Trip Planner:   Canada  /  Ontario  /  Ottawa  /  Sightseeing  /  Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
(4.7/5 based on 1,300+ reviews on the web)
Parliament Hill, colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural elements of national symbolic importance. Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year.Originally the site of a military base in the 18th and early 19th centuries, development of the area into a governmental precinct began in 1859, after Queen Victoria chose Bytown as the capital of the Province of Canada. Following a number of extensions to the parliament and departmental buildings and a fire in 1916 that destroyed the Centre Block, Parliament Hill took on its present form with the completion of the Peace Tower in 1927. Since 2002, an extensive $1 billion renovation and rehabilitation project has been underway throughout all of the precinct's buildings; work is not expected to be complete until after 2020.HistoryEarlyParliament Hill is a limestone outcrop with a gently sloping top that was originally covered in primeval forest of beech and hemlock. For hundreds of years, the hill served as a landmark on the Ottawa River for First Nations and, later, European traders, adventurers, and industrialists, to mark their journey to the interior of the continent. After Ottawa—then called Bytown—was founded, the builders of the Rideau Canal used the hill as a location for a military base, naming it Barrack Hill. A large fortress was planned for the site, but was never built, and by the mid 19th century the hill had lost its strategic importance.
For Parliament Hill and beyond, use our Ottawa itinerary builder to get the most from your Ottawa vacation.
Source
Create a full Ottawa itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Ottawa

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Ottawa by other users

30 days in United States, Canada & Malaysia BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We walked along the front of Parliament watching the Poppy Drop display and video presentation of the soldiers who fought and died for our country. It was a touching moment to be sure. 
  • I also worked here, there's so much detail and history in the short life of this building, and this country! 
  • I came here in August 2016 and I saw the light show which they play every night in the summer. It was so beautiful and amazing! It was definitely one of the highlights in Ottawa! You learn so much abo...  more »
Google
  • As many out of town friends and family come to visit us, I always make it a point for us to visit Parliament Hill. Not only because of the significance that it plays in our countries identity however it is also architecturally a very interesting building to look at. The light and projection shows that take place on the front face of the centre block are always a big hit with the kids and as well allow you to leave the show know you have learned something new about Canada's history. This is without even mentioning the incredible fact that during every years Canada day celebrations, this building becomes to focal point of all the festivities.
  • It is a beautiful city. Do yourself a favor and visit our nation's capital! There are street cafes, art everywhere you look, the huge map is amazing! And don't forget to treat yourself to the legendary "Beaver Tail". I had maple and chocolate. You will not be sorry.
  • I've seen light show here during fall, absolutely staggering. Truly awesome landmark. Defines Canada in a way you can only understand if you visit it. Awesome.
  • The nation's capital! It's a great place to tour. The scenery is beautiful (well, if it wasn't always under construction it'd be a bit nicer). The prices are reasonable and the surrounding area is filled with tons of Ottawa's specialty foods. Definitely a must visit if you're in Ottawa.
  • If you want to do the free tour, show up at 830 or 845am to line up for one hour (weekday in August.) It was definitely worth it though. Very cool and important part of Canada.