Explore the West Block

The West Block, with the Centre and East Blocks, makes up the core of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct. Commanding the western side of Parliament Hill, the West Block was built in three phases starting in 1859, and opened in 1866. The West Block was completed in 1909 by the Department of Public Works (now Public Services and Procurement Canada). It encompasses:

Today, we are at the end of a major project that has both restored the West Block to its original glory and equipped it for the needs of a 20th century Parliament. It now plays host to Canada’s members of Parliament in its.  interim House of Commons Chamber, a soaring, glass-roofed structure,  built into the central courtyard at the heart of the building.

Since 2011, work has been carried out to repair and modernize the building at a cost of $863 million (excluding Harmonized Sales Tax). The project has brought West Block up to standard and has ensured it will meet the current and future needs of Parliament while preserving its heritage characteristics for the next 150 years.

Watch the restoration of the West Block video

History and architecture

In 1859, architects Thomas Stent and Augustus Laver designed the West Block in a Gothic Revival style. It was designated a Classified federal heritage building in 1987 for its important historical associations, architectural quality and environmental impact.

Designed to accommodate the federal civil service, as more space was required the two large additions were built: the Mackenzie Wing and Tower in 1878 and the Laurier Tower and Link in 1906. The West Block was last completely renovated in 1965.

Interesting facts

The West Block was emptied for vital restoration in 2011.

The restoration of the West Block will be completed in time for the return of Parliament in January 2019.

More information

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