Senate of Canada Building recognized on international stage

News release

Canadian architectural design wins 2020 Civic Trust Award

March 9, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Public Services and Procurement Canada

On Friday March 6, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects were recognized with a 2020 Civic Trust Award in Manchester, England, for their work on the Senate of Canada Building.

The Civic Trust Awards are the longest-running awards program for the built environment that recognize international projects demonstrating excellence in architecture, sustainability, inclusiveness and universal design. The Senate of Canada Building was a finalist in two of the three categories: Civic Trust Award and Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design. In the latter category, it was the only project in North America to be recognized. Public Services and Procurement Canada is pleased that the Senate of Canada Building project was recognized with a Civic Trust Award.

What was once Ottawa’s central train station now houses the Senate of Canada in a restored and modernized facility. Before its renewal, the building was in poor condition at the end of its usable life. Major building systems were all replaced, the exterior masonry was restored, the structure was reinforced and the interior was completely modernized to support a modern Parliament. Heritage elements such as the vaulted plaster ceiling, the brass windows and columns were all restored to their original glory.

Accessibility and sustainability were key priorities for this project. The restored and modernized Senate of Canada Building includes barrier-free access throughout and accessible elevators and washrooms. Original building materials were conserved wherever possible and more than 90% of construction project waste was diverted from landfills.

To date, restoration and modernization projects in the Parliamentary Precinct have received 60 local, national and international awards recognizing excellence in such areas as architectural design, sustainability and heritage conservation.


“This award demonstrates our ability to successfully deliver complex rehabilitation projects which support the evolving needs of a 21st-century Parliament. The Senate of Canada Building is now a state-of-the-art facility that features accessibility and environmental stewardship at its core. I am proud of the work that was done to restore and modernize this historic building to the benefit of all Canadians.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“The architects behind the Senate of Canada Building balanced conservation and innovation to transform a century-old landmark into a modern home for Canada’s Upper Chamber, and a space for all Canadians to enjoy. The Senate of Canada is proud to call this building its interim home and to see the teams involved recognized for their excellence.”

The Honourable George J. Furey, Q.C.
Speaker of the Senate of Canada 

“This project challenged us to redefine historic spaces in a contemporary way, introduce a new program in a heritage building and convey Canadian identity through contemporary interpretations of our national symbols and iconography. It is an honour to be recognized at an international level with a Civic Trust Award.”

Martin Davidson
Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects

“A breath-taking restoration project with highly refined new build intervention which knits the existing architecture with serious skill.”

Judges’ Comments
Civic Trust Awards

Quick facts

  • A total of 56 successful international projects were selected for the 2020 Civic Trust Awards from 250 applications.

  • The Senate of Canada Building has received a total of 10 awards since its completion in 2018.

  • The restoration of the Senate of Canada Building created approximately 1,500 good jobs for construction workers, skilled tradespeople, engineers, architects and other suppliers.

Associated links


Cecely Roy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Anita Anand

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Paul French
Director of Communications
Diamond Schmitt Architects
416-862-8800 ext. 454

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