Historic Site in Ottawa

Parliament Hill

Explore Canada's Parliamentary buildings, observe the Changing of the Guard, and enjoy Ottawa's views from the Peace Tower.

Parliament Hill stands as a symbolic center in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. It is not only the seat of Canada's government but also a cultural and historical landmark. The Gothic Revival-style buildings, set against the backdrop of the Ottawa River, house the offices of the members of parliament, the House of Commons, and the Senate. Visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony in the summer, explore the expansive public grounds, and enjoy the panoramic views of the city from the Peace Tower.

The Peace Tower and Views of Ottawa

One of Parliament Hill's most striking features is the Peace Tower, which stands as a central focal point and offers unmatched views of Ottawa. Visitors can ascend the tower to access the observation deck, where the entire city unfolds below. Tickets for the Peace Tower are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are free of charge.

The Changing of the Guard Ceremony

From late June to late August, the Changing of the Guard ceremony is a daily spectacle that showcases the discipline and pageantry of the Canadian Armed Forces. This traditional event takes place each morning on the lawns of Parliament Hill, providing visitors with a glimpse into a longstanding military tradition that is both impressive and solemn.

The Centennial Flame and Public Tours

In front of the Parliament Buildings, you'll find the Centennial Flame, lit in 1967 to mark Canada's 100th anniversary. It remains an enduring symbol of unity. Guided tours of the Centre Block are available, offering an inside look into the heart of Canadian democracy. These tours include visits to the House of Commons, the Senate, and other important areas within the complex. Tickets are free but required for entry and can be picked up at 90 Wellington Street on a first-come, first-served basis.

Canada Day Celebration on Parliament Hill

On Canada Day, July 1st, Parliament Hill transforms into the nation's epicenter for celebration. Thousands gather to partake in concerts, cultural displays, and a spectacular fireworks show. This is a perfect opportunity to experience Canadian pride and participate in a national party.

Sound and Light Show

During summer evenings, Parliament Hill is illuminated by the Sound and Light Show, a free bilingual event that tells the story of Canada through spectacular lighting effects projected onto the Parliament Buildings. The show typically runs from July through September and is a must-see for visitors.

Accessibility for Visitors

Parliament Hill is committed to ensuring that all visitors can enjoy their experience. Elevators, ramps, and accessible washrooms are available throughout the buildings. For those with limited mobility or other accessibility needs, it's advisable to check in advance for any specific accommodations.

Beyond Parliament Hill

The location of Parliament Hill places it within easy walking distance to other significant Ottawa attractions such as the ByWard Market, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Rideau Canal. After your visit to the Hill, you can easily extend your day to include these nearby sites.

Getting Around

Ottawa's public transport system makes getting to Parliament Hill convenient. The OC Transpo buses and the O-Train light rail system provide access from various parts of the city. There are also ample parking options for those who prefer to drive, with several public parking lots located nearby. Visitors should note that certain events or times of day may increase demand for parking spaces.

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