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Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Categories: Government Buildings, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 1,200+ 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.
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  • i highly suggest getting tickets for the free tour! this is our history and it is amazing to see inside this beautiful building. the gem of all is the library! 
  • Our tour guide Emily was awesome, knowledgeable and informative She enjoyed her job and it shows The sheer size of the building and the craftsmanship is awesome and you see all the important rooms The...  read more »
  • At first need ticket to enter. This is very short tour. Just go to top of tower. However I recommend. Because there is pretty view from there. Especially sunny and fall season. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We showed up at 8:20am to get tickets and were 100 deep in line. People that were there at 8 were 27th in line. My favorite stop in Ottawa so far. Tours of East block and Center Block were great. If you remember your high school Canadian History, nothing is really new information. However, seeing where things happen and the architecture is something else. Light show is a great way to spend the evening.
  • Ohhhhh Canada! First time visit to our nation's capital. We could not help but feel extra proud to be a Canadian. Ottawa city in general is a beautiful city but the piece de resistance is Parliament Hill. One should not leave Ottawa without taking a tour through the grounds and the buildings. They offer a free tour of the Centre Block that contains the House of Commons and Senate Chambers and of course the iconic Peace Tower (tours can be busy). They are all very majestic in their own way. However, the most impressive area for me was the Library of Parliament. It is beautiful. A must see for all Canadians and those who visit Canada from abroad.
  • The place is breathtaking both inside and outside. We especially appreciated the fact that the entrance to the Parliament and its Peace Tower was completely free. They have a good system in making reservations for guided tours - you need to pick up the tickets in the opposite building to the Parliament. They only have a limited number of tickets for each tour that departa as often as every 10 minutes. Even though you come in the morning they still have tickets for afternoon tours. There are 2 different tickets - for the Peace tower and for the Parliament. The one around Parliament tskes about 40 minutes.
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