Parliament Hill

sights / Architecture

Parliament Hill information

Location
Ottawa , Canada
Address
111 Wellington St
Telephone
+1 613 992 4793
More information
www.parl.gc.ca/vis
Opening hours
East Block tours 9:45am-4:45pm Jul-early Sep, Centre Block tours 9am-4:30pm Jul-early Sep, hours vary early Sep-Jun, sound-and-light show 10pm Jul, 9:30pm Aug, 9pm early Sep
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Vast, yawning archways, copper-topped turrets and Gothic revival gargoyles dominate the facade of the stunning lime and sandstone Parliament buildings. The main building, known as the Centre Block, supports the iconic Peace Tower. Completed in 1865, Canada's political core welcomes visitors year-round. Interesting from political and historical perspectives respectively, two free tours cover the Centre Block, home to the Senate, House of Commons and parliamentary library, and the East Block, the nerve center of Canada’s government during its first century.

Centre Block tours typically last 20 to 50 minutes, depending on parliamentary activity, and may be subject to rigorous security checks going in; East Block tours typically take 30 to 40 minutes. Tickets for the tours are administered on the same day only, and on a first-come-first-served basis, so arrive early at the ticket office .

You can climb the Peace Tower and visit the Memorial Hall, which commemorates Canadians who lost their lives in military service, under your own steam, either as part of your guided visit or on a separate ticket. At noon on weekdays, listen out for the Peace Tower carillon bells ringing for 15 minutes; the recital runs from 11am to noon in July and August.

Free tours of the grounds are also offered. At 10am daily in summer, see the colorful changing of the guard on the front lawns, and at night enjoy the free bilingual sound-and-light show on Parliament Hill. No ticket required for either.

Visitors are welcome to watch debates in the Senate and the House of Commons whenever they are in session. Check their calendars on the website to find out when the chambers will be sitting. Expect lengthy security checks.