Government of Canada launches architectural design competition for city block facing Parliament Hill

News release

May 21, 2021 - Gatineau, Quebec  - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is revitalizing the Parliamentary Precinct, preserving it for all Canadians, ensuring it meets the needs of a 21st-century Parliament and making it greener, safer and more accessible.

Today, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, officially launched the architectural design competition to redevelop Block 2, the city block facing Parliament Hill and surrounded by Wellington, Sparks, Metcalfe and O’Connor streets.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) invited 12 firms that qualified through a competitive process to participate in the competition. This is the first stage of a competition that will ultimately transform this mix of aging buildings into an innovative complex that will create a balance between heritage, accessibility, security and sustainability. The new and renovated facilities will provide needed space for the Senate and House of Commons while work is undertaken on other aging buildings within the Parliamentary Precinct. The buildings will also allow for the future consolidation of parliamentary accommodations, including space for the Library of Parliament, into Crown-owned assets. Retail space along Sparks Street will also be renovated and made available for rent following construction.

The following teams, listed alphabetically, are now invited to submit an outline design concept as part of stage 1 of the design competition:

  • Architecture49 Inc.(Ottawa, Canada) in joint venture with Foster+Partners (London, United Kingdom) in association with DFS Inc. Architecture & Design (Montréal, Canada)
  • BDP Quadrangle (Toronto, Canada) in joint venture with Herzog & de Meuron (Basel, Switzerland)
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects (Toronto, Canada) in joint venture with Bjarke Ingels Group (New York, United States), KWC Architects (Ottawa, Canada) and ERA Architects (Toronto, Canada)
  • Grimshaw Architects (New York, United States) in association with Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker (Montréal, Canada)
  • Hassell Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia) in association with Partisans (Toronto, Canada)
  • Hopkins Architects (London, United Kingdom) in association with CORE Architects Inc. (Toronto, Canada)
  • KPMB Architects (Toronto, Canada)
  • NEUF Architects (Ottawa, Canada) in joint venture with Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Paris, France)
  • Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes Inc. (Montréal, Canada)
  • Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects (Ottawa, Canada) in joint venture with Behnisch Architekten (Boston, United States)
  • Wilkinson Eyre (London, United Kingdom) in association with IDEA Inc. (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Zeidler Architecture Inc. (Toronto, Canada) in association with David Chipperfield Architects (London, United Kingdom)

In collaboration with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, a multidisciplinary independent jury will evaluate the design concepts submitted and select the 6 best designs to advance to stage 2 of the competition.

PSPC will continue to work closely with the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, the Parliamentary Protective Service and stakeholders such as the City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission and the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office in revitalizing the Parliamentary Precinct.


“I look forward to seeing the new vision of the prominent city block facing Parliament Hill. This competition has assembled top architecture firms to develop designs that will complement one of the most unique settings of parliamentary buildings in the world, one in which Canadians can continue to take pride.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement 

“The site facing Parliament Hill is of national significance, and the building program includes many issues critical to society today: urban revitalization, heritage integration, cultural reconciliation, sustainability and the 21st‑century workplace. A competition is sure to draw out the best responses.”

Peter Ortved
Architect and Professional Advisor for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 

Quick facts

  • The renewal of Block 2 is part of the government’s continuing efforts to restore and modernize the buildings within the Parliamentary Precinct, and to provide Parliament with the modern facilities it requires to serve Canadians.

  • Block 2 is surrounded by Metcalfe, Wellington, O’Connor and Sparks streets. It covers an approximate area of 10,000 square metres and includes 2 vacant parcels and 11 buildings, many of which are designated heritage buildings. 

  • While the Indigenous Peoples’ Space stands independently from the design competition, the department, in collaboration with its stakeholders, will ensure the design and construction for the entire block honours and respects the significance of this site, which sits at the heart of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct.

  • Buildings within Block 2 are currently underutilized as they require rehabilitation and modernization work to meet current building codes and make best use of the space for future needs. 

  • The redevelopment of Block 2 will include a combination of new build components, restoration and refit while preserving the heritage character of the historic streets.

  • The jury is composed of design professionals and respected members of Canadian academia and civil society, as well as parliamentary representatives. It will also be supported by technical experts, including urban planning, structural, sustainability and accessibility experts.

  • The Parliament buildings were originally conceived and built as a result of the country’s first design competition.

  • The 12 selected teams had the highest evaluated scores out of the applications received following the Request for Qualification. All teams include at least one Canadian partner.

Associated links


Cecely Roy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Anita Anand

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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