I-16295.0 | Parliament buildings under construction, Ottawa, ON, 1865

Parliament buildings under construction, Ottawa, ON, 1865
William Notman (1826-1891)
1865, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , governmental (274) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

This photograph shows the Canadian Parliament under construction in Ottawa. After the burning of the Parliament of United Canada in Montreal in 1849, the government sat in Toronto in 1850 and then moved to Quebec City. In 1857, Queen Victoria, on the invitation of the government formed by John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier, chose the place where the Canadian Parliament would be built. From among Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa, the Queen opted for the latter city.

Work began in 1859 and was completed, for most of the buildings, in 1866, just a year before the birth of the Canadian Confederation.

  • What

    The Neo-gothic style Canadian Parliament housed the House of Commons, the Senate, offices for the deputies, rooms for the different committees and a library.

  • Where

    The Canadian Parliament jutted out over the Ottawa River; originally, it was designed as a junction point between Canada East and Canada West.

  • When

    The Parliament was inaugurated on June 6, 1866. A spectacular fire would break out in 1916 and necessitate the reconstruction of the building.

  • Who

    The central building was designed in 1859 by architects Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones. The adjoining tower was known as Victoria Tower; it was renamed the Peace Tower in 1933.