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Parliament Hill, East Block

Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/01/16

View of the façade of East Block, 2010.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, Catherine Beaulieu, 2010.
Façade
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1859/01/01 to 1865/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/04/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Rising above the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River, the East Block is a very fine example of the of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style. Built of Nepean sandstone and crowned by copper roofing, its asymmetrical massing, towered silhouette, highly textured and coloured stone surfaces, and gothic ornamentation all contribute to the East Block’s picturesque appearance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The East Block was designated Classified because of its historical associations, architectural quality, and environmental impact.

As office accommodation to prime ministers, governors-general, senior ministers, and the Privy Council, the Parliament Hill - East Block is directly associated with the shaping of Canada's history. Aesthetically, it is the finest example of Ruskinian Gothic Revival in the country. In addition to being a national landmark in its own right, the East Block plays a critical role in establishing the overall character of the Parliament Hill complex, as well as contributing strongly to the character of the Confederation Square area to the south, and the Major's Hill Park area to the east.

Sources:
Leslie Maitland, Parliament Hill Complex, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 86-052; Parliament Hill - East Block, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 86-052.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that embody the heritage character of the East Block include:
-its full display of the picturesque massing, structural ornament, and careful manipulation of texture and colour for surface effect valued by the High Victorian designer;
-the inclusion of coloured stone, and the variation between dressed stone surrounds and rock-faced walls;
-the 1910 wing, which is a modest, entirely sympathetic addition;
-the interior of the building, originally a straightforward arrangement of closed offices along a central corridor, an arrangement which has been preserved in the recent renovations.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1987/01/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Legislative Building

Historic

Architect / Designer

Thomas Stent

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

2837

Status

Published

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General view

Parliament Hill, Complex

The Parliament Hill Complex in Ottawa is composed of four Gothic Revival pavilions that together make up the Parliament Buildings. Surrounding an expansive lawn and overlooking…

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