Parliament Hill in Ottawa Canada

by Guest8538  |  11 years, 4 month(s) ago

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Parliament Hill in Ottawa Canada (colloquially The Hill, French Colline du Parlement) is a scenic location on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings – the Parliament Buildings also serves as the Parliament of Canada; the best known of these buildings is the Centre Block, with its prominent Peace Tower, a national symbol.

Parliament Hill  History
Parliament Hill for hundreds of years served as a landmark on the Ottawa River for First Nations, and later European traders, adventurers and industrialists, to mark their journey to the interior of the continent.  At one point it was used as a military base and was named Barrack Hill. A large fortress was planned for the site, but was never built, and by 1858 lots changed causing it to lose its strategic importance.

Ottawa at first was called Bytown and in 1858 Queen Victoria selected Bytown as the capital of the Province of Canada. Barrack Hill was chosen as the site for the new parliament buildings, given its prominence over both the town and the river, as well as the fact that it was already owned by the Crown.

During the summer of 1860  Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, laid the cornerstone of the new parliament. It was the largest project of its time in entire North America.

By 1876 the structures of Parliament Hill were completed, along with the wrought iron fence and Queen's Gates, forged by Ives & Co. of Montreal. However, the grounds had yet to be properly designed; Governor General Lord Dufferin sent chief architect Thomas Scott to New York City to meet with Calvert Vaux and view Central Park. Vaux completed a layout for the landscape, including the present day driveways, terraces, and main lawn; Scott created more informal grounds to the sides of and behind the parliament.

On February 3, 1916 center block was distroyed by fire and the original cornerstone was re-laid by Governor General Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, on September 1, 1916; exactly fifty-six years after his brother, by now the late King Edward VII, had first set it.  Eleven years later the new tower was completed, dedicated as the Peace Tower in commemoration of the Canadians who had lost their lives during the First World War.

Now Parliament Hill is the site of annual Canada Day celebrations, presided over by the Governor General and his or her Prime Minister. Canada's monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has also been present at these festivities in 1990, 1992, and 1997, and earlier presided over the Canadian Centennial celebrations on July 1, 1967, on The Hill.

Another annual event, during the summer months, is the Changing of the Guard on the centre lawn.

Among the major events Parliament Hill has hosted:

Celebration of Queen Victoria's birthday in 1865
Memorial for the death of Queen Victoria
The first visit of Canada's reigning monarch, King George VI, with his consort Queen Elizabeth, on May 19, 1939
The raising of Canada's new national flag for the first time on February 15, 1965
The lighting of the Centennial Flame on December 31, 1966
The celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee on October 18, 1977
The proclamation of the Constitution Act by Queen Elizabeth II on April 17, 1982
Celebrations for the Millennium
The memorial service for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in 2001, attended by 100,000 people, and called "the largest single vigil" ever seen in the nation's capital
The celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee on October 13, 2002
Canadians lying in state.  
Statue of Queen Victoria on Parliament Hill
The monument on Parliament Hill to fallen Canadian police officersNumerous statues and monuments are arranged across Parliament Hill, mostly on the grounds behind the three blocks. The following is a list of the statues and monuments, in order of their date completed, or, if the date is unknown, in alphabetical order:

Queen Victoria - located north of the West Block; sculpted by Louis-Philippe Hébert (1900)
Alexander Mackenzie - located west of the Centre Block; sculpted by Louis-Philippe Hébert (1901)
Henry Albert Harper / Galahad - located outside the Queen's Gates, facing Centre Block; sculpted by Ernest Wise Keyser (1905)
George Brown - located west of the Centre Block; sculpted by George William Hill (1913)
Robert Baldwin and Sir Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine - located east of the Centre Block; sculpted by Walter Seymour Allward (1914)
Sir Wilfrid Laurier - located south of the East Block; sculpted by Joseph-Émile Brunet (1922)
Sir Robert Laird Borden - located west of the West Block; sculpted by Frances Loring (1957)
Queen Elizabeth II - located east of the Centre Block; sculpted by Jack Harman (1977)
John George Diefenbaker - located north of the West Block; sculpted by Leo Mol (1985)
Lester Bowles Pearson - located north of the West Block; sculpted by Danek Mozdzenski (1989)
Sir George-Étienne Cartier - located west of the Centre Block; sculpted by Louis-Philippe Hébert
The Famous Five - depicts the women's suffrage movement (Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards); sculpted by Barbara Paterson; the monument is featured on the reverse of the current $50 banknote
Sir John A. Macdonald - located east of the Centre Block; sculpted by Louis-Philippe Hébert
William Lyon Mackenzie King - located north of the East Block; sculpted by Raoul Hunter
Thomas D'Arcy McGee - located north of the Centre Block; sculpted by George William Hill
Other memorials on Parliament Hill include
Centennial Flame - located in front of the Centre Block; commemorates the Centennial of Canada (1967)
Canadian Police Memorium - located north of the Centre Block (1995)
Victoria Tower Bell (1875-1877) - located north of the Centre Block; original bell of the first Centre Block tower (2000)

 Tags: Canada, Hill, Ottawa, parliament



  1. Guest6368
    Wow thats a long history.

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