Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Parliament of Canada at a Glance

The Parliament of Canada is in Ottawa, the capital city with a population of a little less than a million. The Parliament consists of three buildings or blocks -- the East Block, the Middle or Centre Block, and the West Block. These blocks were built between 1859 and 1866.

For our purpose, we will deal with the Middle or Centre Block here. It is located on the Parliament Hill on the southern bank of the Ottawa River. This building, excepting the section having the library, was heavily damaged by fire on February 3, 1916. The present impressive building was constructed in its place.

The Middle Block contains the Senate (Upper House) and Commons (Lower House) chambers with an impressive Peace Tower reaching, the height of 92.2 metres (302 ft. 6 inches). The Peace Tower, having bells and clock, represents Canada's commitment to peace. Offices of Federal Ministers and Senators as well as meeting and adminstrative rooms are housed in the East and West Blocks.

On my visit to Ottawa on July 27, 2009, I took photos of the Parliament buildings. I present below some photos of the Middle Block.

The Middle Block of the Parliament of Canada as seen from the street level

The entire Middle Block as seen from the north side

The Middle Block from another angle

The Middle Block with the library as viewed from the Ottawa River

Another view of the Middle Block

Visitors are near the Eternal Flame. The Middle Block on the background.

The Middle Block as seen through the closed gate

A stone-carved mythological figure used as a decorative piece
in the Middle Block

Another carved figure
Photos (Ottawa: July 27, 2009) © Jerome D'Costa

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