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Parliament Hill, Ottawa

(4.7/5 based on 1,400+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • If you come to Ottawa, I'm sure you have to make your way here. This is where the Canadian government is. A good place to check it out.  more »
  • Our hotel was right beside Parliament hill and I can tell you that it is beautiful at any time of day. At night the buildings are lit up beautifully and it has a romantic ambience. During the day you ...  more »
  • Fantastic Experience ~ one of the many on our Canadian City Tour Holiday ~ Very informative re Canadian History  more »
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  • 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.