Re-purposed Heritage Buildings of the Parliamentary and Judicial Precinct
The former Union Station (and later the Government of Canada Conference Centre) will serve for the next few years as the Senate of Canada.
The former Union Station (and later the Government of Canada Conference Centre) will serve for the next few years as the Senate of Canada.

Jane Jacobs advised that re-purposing older buildings help nurture new ideas and new enterprises, and that their presence in the streetscape contributes to civic vitality and local identity. 

Fifteen important heritage buildings on Confederation Square, Sparks Street, and Wellington Street have seen or will soon see major renovations by the Federal Government. Most of these have resulted in a new use that is quite different from the original intended use of the building. The most spectacular changes, completed this year, are to the West Block and the former Union Station/Government Conference Centre, now housing the House of Commons and the Senate.

The tour will be in English but questions are welcome in French.


We'll meet at the new Senate of Canada Building, the former Union Station/Government Conference Centre (2 Rideau St).  From there, we'll cross Confederation Square, go west along Sparks St, then north via Metcalfe St to the Centennial Flame.  The walk will take us past the West Memorial Building to Bank & Wellington, and then along Wellington as far as the West Memorial Building at Lyon Street.

Buildings on the tour include:

Senate of Canada Building
Senate Committee Building (former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography),
former Postal Station B,
Blackburn Building,
Library of Parliament Branch (former Bank of Nova Scotia),
PMO-PCO Building (former "Langevin Block"departmental building),
the former United States Embassy (future Aboriginal Centre),
Sir. John A. Macdonald Building (former Bank of Montreal),
West Block (House of Commons),
Victoria Building,
Wellington Building (former Metropolitan Life Insurance),
Confederation Building,
Justice Building,
Veterans' Affairs
Industry, Trade, and Commerce (future temporary Supreme Court).


There are some interesting videos here that show details of the restoration of the West Block.

About the walk leader

David Jeanes is president of Heritage Ottawa and has been leading heritage walking tours, particularly along Wellington and Sparks Streets, for eighteen years. He has followed closely the renovation of all the heritage buildings on this tour and has studied their historical uses and architecture.


Click to enlarge photo and display caption.


David Jeanes

Date:Sat May 4, 2019
Time:11:00 AM
Duration: 1 hour
Language: English
Start:Senate of Canada Building, 2 Rideau St
End:Wellington & Lyon Sts
Area:Parliament Hill/Downtown
Distance:1.5 kms

The walk will follow city sidewalks. 

Volunteer to Marshal This Walk