Government of Canada to rehabilitate and green National Capital Region landmark

News release

Investing in greening initiatives while preserving Canadian heritage facilities

June 28, 2019 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to rehabilitating its heritage buildings while contributing to the greening of government operations.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced that the National Capital Commission has approved concept designs for the visitor entry, the landscaping and the exterior lighting of the West Memorial Building. This essential milestone allows Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to proceed with the detailed design and construction phase of the rehabilitation project. The designs incorporate greening features, which will make this historic building more sustainable and energy efficient. They will enhance occupants’ wellness by including increased daylight, high‑performance skylights, and interior and exterior water bottle filling stations.

Minister Qualtrough also reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its federal buildings. The rehabilitated West Memorial Building will incorporate a number of sustainable elements, such as increased insulation in the walls and roof, triple-glazed windows, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, as well as efficient lighting systems. The rehabilitated property will also have more trees, bicycle facilities and electric vehicle charging stations. In addition, Minister Qualtrough highlighted the rehabilitation project’s accessibility plan, which will remove barriers to access and inclusion so that all Canadians can enjoy this historic building.

These measures will reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% and its energy consumption by 45%. With the changes, PSPC will achieve the four Green Globes rating for federal buildings. The certification focuses on key priorities, such as energy conservation, lowered water consumption and responsible use of materials.

The West Memorial Building will accommodate occupants of the Supreme Court of Canada Building, which will undergo its own rehabilitation.

More than $1 billion is being invested in the rehabilitation of the Supreme Court of Canada and West Memorial Buildings. This project will bring local and national economic benefits by creating significant employment opportunities for Canadians through contracts awarded to small, medium and large companies across Canada in the construction materials, manufacturing and professional services industries.

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“As we move forward with the rehabilitation of the West Memorial Building, our government is incorporating greening measures while preserving the historical significance of the building. It will serve as a landmark within the National Capital Region, reinforce our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption within our own operations, and help us achieve our goal of making Ottawa the greenest capital in the world.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

Quick facts

  • The West Memorial Building, part of Canada’s primary Second World War memorial, was constructed between 1954 and 1958. The West Memorial Building, the East Memorial Building and the connecting Memorial Colonnade form Canada’s primary Second World War memorial.

  • The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is greening government operations to support Canada’s sustainability goals already established under the Paris Agreement on climate change and in Canada’s climate plan. PSPC’s Greening Government Strategy is consistent with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

  • The construction work on the West Memorial Building is scheduled to start in fall 2019.

  • Once the temporary occupants have returned to the rehabilitated Supreme Court of Canada Building (which is planned for 2028), the West Memorial Building will be re-fitted to serve as modern, fully accessible, flexible, sustainable and collaborative workspace for federal public servants.

Associated links


Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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