Senate of Canada Building photo gallery

Discover photos of the project to restore and modernize the Senate of Canada Building, formerly known as the Government Conference Centre.

Interim Senate Chamber

Before it was the Government Conference Centre, the building was Union Station, Ottawa's main train station. The interim Senate Chamber was built in what used to be the train station concourse. When Union Station was closed in 1966, it was turned into the conference centre. Renovations carried out in the 1960s and 1970s split the concourse into separate rooms, such as the kitchenette pictured in the photo on the far left. In its recent project, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) opened up the space to give visitors a full appreciation of this opulent room. We restored the heritage coffered plaster ceiling and created the space for the Chamber.

2015 - A kitchenette was built in the concourse in the 1970s.
2016 - A large room under construction. Part of the floor is poured concrete. The rest is unfinished gravel. This picture shows the poor condition of the coffered ceiling, which was painted green in the 1970s.
2017 - The same room with completed concrete floor. There is scaffolding to allow workers to restore the ceiling.
2018 - The same room transformed into the finished interim Senate Chamber.

General Waiting Room

PSPC restored and modernized the former train station's general waiting room to house two committee rooms. As part of the project, we removed modifications made in the 1960s and 70s, such as translation booths that covered the heritage stairway. We restored the vaulted plaster ceiling, the columns, the heritage windows and the marble floors. The previous renovations had a raised floor, which covered the bottom two stairs of the main staircase. The raised floor was carpeted, as you can see in the first photo. During the project, we removed the raised floor and discovered heritage marble floors under it. We protected the marble floors with plywood during construction and they can now be seen, restored to their original beauty.

2015 - The waiting room of a former train station. Translation booths with wood paneling and tinted windows cover the grand stairs. A similar booth on the right covers the east wall. Carpet covers the floor.
2016 - The same room under construction with the booths removed. Plywood covers the floor.
2017 - The same room with scaffolding throughout.
2018 - The finished room. The staircase is restored. There are two committee rooms on each side of the space covered with perforated bronze panels representing east and west sceneries. The floor is original marble.
2018 - The finished room (alternate view).

Committee rooms

PSPC designed and built two committee rooms in the former train station's general waiting room. The rooms are designed so that they are independent of the existing heritage building structure. That means, in the future, if the rooms are no longer needed, they can be removed with minimal harm to the heritage features of the building.

2015 - The general waiting room of the former train station.
2016 - The view from the same location in the general waiting room. A ceiling is being built overhead.
2017 - A view from the same location. There are walls and the ceiling is being installed.
2018 - A view from the same location, now a finished room with desks and chairs.

Exterior view of east addition

When the train station was built in 1912, a hotel was attached to it on the east side. However, the neighbouring structure was demolished in the 1960s, leaving a bare exterior wall. As part of the rehabilitation project, PSPC added a new addition to that part of the building. The facade of the addition complements the Beaux-Arts style of the rest of the building. The addition includes stairs and an elevator, which together improve flow and make the building more accessible.

2015 - The exterior view of the east side of the building before the rehabilitation. There is a plain flat wall. There is a tall, narrow black addition on the outside of the wall.
2016 - The same exterior view of the building. The stairwell (black addition) has been removed.
2017 - The same exterior view of the building. There is scaffolding and the new east addition is being built.
2018 - The same exterior view of the building. The east addition is complete with a Beaux-Arts inspired facade.

Third floor meeting room

PSPC carried out extensive structural work on the main entrance block for it to meet modern seismic and building codes. This meeting room, located in that part of the building, boasts heritage windows, which we protected and refinished before completing the room.

2016 - The interior of a building that has been stripped down to the structural components. Plastic covers where the windows would be.
2017 - The same view of the interior. There is a wall and plumbing and electrical wires can be seen overhead.
2018 - The same view of the interior with ceilings, walls and windows installed.
2018 - The same view of the interior completed.
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