Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Afternoon trip to Ottawa, Canada: Parliament Hill and Rideau Canal

After a two year hiatus, I've decided to start posting again in my blog. I attended the 18th TICCIH International Congress in Montreal, Canada earlier this month where I presented a paper. Right after the conference, I made a quick trip to Canada's capital city, Ottawa. Because we didn't have much time, I only got to visit Parliament Hill and the the Ottawa Locks of Rideau Canal.

Parliament Hill is known for its Gothic revival buildings. We got to walk around the three main edifices on Parliament Hill: the East Block, Centre Block, and West Block. 

The Centre Block is closed for renovations as part of a 20-year project to rebuild the Parliament buildings. According to the Government of Canada, "This is the largest, most complex heritage rehabilitation project ever seen in Canada and is one of the largest in the world." The building will remain closed up to at least 2028.

Built in the Gothic Revival style, the current building was completed in 1927 after a fire destroyed the original building in 1916.

This is the West Block, built in the Victorian High Gothic style and completed in 1865.

The East Block, also built in the Victorian High Gothic style, has survived mostly intact since original construction was completed in 1866.

The Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council facing Parliament Hill was built in the Second Empire Style design and was completed in 1889.

Right by Parliament Hill are the Ottawa Locks of Rideau Canal in an area known as Colonel By Valley. the Rideau Canal is a World Heritage site. The eight locks that form the Ottawa Locks are the largest single set of locks on the entire Rideau Canal system.

What is interesting about the locks is that they are still manually operated. You can see this happen close to Plaza Bridge, by the Lockstation House. Further down, closer to the Ottawa River, is the Bytown Museum, the former Commissariat Building. It is the oldest building in Ottawa, built in 1827.

Thank you to my colleague, Fergus Maclaren, President of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee, for the guided tour of the area.

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