September 15/18 – Part 1 – in Ottawa – Parliament Hill and environs

A new day and a new view. We knew this day was going to be a scorcher +29 C with a humidex of +37, so we got outside early for a wander down Rideau Street to Wellington Street to see the Houses of Parliament and other historical Ottawa buildings.

On the way, we paid our respects at the Canadian National War Memorial, where a habitual offender and drug addict (originally suspected as a terrorist) shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a member of the ceremonial honour guard at the monument. We arrived in time for the changing of the guard.

This done, we set off down Wellington Street to see the impressive buildings in the Parliament Hill area. On the Eastern edge is the impressive castle like the 5 star Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel. Opened in 1912, this 660,000 square foot, 429 room former railway hotel is the preeminent hotel in Ottawa and has hosted numerous politicians and royal persons since its opening.

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Right beside the hotel are the 3 blocks of the Canadian Parliament Buildings. Construction commenced in 1859, when Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of the Province of Canada. The present day appearance was achieved with the completion of construction of the Peace Tower in 1927. A pretty impressive set of buildings, currently under a $3,000,000,000  renovation, spanning a total of 20 years. They are about half way through at this point.

Just next door, across Bank Street, is the Confederation Building, built 1927-1931, as pat of the celebrations for Canada’s Diamond Jubilee. It houses both civil servants and a number of MPs (Members of Parliament) and Ministers of the Government. The shot became almost British like when this vintage London black cab rolled up to the red light.

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On the opposite side of Wellington is the Bank of Canada Building, constructed 1937-38. The Bank of Canada was chartered in 1934 and is responsible for setting Canada’s monetary policy and overseeing the financial system within Canada.

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The sun was gaining power and we were longing for shade, but we walked a bit further to see the Supreme Court of Canada building. The Canadian Supreme Court was established as Canada’s highest court in 1875. The present building was constructed from 1937-46.

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