a low hill. Two statues are up here. One is that of Lester Pearson, prime minister of the country during a time of growth and change in the 1960s, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his concept of peacekeeping troops, and in my mind one of the two best prime ministers the country has ever had.

He shares this hill with a statue commemorating Queen Victoria.


  1. Grand buildings and great to still have snow!

  2. The buildings look very European I mean old !

  3. Hello,

    Beautiful buildings and views! Take care, enjoy your day!

  4. Wonderful serie with some great points of view.

  5. This was interesting. The last one stole the whole show!

  6. I recently commented to someone on FB that is odd to see snowless photos. Today, I am finding it odd to see photos with snow.

  7. @Lady Fi: at this point most of the snow is gone.

    @Gattina: Gothic architecture will do that.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Jan: thanks!

    @Iris: I agree.

    @Anvilcloud: apparently we're in for a few centimeters on Thursday.

  8. Wonderful tour of the seat of our democracy, William.

  9. ...is the man with his signs still there?

  10. You seemed to be the only one out enjoying that sunny day!

  11. Amazing historic buildings ~ great photos walk ~ Xo

    Living moment by moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  12. Nice tour of the area and I don't think there's one person in the photos.

  13. There is some beautiful architecture in your city.

  14. The architecture is gorgeous. I cannot imagine still having snow on the ground.

  15. Beautiful architecture! Thanks for the grand tour, I enjoyed it.

  16. QueenVictoria looks kind of cold and lonely up there on that snowy hill. I guess the lonely part was kind of true for her later years maybe The building and statues are really nice though and I much enjoyed this tour and learning more of Canada’s history along with the beauty. Who was your other choice as best P.M. besides Mr Pearson.

  17. Old architecture and new construction (the crane).

  18. @Marie: and more tomorrow.

    @Tom: off and on, yes.

    @Magiceye: that it is.

    @RedPat: I tend to try to photograph without people in the shot, but there were others walking about, as well as Hill police and the construction crews.

    @Carol: thank you!

  19. @Red: at times with these shots I waited until someone was out of the frame.

    @Sharon: we have a lot of different architecture here.

    @Michelle: most of it's gone now, but apparently there's more in the forecast.

    @Bill: you're welcome.

    @Sallie: William Lyon Mackenzie King, who led us through a good part of the Depression and then the Second World War.

    @Joanne: and the new work will be awhile.

  20. I agree with your assessment of Lester Bowles Pearson.

  21. A great walk and looks like things are thawing out after your long winter.