Rehabilitation of the East Block’s Northwest Tower is underway on Parliament Hill
The historic structures of the Parliamentary Precinct are being restored. The modernization work will ensure that the buildings continue to serve at the heart of Canada’s democratic system well into the 21st century.
Public Works and Government Services Canada is taking steps to preserve Canada’s heritage and is pleased to announce that work is underway to fully restore the East Block’s Northwest Tower on Parliament Hill. The rehabilitation work to the Northwest Tower will preserve and enhance this important historic building and ensure the health and safety of parliamentarians, employees and visitors.
The Northwest Tower is one sections of the East Block most in need of restoration and is therefore one of the first areas being restored. Since 1999, the tower has been strapped with steel cables to brace against further deterioration. In 2004, additional strapping was added to reinforce the tower’s structural integrity. The work being carried out will fully rehabilitate the tower and ensure it is structurally sound.
Work to be carried out on the Northwest Tower includes:
- rehabilitation of the stone masonry;
- seismic reinforcement;
- structural reinforcement;
- rehabilitation of the foundation including drainage;
- window and door repair;
- installation of a new copper roof; and
- removal, disassembly, cleaning, painting, and reinstallation of ornamental metal work.
The rehabilitation of the tower is pivotal, not only for its preservation, but also to function as a pilot project. Similar to the pilot methodology successfully used on the West Block prior to its major restoration, lessons learned during the rehabilitation on the Northwest Tower will help to develop best practices to guide the future work to restore the entire East Block. Completing this work now will reduce the overall timeline for the major restoration of the East Block which is part of the Government’s Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct.
A $6.6M contract was awarded on June 23, 2011 to Lari Construction, Ottawa, Ontario for the complete rehabilitation of the Northwest Tower.
The awarding of the contract was based on a best value, competitive approach. An independent Fairness Monitor oversaw the entire contracting process and attested that the process was fair, open and transparent.
Facts and Figures:
- Year Built: 1859-65
- Approximate size of East Block: 16,567 m2
- Current federal tenant(s): Senate of Canada and House of Commons
- Timelines: Work on the tower began in August 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2013.
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