The Parliament Buildings 01/05/2019

The Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings, in all their splendor of Victorian Gothic sandstone, are quite an imposing sight on a 50-meter-high hill looking out over the Ottawa River. The Parliamentary Library, at the back of the building opposite the entrance, is a wonderfully furnished octagon that was untouched in the 1916 fire. You can explore the sprawling historic Centre Block on a guided tour, and the public can also attend a question period when the government is in session.

The attractive grassed area in front of the Parliament buildings is patrolled in summer by members of the Canadian Mounted Police, looking very dashing in their Mountie uniforms of scarlet jackets, Stetsons, riding breeches, and knee boots. On summer mornings, the Changing of the Guard always attracts visitors with its regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 9:50am, but you should be there at least 15 minutes before that for a good view. The Changing of the Guard and tours of Parliament are among the most popular free things to do in Ottawa.