AAA Editor Notes
Parliament Buildings dominate the city from Parliament Hill. Centre Block tours depart from the ground floor Visitor Welcome Centre, under the Peace Tower. The three Gothic buildings with green copper roofs were built 1859-66. The Centre Block, destroyed by fire in 1916, was rebuilt to the original design, minus the wood-paneled interior. The only section left undamaged after the fire was the library. The East Block currently contains senators' offices, while the West Block contains restored offices and committee rooms.

This central building is crowned by the 92-metre (302-ft.) Peace Tower with its 53-bell carillon. Dedicated to Canadians killed in World War I, the tower has national memorials, the Memorial Chamber with its Books of Remembrance and an observation deck. Statues and monuments are at the building's sides and rear.

Centre Block tours visit the Senate and the House of Commons (unless Parliament is in session) and the Hall of Honour. East Block tours show what government offices looked like at the time of Confederation. Sound-and-light shows play against the backdrop of Parliament.

Note: Centre Block tour schedules vary, especially when Parliament is in session; phone ahead to confirm availability. Tour tickets are limited and are distributed daily beginning at 9 a.m. from the ticket office at 90 Wellington St., opposite the Parliament Buildings; bags other than one small bag per person must also be checked (free of charge) here and all visitors must go through security scanning. When either the Senate or House of Commons is in session, visitors may watch the debates or listen to audio guides in the Public Galleries (space permitting).

Guided tours are available.

Guided 20- to 50-minute tours of the Centre Block are conducted in English and French daily 9-4:30, early July-early Sept.; Mon.-Fri. 9-3:20, Sat.-Sun. 9-4:20 when Parliament is not sitting, early Sept. to mid-May; Mon.-Fri. 9-7:20, Sat.-Sun. 9-4:20 when Parliament is not sitting, rest of year. Hours may vary when Parliament is in session; phone ahead. East Block tours are given in English and French daily 9.45-4:45, early July-early Sept. Ticket office open daily 9-4:30, early July-early Sept.; Mon.-Fri. 9-3:30, Sat.-Sun. 9-4:30, early Sept. to mid-May; Mon.-Fri. 9-7:30, Sat.-Sun. 9-4:30, rest of year. All tours closed Jan. 1, July 1 and Christmas. Sound-and-light shows daily, mid-July to early Sept. Carillon concerts daily 11-noon, July-Aug., Mon.-Fri. noon-12:15, rest of year.
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