A Canadian icon

The Centre Block building is the main hub of Parliament. It is also the literal home of Canadian democracy, and a source of national pride. Everywhere you look, Canada's people and history are reflected in the building's majestic architecture, design and decor. It's easy to see why Canadians and tourists feel awe when they visit Centre Block.

A place for all Canadians

The Centre Block is home to the House of Commons and Senate Chamber. It also includes offices for the speakers of both chambers, members of Parliament, senators, senior administrators and committee rooms.

Canadians may recognize the House of Commons foyer from media scrums. Other popular areas include ceremonial spaces, like the Hall of Honour (or Rotunda) and Confederation Hall. And at more than 92 metres, the Peace Tower is also a popular tourist attraction.

Centre Block is not just a place for politics. It is the setting for royal visits, concerts, the Changing of the Guard, Northern Lights, Canada Day celebrations and state funerals. Canadians also gather here to protest, hold rallies, and even exercise.

The inside of the House of Commons

A symbol of courage and resilience

The Centre Block was built between 1859 and 1876.

On February 3, 1916, fire broke out in the reading room. 7 people were killed, including 1 member of parliament. All of Centre Block burned down, except for the Library of Parliament. In fact, the library is the only part of the original Centre Block we see today.

The rest of Centre Block was rebuilt after the fire. The building kept its Gothic Revival style, and included more floors than before.

Centre Block partially reopened in early 1920 as a "beacon of optimism for the post-war age." In 1927, the completed tower was renamed the "Peace Tower" as a national symbol of remembrance.

Date modified: