The year in review: The Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct—Annual Report 2020 to 2021

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Impacts of COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis had unprecedented implications on the Centre Block and East Block Phase 1 rehabilitation projects, and the core daily operations of the Precinct.

In the early days of the pandemic, PSPC worked with the Centre Block and the East Block construction management firms and representatives from the construction industry to develop and implement site health and safety protocols that addressed prevention, detection and response in order to protect the workers’ safety and minimize the spread of COVID-19. These measures were developed in alignment with public health guidance and were subsequently adopted by the Canadian Construction Association as an industry best practice across Canada.

A quick and responsive approach maintained the essential functions of Parliament while meeting the evolving safety and health requirements brought on by the pandemic. By working closely with partners and the industry, PSPC was able to pivot and expand on established standards to complete several projects and continue to successfully advance major ones such as the East and Centre Blocks.

Increased measures have been very successful in keeping parliamentary partners and construction crews safe. The number of positive COVID-19 cases has been kept relatively low (less than 1% of workers) given the more than 400 workers accessing building construction sites daily. In line with the approach taken by the Ontario government, work is continuing for critical health and safety infrastructure, major public institutions, and research and security installations.

Construction activities in the Parliamentary Precinct are continuing on the Centre Block and the East Block, as well as all maintenance projects needed to ensure health and safety in all federal buildings. All measures implemented have allowed the Parliamentary Precinct projects to continue and keep work teams safe.

PSPC supported Parliament in continuing to operate safely by:

  • installing plexiglass separators and temporary interpretation booths;
  • providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplemental cleaning supplies to support the parliamentary partners’ own decontamination forces;
  • modifying building operation protocols to maximize healthy indoor conditions and reduce the spread of COVID-19;
  • implementing supplementary heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) measures to enhance occupant wellness and address the potential risks posed by respiratory aerosols;
    • These supplementary measures included the increase of outdoor airflow into buildings to the maximum that can be sustained by building systems without affecting comfort and asset integrity and installing the highest level of filtration that the HVAC system can accommodate without impacting building airflow;
  • establishing and implementing multiple initiatives to prioritize the health and safety of occupants, such as regularly testing the water supply, flushing water systems, operating mechanical systems 24/7 and increasing patrols in the buildings.

Rapid testing program

With the advent of the Delta variant and the continued risk to construction site personnel, PSPC quickly implemented a rapid testing program in April 2021 at the Centre Block rehabilitation project.

Long Term Vision and Plan update

In 1857, Queen Victoria selected Ottawa as Canada’s capital. Since then, Parliament Hill and the area around it have grown and evolved. Through all its evolutions, 1 element is consistent: careful planning.

There has been a long tradition of development plans in the Parliamentary Precinct, beginning with the Todd Plan in 1912. Each plan addressed in its own way the needs, issues, values and character of the day, and provided a respectful and dignified approach for the stewardship of these important buildings and lands.

Originally developed in 2001 and updated in 2006, the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) is a multi-year program to restore and modernize Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct by:

  • addressing the deteriorated state of Canada’s Parliament Buildings;
  • modernizing the accommodations to meet the needs of a 21st-century Parliament while preserving the historic character of the buildings;
  • creating a safe and secure workplace for parliamentarians while ensuring that the Parliament remains open and accessible to visitors.

The LTVP functions through rolling programs of work with shorter-term implementation objectives in order to build upon lessons learned and mitigate risks within the longer-term vision. By setting out clear objectives and priorities, providing detailed planning and design guidance, and establishing a practical framework for implementation, the LTVP is a flexible strategy to modernize the Parliamentary Precinct in order to meet the needs of a modern Parliament.

A map of the Parliamentary Precinct highlighting past, present and future project states. See image description below.
Image description of the Long Term Vision and Plan: past, present and future

A map of Parliament Hill highlighting the state of the rehabilitation projects as part of the LTVP.

Buildings are highlighted in different colours depending on the state of the projects.

The projects are divided into 3 categories:

Completed projects

  • the Library of Parliament
  • West Block including the offsite food production kitchen
  • Block 3 including the offsite curatorial services and trade shops
  • 181, 155 and 131 Queen Street
  • the Senate of Canada Building
  • the C.D. Howe Building
  • the Sun Life Financial Centre

Current projects

  • the Centre Block
  • the Parliament Welcome Centre
  • Block 2
  • 100 Sparks Street
  • 30 Metcalfe Street
  • 40 Elgin Street

Future projects

  • the Confederation Building
  • the East Block
  • Block 1

The Centre Block is the apex project of the LTVP, and until recently, the goal had been the restoration of other heritage buildings in the Precinct in a manner that would facilitate the decanting of the Centre Block so that it could be restored and modernized, as well as satisfy the permanent accommodation needs of Parliament. With the Centre Block under construction, the focus of the LTVP is able to shift towards creating an interconnected and integrated parliamentary campus to support the needs of a modern parliamentary democracy. The benefit of this shift towards planning an integrated campus beyond the boundaries of Parliament Hill is underlined by the fact that within the next decade, approximately 50% of all parliamentarians will be permanently accommodated on the south side of Wellington Street.

With this in mind, a second update to the LTVP was launched in 2017 to incorporate the evolving conditions and requirements (security, IT, mobility, accommodation), to take advantage of new opportunities and to ensure the plan reflects parliamentary priorities.

An infographic titled 'supporting the activities of the Parliament of Canada'. See image description below.
Image description of "Supporting the activities of the Parliament of Canada"

Evolve to a campus approach for a modern Parliament

  • Parliamentary accommodations
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Security
  • Innovation
  • Future growth

This involves:

  • Leadership in environmental sustainability
  • Enriching the visitor experience
  • Responsible stewardship
  • Engaging Canadians

The foundational driver of the LTVP update is to realize the full potential of the Parliamentary Precinct as a modern, fully integrated campus in the heart of our nation’s capital while continuing the Precinct Renewal Program launched with the 2006 LTVP. It represents the ongoing implementation of a multi-phase effort.

The Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) update includes 2 phases:

Phase 1 (complete)

Focused on visioning and developing a consensus with our parliamentary partners on new directions for the LTVP update. It identified 5 strategic directions to evolve to a campus approach for a modern Parliament:

Parliamentary accommodations

Shifting the focus of new development opportunities for permanent accommodations from the lands north of Wellington to Blocks 1, 2 and 3 while continuing the important rehabilitation work of existing assets north of Wellington Street.

Infrastructure planning

Implementing integrated systems within the campus and consolidating functions for greater efficiency, including material handling, waste management, food services, support services, surface and underground movement systems, stormwater management, etc.


Integrating a comprehensive security plan for the campus, including the identification of security zones. Holistic physical security design requirements will be developed (with respect for institutional independence) for seamless protection, detection and response, as well as addressing changing threat levels.


Exploring proactive ways of integrating innovation in the way parliamentary functions and accommodations are provided and deployed in the precinct, including technological change and advances in how administrative space is used.

Future growth

Considering strategies for future growth beyond the timeframe of the LTVP update, along with potential opportunities to protect the Parliament and provide for future requirements that have yet to be defined.

Phase 2 (ongoing)

Focuses on engaging a multidisciplinary consulting team to:

  • review the 2006 LTVP vision, guiding principles and planning/design principles;
  • undertake analysis and stakeholder consultations on a wide range of issues, for example, accommodations, sustainability, urban design, infrastructure, etc.;
  • develop options and finalize the updated plan for approval.

Public opinion research

To support the improvement of the visitor experience on Parliament Hill, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) conducted public opinion research in 2021. The survey findings will support the planning of major ongoing and future projects and provide meaningful insight for updates being made to the 2006 LTVP. Survey results will also help to ensure that planning is developed in a way that addresses the needs and interests of parliamentarians, staff and visitors.

Holistic approach

The Parliamentary Precinct campus approach is characterized by a desire to create a place with a meaningful sense of community, a powerful identity and a unique “spirit of place” (genius loci). This holistic approach will help us realize the full potential of the Parliamentary Precinct and solidify its important role in the nation’s capital.

Throughout 2020 to 2021, great strides have been made towards implementing key concepts across initiatives and programs to support and strengthen the parliamentary campus approach.

As part of the LTVP update, plan options were drafted in 2020 to 2021 to seek the stakeholders’ input through various working sessions. The updated LTVP is scheduled for completion in 2022.

The result of this update, a Campus Master Plan, will guide the ongoing restoration and modernization of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct.

An infographic titled 'holistic vision'. See image description below.
Image description of holistic vision

A circle representing the LTVP’s holistic vision, surrounded by smaller circles with symbols in them representing the following vision themes:

  • heritage
  • precinct/community integration
  • climate resilience
  • environmental stewardship
  • occupant centric intelligent building
  • health and wellness
  • resource stewardship
  • carbon neutrality

Sustainability in the Parliamentary Precinct

Environmental sustainability is a key principle of the Long Term Vision and Plan that guides Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) in the rehabilitation and modernization of the Parliamentary Precinct. PSPC made significant progress in 2020 to 2021 on its sustainability strategy, which prioritizes greenhouse gas emissions reduction and climate change impact mitigation.

Adapting to climate change

In November 2020, PSPC completed a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) for the Parliamentary Precinct. The results of the risk assessment identified that the 3 most impactful climate hazards for the Parliamentary Precinct would be hot temperatures, snow accumulation and its associated use of de-icing salts, and heavy and intense rainfall. The assessment also included recommendations and guidelines for climate-resilient design and operations for all Precinct assets.

To address these risks, the following adaptive strategies were recommended:

  • Leaving space for the future expansion of cooling systems
  • Adding heating coils and insulation to sloped roofs, and increasing the maintenance of the sealants in glass roofs
  • Increasing the monitoring and maintenance of building facades, specifying materials (such as mortars) that are better at withstanding damage from salt, and reducing the use of de-icing salts by adding a snow-melting system at prioritized building entrances
  • Maintaining walkways and plazas with minimum slopes and the use of resilient materials, such as larger stones and thicker granular subgrades
  • Stabilizing lawns and grounds with temperature-tolerant biodiversity

PSPC is expected to move into the implementation stage in 2021 to 2022, which involves prioritizing and divvying up the follow-up actions between sectors within the branch, including Major Capital Project teams, Campus Planning, Operations and Maintenance, and Owner-Investor.

Green house gas emissions from the Parliamentary Precinct’s portfolio: results from the 2020 to 2021 inventory

  • A 61.8% reduction of emissions compared to the 2005 to 2006 baseline.
  • During construction, energy consumption via electricity has lowered for the Centre Block by approximately 15,000 gigajoules (GJ), but the Centre Block saw an increase in natural gas consumption due to temporary heating with natural gas.
  • PSPC’s Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch is one of the few organizations that are piloting RETScreen (Clean Energy Management Software) to report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


The LTVP is taking environmental considerations seriously, making leadership in sustainability a priority.

The Centre Block will be transformed from one of PSPC’s worst performing and highest GHG-emitting assets to a net-zero carbon facility. Energy consumption will be reduced by over 75% and water consumption by over 50%. A holistic design approach has been taken to achieve the best value for Canadians, with goals of demonstrating exceptional leadership in sustainability in a heritage context, achieving net-zero carbon, and attaining a high level of energy efficiency.

These actions require a combination of integrated building and design decisions, sustainable site planning, innovative technology choices, and behavioural changes supporting health and well-being. The Centre Block Rehabilitation Program has developed an all-encompassing vision that aligns with many existing government strategies.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification

In March 2021, PSPC received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold plaque for the Visitor Welcome Centre. PSPC has set a goal for the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre to be net-zero carbon and LEED gold-certified, achieving high performance in key areas of sustainability, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

In March 2021, the Sustainable Precinct Working Group was formed at the request of the Parliamentary Precinct Joint Steering Committee (PPJSC), a governance body between the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, the Parliamentary Protective Service, and Public Services and Procurement Canada.

The mandate of this working group is to facilitate the exchange of information,wherever possible and permissible,to further support green initiatives in the Precinct, report on existing practices to showcase reduced footprints within the Precinct and bring forward sustainability proposals for the PPJSC’s consideration.

Key areas of collaboration include diverting operational waste from landfill, improving energy efficiency in buildings, and green procurement of office furniture.

Universal accessibility

Through the implementation of the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) continues its progress towards making the Parliamentary Precinct universally accessible, while preserving the heritage fabric and security of the Precinct. Parliament is a place for all Canadians and, for that reason, PSPC is striving to go above and beyond national accessibility and building code standards.

To guide this work, PSPC established a Universal Accessibility Strategy and Action Plan to support its efforts in creating a parliamentary campus that is welcoming and inclusive to all while respecting the cherished heritage context.

The development of the strategy consists of 5 phases, from the research and identification of universal accessibility (UA) best practices to the development and implementation of the strategy.

Universal Accessibility Review and Action Plan. See image description below.
Image description of the Universal Accessibility Review and Action Plan

Circles with arrows showing the status of phases 1 through 5 of the Universal Accessibility Review and Action Plan, from “completed”, to “in progress”, as well as each phase’s timeline.


  • Phase 1
    • Background and benchmarking research
    • May to December 2019
  • Phase 2
    • Value statement and goals development
    • July to December 2019
  • Phase 3
    • Matrices and checklists development
    • November 2019 to June 2020
  • Phase 4
    • Assessment of buildings and grounds
    • July 2020 to September 2021

In progress

  • Phase 5
    • Action plan development
    • September 2021 to February 2022

PSPC completed the first 3 phases between 2019 and 2020. The Phase 3 report outlines the UA best practices that will guide current and future projects and improvements across the Parliamentary Precinct.

Based on those audits, improvements are already being implemented, providing an added level of universal accessibility to the Precinct facilities. Currently, efforts are focused on identifying priorities, phasing plans and estimating costs. In 2020, work continued on Phase 4 as improvements were tracked against the Universal Accessibility Best Practices Report.

With the goal of making the Parliamentary Precinct a global leader in UA, PSPC is working closely with the Rick Hansen Foundation to obtain their gold accessibility certification as part of the historic rehabilitation of the Centre Block. The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program offers 2 certification levels which measure the level of meaningful access beyond building code. Accessibility certification is based on a holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision, and hearing.

As part of Phase 5, PSPC is completing the Universal Accessibility Strategy to improve universal accessibility within the Parliamentary Precinct. The strategy details how the Precinct will become a model of excellence and a global leader in implementing universal accessibility, and outlines steps towards making the Precinct a place where everyone can safely access and use the facilities and services provided in a dignified, equitable, and inclusive way.

The strategy does not solely address barriers for persons with disabilities, but takes a universal approach to removing barriers for everyone regardless of their age, gender, ability, or cultural identity. The strategy will include the development of tools to facilitate the implementation of best practices in the design, development and rehabilitation of facilities, services and operations.

To support PSPC’s work towards a universally accessible Parliamentary Precinct, a Universal Accessibility Advisory Committee was established. It includes representatives from parliamentary partners and several national organizations such as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Rick Hansen Foundation, March of Dimes, the Canadian Association of the Deaf, Spinal Cord Injury Canada, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Communication Disabilities Access Canada and the Environmental Health Association of Québec. These partnerships will enable PSPC to better measure success and ensure that the accessibility needs of all Canadians are appropriately addressed.

PSPC remains committed to the “nothing without us” approach to ensure that the lived experiences of persons with disabilities inform accessibility in the Parliamentary Precinct. The department will continue to engage the disability community as the Parliamentary Precinct becomes more universally accessible.

Accessibility Advisory Panel

Provide subject matter expert advice and direction to the development of the Universal Accessibility Review and Action Plan (UARAP) as well as several accessibility-related projects for the built environment within the Parliamentary Precinct and Real Property Services.

Internal partners

  • Parliamentary partners
    • Senate
    • House of Commons
    • Library of Parliament
    • Parliamentary Protective Service
  • Treasury Board
    • Office of the Deputy Minister of Public Services Accessibility
  • PSPC
    • Accessibility Office
  • PSPC branches
    • Real Property Services
    • Others
  • Other government departments:
    • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
    • Statistics Canada

External partners

  • Clients
    • Users
    • Visitors
  • Accessibility organizations
    • Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
    • Rick Hansen Foundation
    • March of Dimes
    • Canadian Association of the Deaf
    • Spinal Cord Injury Canada
    • Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
    • Communication Disabilities Access Canada
    • Environmental Health Association of Québec
  • Other institutional bodies:
    • National Capital Commission (NCC)
    • Federal Heritage Building Review Office (FHBRO)


Phase 4 involves thorough audits of the level of UA of the Parliamentary Precinct grounds and buildings based on the UA best practices. PSPC completed audits for the following buildings:

  • West Block
  • Confederation Building
  • Justice Building
  • Wellington Building
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Building
  • East Block
  • Visitor Welcome Centre

Recapitalization Program

The Recapitalization Program consists of preserving the buildings and the Parliament Hill grounds that are occupied and operational but have not yet been fully rehabilitated. These projects are designed to stop or reduce ongoing deterioration, respond to urgent building repair requirements, address health and safety issues and reduce the cost and complexity of future major rehabilitation projects by leveraging the recapitalization work.

In 2020 to 2021, the Recapitalization Program completed the Confederation Window Frame Stabilization and Sash Rehabilitation Project. The work included the rehabilitation of all window units to address the health and safety concerns associated with their deterioration, such as falling debris. The work will also improve the work space by providing operable windows, preserve and extend the life of these important heritage character-defining elements, and reduce the associated maintenance costs in the years before the Confederation Building undergoes a full rehabilitation.

Work was also advanced on the following projects:

North slope vegetation management and slope stabilization

The objective of this project is to remove non-native species and to stabilize the topsoil on the slope of the escarpment. To date, the invasive species have been removed, and the slope stabilization and planting activities are currently being implemented simultaneously. The project is expected to be completed by 2022 to 2023.

About the project on the escarpment

The North slope escarpment is one of Parliament Hill’s most visible and significant heritage assets. Facing the Ottawa River and the province of Quebec, the Parliament Hill slope was once home to a healthy mixed forest of white pine, oak, sugar maple, beech and hemlock. Over the years, erosion and invasive species have increasingly displaced, unbalanced and destabilized the now barren slopes, tangling vegetation and posing health and safety concerns.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) undertook a critical environmental project to restore the escarpment’s ecosystem. Phase 1 of the restoration project on the escarpment began in March 2021, prior to Ottawa’s bird nesting season, by pruning and removing nearly 245 trees that were in either poor health or identified as invasive species. PSPC then planted approximately 36,500 new deciduous and coniferous trees, shrubs and plants. Native plant species were selected for their suitability to the slope’s growing conditions. For example, white cedar trees have shallow root systems specially adapted to grow on slopes, and low bush honeysuckle establishes very quickly, which also helps to stabilize the slope.

Phase 2 planning is also underway to further remove additional non-native plants, address reforestation and improvements to the pedestrian path known as Lover’s Walk, one of Ottawa’s most scenic pathways along the foot of Parliament Hill, and a top tourist attraction. The North Slope Vegetation Management and Slope Stabilization will be completed by 2022 to 2023.

The important work on the escarpment will serve to stabilize the soil, diversify the ecosystem, help conserve escarpment wildlife and ensure the long-term success of the reforestation.

Interesting fact

Within 65 years, it is predicted that up to half of the escarpment may become exposed rock if work is not done now to protect it.

West Block exterior lighting

The objective of this project is to further illuminate the exterior of the building as per the Parliamentary Precinct Exterior Lighting Master Plan. The project is expected to be completed by 2022 to 2023. Similar projects are planned on the East and Centre Blocks.

Queen’s Gate universal accessibility

The objective of this project is to improve universal accessibility by lowering the slopes of the main wheelchair accessibility routes, adjusting the security bollards for better access, building accessible stairs with proper handrails, etc. The project feasibility study was completed and funding was secured to proceed with the implementation. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2023 to 2024.

The Building Components and Connectivity Program

The Building Components and Connectivity (BCC) Program consists of the modernization of campus-wide communication and information technology for more than 30 buildings within the Precinct campus to meet Parliamentarians’ modern business needs. This includes the provision of the appropriate infrastructure and systems that will facilitate a seamless experience and delivery of service to Parliamentarians, legislative support and visitors.

In 2020 to 2021, the BCC Program completed the Next Generation Integrated Security feasibility study, which supports the continued and successful deployment of Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) projects by ensuring they included comprehensive technology solutions, and ultimately assuring integrated security systems across the Parliamentary Precinct.

The BCC Program also advanced work on the following projects:

  • Information technology infrastructure base building upgrades: modernizing information technology (IT) equipment rooms and building pathways.
  • Next generation network infrastructure: rolling out the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone for the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada.
  • Modernization of the Parliament community access television: implementing the analogue-to-digital conversion throughout the Parliamentary Precinct.
  • Data Centre risk mitigation: implementing information technology applications as well as the risk mitigation of the Centre Block Underground Services (CBUS) facility.
  • Simultaneous interpretation console replacement: addressing the health and safety challenges faced by the Translation Bureau interpreters due to a lack of International Organization for Standardization-compliant devices.

Building renovation projects currently underway across the Parliamentary Precinct are introducing smart building architectures and deploying intelligent lighting, access control and security-based solutions and systems, all requiring highly reliable and secure connectivity.

The BCC Program ensures the delivery of business-critical services under both normal operating conditions and during business continuity events, such as the current pandemic.

To this end, the BCC program has implemented projects that provided parliamentarians with solutions that allowed them to operate effectively in a distributed and mobile work environment so that they could seamlessly continue to fulfill their legislative duties and participate in committee work in collaboration with their staff.

These projects notably include the Data Centre Risk Mitigation and the Information Technology Infrastructure Base Building Upgrades.

East Block rehabilitation

Of all the buildings on Parliament Hill, the East Block remains nearest to its original design. First built for public servants, it has been the domain of prime ministers, cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, senators and even governors general. The implementation of the LTVP has helped to transition the East Block into a core facility for the Senate of Canada. Originally built in a 2-phased approach spanning over 2 campaign periods, the East Block’s main west and south wings, referred to as the 1867 Wing, were built first and completed in 1865, while the second wing was added to the east to enclose the courtyard in 1910.

PSPC is approaching the rehabilitation of the East Block in 2 distinct phases. Phase 1 is focused on recapitalizing the most deteriorated elements of the building to address health and safety issues and to extend the lifecycle of East Block. Phase 2 will involve a broader restoration and modernization of the entire building and will require the building to be emptied first.

In 2020 to 2021, PSPC continued to implement Phase 1 of the project by focusing on the 4 areas of greatest concern within the exterior infrastructure of the 1867 Wing. This included urgent masonry repairs to the southwest tower, the southeast entrance, the south entrance and the Governor General’s entrance, as well as enhanced maintenance and investigation programs to identify further issues to be addressed prior to the full rehabilitation of the wing. To ensure masonry work continued according to the baseline schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic, PSPC added work shifts to enable masonry experts to safely carry out their important restoration work.

PSPC is expected to complete the East Block Rehabilitation Phase 1 project by the end of 2021 to 2022 and will then undertake the necessary close-out activities, as well as continue to plan the East Block Rehabilitation Phase 2 project.

Interesting fact

The East Block Rehabilitation project contributes to the main goal of the LTVP by addressing health and safety risks, reducing environmental footprints of parliamentary buildings, increasing universal accessibility on Parliament Hill and the areas around it for Parliamentarians, staff and Canadians, and modernizing infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st century Parliament.

Block 2

Few sites carry the significance of Block 2, a full city block directly opposite Canada’s parliament buildings, just south of Parliament Hill. To the north, it faces the Centre Block and its Peace Tower.

The renewal of Block 2 is a critical piece of PSPC’s Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) for the Parliamentary Precinct. The design competition, launched in spring 2021, ensures that the final design for this city block brings forward new vitality to a significant part of Confederation Boulevard. The goal is to transform this mix of buildings into an innovative complex that will meet the needs of Parliament and the public now and into the future.

PSPC began the process of renovating Block 2 by launching an architectural design competition in 2021. The 2-stage design competition ensures that the final design for this city block complements and completes the Parliament quadrangle. It is important to note that the Indigenous Peoples Space is located in the heart of Block 2 and will be preserved as part of the redevelopment plan.

Redesigned as an innovative complex, 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 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 following construction. Adapting and transforming the mix of aging buildings into modern, efficient and safe accommodations for Parliament will also complete the fourth side of Parliament Square.

Design competition

Following an extensive prequalification process, 12 architectural teams were invited to submit design proposals for the area that would complement the image of Canada and its capital on the international stage. The winning team and design will be recommended to the department by an independent and professional jury. The design competition was endorsed by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and has designated professional advisors to oversee the overall competition process.

The independent and multidisciplinary jury announced on February 1, 2021, provided invaluable insight to evaluate the range of design concepts that were submitted in stage 1. The jury is composed of notable Canadian and international representatives including Parliamentarians, distinguished professors, artists, urban designers, architects and authors. The accomplished group of jury members come from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous participants who provide an essential viewpoint, as the Indigenous Peoples Space is a highlight of Block 2, and rediscovering the relationship of people to place is a goal RAIC Honorary Advisor, John Ralston Saul, hopes to achieve.

“It’s not about humans being above the place, or building their buildings to look down upon the place. It’s about the people and place being one and the same.”

— John Ralston Saul, RAIC Honorary Advisor, Block 2 Design Competition

The jury will shorten the list to a maximum of 6 competitors, who will then advance to stage 2 of the competition.

“The international design competition for Block 2 is without a doubt the most important competition in Canada so far this century. I am privileged to be the Jury Chair.”

— Bruce Haden, Jury Chair, Block 2 Design Competition

The design competition will be entering stage 2 in fall 2021, in which proponents’ designs will be submitted and the top winners will be announced in 2022.

Interesting fact

The original design competition in 1859 for Canada’s new parliament buildings in Ottawa provided a challenge that was both aspirational and technical. The objectives of that competition included programmatic and functional requirements, evolving construction practises, climate considerations, dramatic site opportunities, and the intention to create a built ensemble that would represent the democratic aspirations of this new emerging nation. That competition, which took place over a century and a half ago, would have been part of the urban and architectural discourse of its day.

Centre Block rehabilitation

The main Parliament Building is perhaps Canada’s most important building, and it is a national symbol of our democracy.

While the building may have remained beautiful to look at, its facilities were critically outdated and systems were failing. The stone was damaged by water infiltration and Ottawa’s extreme freeze-thaw cycle. Water was also corroding the structural steel. Also concealed behind the beautiful heritage finishes were kilometres of rusted heating pipes, which broke and leaked, causing damage. Electrical and communications systems were inadequate and stretched to capacity. They were trying to support modern broadcasting that they were never designed or equipped to accommodate.

To ensure that the Centre Block can serve Canada’s parliamentary democracy into the next century and continue to welcome Canadians, it requires a massive overhaul. This is the largest and most complex heritage rehabilitation ever undertaken in Canada. The scale and scope of the project are immense. It has been recognized by the Project Management Institute as a globally influential project, ranking first in Canada.

“The Centre Block holds many purposes, for many people. It is a place where democracy thrives, students come to learn, tourists visit and it is a place where Canadians can express themselves. As a place that represents all Canadians and their values, it is important we take care of the building now so that it remains accessible for generations to come.”

— The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement (2019 to 2021)

To restore this heritage masterpiece, it needs to be carefully taken apart, undergo an extensive abatement program and be literally rebuilt to integrate modern standards, including a reinforced structure, seismic upgrading and new building systems, including mechanical, electrical and security systems, and a modern digital backbone.

The responsibility of preserving our heritage

Achieving the balance between conservation and renewal represents the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project’s greatest challenge. A team of heritage conservation specialists were engaged as part of the contract award for the Centre Block with the design lead (CENTRUS) and the construction manager (PCL/EllisDon) to develop a holistic Heritage Conservation Framework to guide all aspects of the project. This included the development of a comprehensive asset-level inventory and condition assessment, a conservation management plan, and a heritage impact assessment process. The framework is collectively designed to ensure the conservation of the heritage value, as set out in the National Historic Sites and Classified Federal Heritage designations, in conformance with federal policy.

To help guide conservation work, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has established a Conservation Management Team, whose experienced membership includes heritage conservation experts from the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament and the Canadian Conservation Institute, among others. This group works to support PSPC, and the project’s heritage conservation team advises on all activities to protect and preserve the many thousands of elements that make up the Centre Block, including sculptures, murals, stained glass and light fixtures, as well as commemorative monuments across Parliament Hill.

Work is being meticulously carried out to protect the living decorative program—a vital expression of Canada’s parliamentary democracy, history, and nationhood. From intricate wood and stone carvings to the historic lighting and paintings, these decorative and artistic works are being individually assessed, catalogued, protected and conserved, either off site or in situ. Elements that cannot be removed, such as decorative plaster ceilings and some ornate stone and wood sculptures, will be covered and protected in their current location.

PSPC is also leveraging innovative techniques such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) to support heritage conservation. These digital models will enable the Centre Block team to create 3D representations of heritage assets such as sculptures, grotesques, carvings, woodworking elements, and assist conservation specialists in determining how to preserve these facets.

A 3D printed physical model of the Centre Block created by Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Carleton University.

Physical model of the Centre Block of Parliament created by Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), Carleton University.

Carleton University’s digitally assisted fabrication

In collaboration with PSPC and CENTRUS, the CIMS developed a physical model of the Centre Block of Canada’s Parliament. This captures the existing condition of the building while allowing the architects to test and understand design ideas through model making to explore preservation solutions.

CIMS has played a key role in the research and innovation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) for existing conditions and heritage buildings.

Balancing heritage conservation and a respectful adaptation to meet contemporary requirements while embodying 21st century cultural aspirations is neither quick nor simple; it involves consultation and engagement with a diverse array of stakeholders and authorities, and consideration of a broad range of perspectives. Requirements must be studied and preliminary designs prepared to understand their implications for the historic landscape and building.

Work underway

Since March 2020, experts in heritage conservation and the skilled trades have carefully conducted demolition and the abatement of asbestos and other hazardous materials from inside the Centre Block. Equally, work began on the building’s outside, such as the excavation for the new Parliament Welcome Centre, as well as the removal and repair of masonry on the north facade, windows, the roof and mechanical and electrical systems.


Excavation work for the future Parliament Welcome Centre in front of the Centre Block began in summer 2020 and is expected to take 2 years to complete. To date, approximately 32% of the total excavation work has been completed. The total excavation is estimated to be approximately 190,000 m3, which represents roughly 40,000 truckloads of stone. The stone is being recycled in local construction activities.

Demolition, abatement and heritage assets removal

These activities began in late 2019 in 5 of the 7 floors of the Centre Block, including the basement. As of spring 2021, close to 30% of the demolition and abatement work was completed, with approximately 10 million pounds of asbestos-containing material removed. An additional 20 million pounds will be removed by the end of this work in 2022. The careful demolition and abatement work in the high-heritage areas on floors 2 and 3 will begin in summer 2022, including demolition and abatement work on the House of Commons and Senate Chambers.

Masonry restoration

It goes without saying that the restoration of the Centre Block masonry is significant in scope. The exterior masonry covers 20,000 m2 of facade and includes approximately 400,000 stones. Ottawa’s extreme freeze-thaw cycle has deteriorated the masonry over the years—approximately 35% of the stone is anticipated to be removed for repairs or replacement. The mortar will be completely replaced and the stone will be laser-cleaned. Masonry restoration commenced on the north facade in spring 2021, following the completion of the first phase of the exterior scaffold. Initial stone-by-stone surveys and heritage mock-ups were completed. In addition, the rake-out of mortar from the stone joints and rehabilitation of embedded structural steel beam ends and lintels began.

Security and safety

Establishing a safe and secure Parliament has been a core component of the Long Term Vision and Plan for the restoration and modernization of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct since its inception in 2001.

To ensure the safety of Parliamentarians and visitors to Parliament Hill, secure fencing was installed around the construction perimeter and will remain in place for the duration of the project. In an effort to limit the impact of construction on parliamentary operations, both noise and vibration monitors were installed to capture ambient noise and vibration levels. PSPC actively monitors these levels throughout the excavation period to ensure that they remain within acceptable limits.

PSPC worked with parliamentary partners and other stakeholders to develop interpretive panels on the construction hoarding that have been erected around the perimeter of the Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre construction site. The use of a decorative tarp or trompe-l’oeil (printed tarp) to cover the scaffolding will also lessen the visual impact of the temporary construction work while keeping the workers safe.

The new Parliament Welcome Centre will be key to making Parliament safer and more secure, open and accessible. This underground secure visitor screening area will facilitate entry to the West Block and East Block, and connect the 3 main Parliament buildings, creating one integrated parliamentary complex.


The Centre Block Rehabilitation Project is the largest restoration and preservation project in Canada, and is recognized by the Project Management Institute as a globally influential project, ranking 1st in Canada and 7th overall in North America. The major work on this iconic, century-old building will restore the heritage spaces to their original state and create a modern facility to serve Canada for another century.

This infographic provides a visual narrative of the Centre Block project. See image description below.
Image description of the largest restoration and preservation project in Canada

The largest restoration and preservation project in Canada

  • 70,000+ square metres to be rehabilitated
  • Removal of about 46,600 pounds of copper to restore the roof
  • Rehabilitation of masonry surface: almost 400,000 stones
  • Over 1,600 windows to be replaced
  • Over 20,000 heritage assets
  • Over 8,000 stones from the Vaux Wall removed, catalogued and stored
  • 50 high heritage rooms to be restored, containing unique and irreplaceable works of Canadian art

The Centre Block Rehabilitation Project will encompass the following features:

  • Net-zero carbon and universally accessible facilities
  • Enhanced physical security and cybersecurity
  • Structural strengthening, seismic upgrading and comprehensive fire protection
  • Restored masonry, new windows and roof, and modern mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
  • A digital backbone to support modern broadcasting and videoconferencing
  • Additional functional space in support of parliamentary activities

The scope of work required to restore and modernize the Centre Block and construct the Parliamentary Welcome Centre is further summarized as performing 4 essential tasks:

1. Replacing and repairing failing components (like masonry, towers, windows, roof, and mechanical and electrical components)

This work is required to meet health and safety requirements, support overall asset integrity and ensure that the building can support parliamentary operations. This work is a main cost driver of the project. However, there are almost no discretionary elements. The asbestos must be removed, the masonry must be restored, the roof and windows have to be replaced and all of the building systems have to be removed, replaced and upgraded.

2. Upgrading elements to meet modern standards and codes (such as seismic, fire, universal accessibility, and sustainability)

Much of the work in the Centre Block involves bringing the structure up to current building codes. This is non-discretionary work to support an operational parliamentary complex—it is extensive in scope and it is complex. For example, the building has to be upgraded to meet modern fire codes. When it closed, the Centre Block sprinkler coverage did not meet the current code. Ensuring fire suppression coverage throughout the high-heritage Centre Block will be technically challenging. The building also has to be seismically retrofitted to meet current code requirements. The least expensive and most effective solution, which avoids harming the building’s heritage fabric, is base isolation. Base isolation involves separating the Centre Block from the Canadian Shield foundation and placing it on more than 500 base isolators, which essentially act as large shock absorbers. The areas where there is some cost flexibility are universal accessibility and sustainability. The Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre are currently targeting to exceed code with regard to universal accessibility, where possible, and both have a net-zero carbon target.

3. Providing infrastructure for parliamentary functions (such as security, chambers, committee rooms, offices, and visitor services)

The prime purpose of the Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre is to serve parliamentary operations. Ensuring that the Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre support modern parliamentary operations and provide a safe, secure and connected platform for Parliament is an essential objective of the project. Functional requirements have been established by the parliamentary partners through parliamentary governance.

4. Enabling Centre Block to welcome more Canadians in a safe, secure and engaging manner (visitor services)

Parliament Hill welcomes millions of visitors each year and PSPC is committed to maintaining a positive experience. The new Parliament Welcome Centre will provide an inviting and universally accessible front door to Canada’s Parliament, welcoming school groups and the increasing number of Canadians and international visitors who come to Parliament.

Illustration of base isolators under the Centre Block protecting the structure from seismic activity. See image description below.
Image description of how base isolation works
How base isolation works

One image divided into 2 parts.

Part 1: Center Block

A diagram of the Centre Block and the structures and ground below it.

Below the building there is a trench labelled “seismic moat”.

Seismic moat

  • A 1.5 m-wide trench
  • wide enough to accommodate maintenance work
  • provides a gap that allows as much as 20 cm of movement in any direction

The base of the building is supported by things labelled “base isolators”

Base isolators

Centre Block will be supported by approximately 560 of these columns.

The foundation is below the moat.

In the area representing underground below the foundations, an arrow pointing in 2 directions horizontally represents ground motion.

Below that it reads:

Seismic suspension system

Centre Block will sit on a strong base of steel and reinforced concrete supported, in turn, by base isolators anchored to the building’s foundation.

Part 2: Base isolator

A zoomed-in illustration of a base isolator.

Below the base of the building is a cylinder labelled “flexible column”

Flexible column

Made from a combination of rubber and steel with a lead core.

The flexible column sits on a concrete column.

In the area representing underground below the foundations, an arrow pointing in 2 directions horizontally represents ground motion.

No longer on shaky ground

Each isolator can bend and flex, absorbing the energy generated by an earthquake while the building above remains relatively motionless.

Both the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre are targeted for completion in 2030 to 2031. Parliament will then conduct extensive commissioning and testing with the target of opening Parliament the following year.


The addition of the Parliament Welcome Centre poses an interesting design challenge to incorporate security measures into a new facility that is inviting and welcoming to the public. Further, this new construction must be integrated into the heritage landscape—the Great Lawn and the Centre Block. Making the Centre Block universally accessible and net-zero carbon also creates significant design and engineering challenges.

PSPC has engaged with parliamentary partners through formal governance structures to obtain direction on parliamentary design requirements. PSPC has engaged with its parliamentary partners to clearly define the project requirements for offices, committee and meeting rooms, the chambers and lobbies, security, food and media and visitor services. The highly collaborative design process also included partners such as the National Capital Commission (NCC), and the Federal Heritage Building Review Office in Parks Canada. Because of the importance of the design work and the complexities, PSPC also engaged with the National Capital Commission and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).

The RAIC brought together a number of eminent Canadian architects and design professionals, as well as a former Architect of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to form an Independent Design Review Panel to provide feedback on the design direction. This work allowed PSPC to establish a solid scope, baseline cost estimate and schedule, as well as a broad consensus on the project’s key elements, including:

  • The size of the Parliament Welcome Centre, and the use of a central entry for Canadians to enter Parliament
  • The decision to leverage the previously inaccessible and unused exterior courtyards as new functional space that will make the Centre Block more open and accessible to Canadians, and a more functional and sustainable facility
  • The creation of new floors above the Hall of Honour that will also provide shared space for Parliamentarians
  • The decision by the House of Commons to restore and modernize their existing heritage Chamber, based on the forecasted growth in the number of MPs
  • The choice to retain the Cabinet Room in the West Block, in recognition of the Centre Block’s space limitations

“The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is pleased to be part of the historic Centre Block modernization project. I want to applaud the steps taken towards an inclusive, thoughtful and sustainable approach in the design of this important national symbol for our country. It will help make our iconic seat of democracy more inviting and welcoming to all Canadians.”

— John Brown, President, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Furthermore, PSPC has retained an internationally recognized third-party cost estimator (Turner & Townsend) to provide an independent validation of the cost estimates for the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre. Given the importance of the undertaking and the complexity involved, Turner & Townsend will be asked to validate the overall costing methodology, confirm probable cost for the hard construction as well as review the funds allocated for project management and consulting fees.

This exercise is especially important as it is estimated that the cost of the Centre Block will be driven by the essential work required to meet building codes, ensure health and safety, restore the built heritage of the space, and modernize the building to meet Parliament’s functional requirements. An emphasis on mechanical and electrical as well as structural costs (including seismic and excavation) is expected for both the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre.

Benefits to Canadians

There are many benefits for Canadians that will extend far beyond Parliament Hill in addition to ensuring that the Centre Block can support modern parliamentary operations and Canada for another century.

Jobs and economic opportunities are already being created for Canadians and Canadian companies, with approximately 4,000 jobs created and over 500 companies engaged to date. As construction activities continue to ramp up, the project will create over 70,000 jobs, with a broad economic footprint, including skilled trades and construction workers, architects, engineers and manufacturing stretching right across the country. Further, the project is providing opportunities to close the specialized skills gap for young Canadians as well as an opportunity to build capacity with Indigenous communities.

In addition, PSPC is committed to making the Centre Block and the broader Parliamentary Precinct a sustainability model. The Centre Block will be transformed from one of PSPC’s worst performing and highest GHG-emitting assets to a net-zero carbon facility. Energy consumption will be reduced by over 75% and water consumption by over 50%. Not only will these improvements lower costs, it will contribute to Canada’s goal to build a sustainable, clean growth economy for all Canadians.

PSPC is also focused on ensuring the Centre Block and the entire Parliamentary Precinct are modernized to meet or exceed current accessibility standards. All aspects, including the chambers, public galleries, corridors, washrooms, lighting, acoustics and even the choice of furniture, are carefully planned with accessibility partners to provide an inclusive, accessible, and comfortable environment for all Canadians.

This infographic provides a visual narrative of the jobs created as part of the Long Term Vision and Plan. See image description below.
Image description of the jobs created as part of the Long Term Vision and Plan

Will create 70,000+ jobs nationally in areas such as: engineering, construction, architecture and design.

  • 4,000 jobs already created from the project
  • 400 workers on site and growing to 1,500 employees at project’s peak
  • 500+ companies from across Canada already engaged on the project

Initial internships with:

  • 50 students
  • 10 Canadian colleges and universities

There are over 400 construction workers on site every day, which will grow to over 1,500 as the project advances through major construction.


Partnerships are key to advancing the Long Term Vision and Plan on a solid foundation. Partnerships enable Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to leverage knowledge and expertise from a broad range of actors. First among our partnerships are our parliamentary partners: the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament and the Parliamentary Protective Service. PSPC also regularly engages with a number of experts and stakeholders to ensure the Long Term Vision and Plan, along with its associated projects, incorporate inclusive, functional, flexible, and creative approaches that shape the rehabilitation work within the Parliamentary Precinct.

This infographic depicts the key parliamentary partners and stakeholders of the LTVP. See image description below.
Image description of the key parliamentary partners and stakeholders of the Long term Vision and Plan

Illustration depicts the names and logos of each of the key parliamentary partners and stakeholders of the LTVP.

Parliamentary partners

  • Parliamentary Protective Service
  • Library of Parliament
  • House of Commons
  • Senate of Canada


  • Canadians
  • Indigenous groups
  • Canadian Heritage
  • City of Ottawa
  • Ottawa Police Service
  • The Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • National Capital Commission
  • Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

Indigenous partners

Over the past few years, PSPC has valued the opportunity to work more closely with Indigenous organizations and the local Algonquin communities in the spirit of reconciliation. These foundational relationships are continuing to grow and develop.

In 2020 to 2021, PSPC continued to work collaboratively with the Algonquin Nation on several projects. One of these initiatives involved assessing and transferring the pre-contact artifact found during the Centre Block archaeological work. This pre-contact artifact was identified, working with expert archaeologists and in partnership with the Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan communities, as a mòkomàn (Algonquin word for knife). The mòkomàn is believed to be approximately 4,000 years old, fashioned in the late Archaic to early Woodland period.

A photo of a pre-contact mòkomàn (knife). How it might have originally looked is sketched around the photo.

Rendering of the pre-contact mòkomàn (knife).

Even with the pandemic, plans and logistics to return the pre-contact mòkomàn to the Algonquin Nation continue and have brought forth several new partnership opportunities.

“It’s a very positive and encouraging development. Because of that one artifact, PSPC has struck a new relationship with the two communities.”

— Ian Badgley, Archaeologist, National Capital Commission

“It’s the first time an artifact found by the Government of such significance is being returned to us. I feel it’s a very honourable gesture on the part of the Government of Canada to do so and to reach out to us in the first place. I’m very proud of that. It has made a new relationship even turning into almost a friendship with the team that reached out to us.”

— Douglas Odjick, Counsellor, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

In June 2019, Parliamentarians endorsed wayfinding and large-scale decorative hoarding panels comprised of large monochromatic photos interspersed with interpretive text for the Front Lawn to improve the visitor experience while the Centre Block is under construction.

The panels and images convey information about Parliament and the work being done to rehabilitate it, and offer wayfinding guidance for visitors. This project proved to be an excellent opportunity to once more collaborate with our Indigenous partners and co-develop content to tell part of the story of the Anishinabeg people, as well as recognize the 3 distinct groups of Indigenous peoples in Canada: First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

To create these interpretive panels, PSPC worked closely with the local Algonquin communities of Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi to develop an overview and highlight the Anishinabeg history in this region since time immemorial and present aspects of their way of life. PSPC also engaged with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council who provided rich information on Indigenous Peoples to share with visitors. Working collaboratively with Indigenous communities and parliamentary partners, the construction hoarding interpretive panels erected around the perimeter of the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre construction site were put in place in advance of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2021.

The construction hoarding outside the Centre Block construction site is printed with information and photos of the building.

The barrier, known as hoarding, between the Centre Block construction site and the public. It is printed with bilingual panels and images convey information about the Parliament, its rehabilitation and the Hill as a gathering place. The panels offer wayfinding guidance to visitors, as well as information on First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada, with a particular focus on the Anishinabeg Algonquin Nation, whose ancestral territory includes Parliament Hill.

PSPC also continued to work closely with the local Algonquin communities of Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi and the Anishinabeg Algonquin Nation on other projects. One such endeavour is the creation of an archaeological field school. This new project focuses on training Anishinabeg Algonquin individuals in archaeological field techniques on traditional Anishinabeg Algonquin territory. This is an exciting initiative that could well expand to include participants from other Indigenous groups. This collaboration will seek to strengthen the communities’ capacity for archaeology and related disciplines, encouraging active participation in directly protecting and preserving artifacts, features, and site locations, as well as the memories they contain.

PSPC also initiated work with parliamentary and Indigenous partners to consider how elements of Indigenous design may be incorporated into the new Parliament Welcome Centre.

Industry experts

Regular exchanges with the construction industry have been key to identifying capacity and opportunities for growth in particular trades to meet the needs of various projects underway. PSPC regularly engages with the Canadian Construction Association. This established partnership allowed PSPC to pivot quickly to address COVID restrictions and implement new procedures to allow for construction to proceed while keeping workers safe.

Working closely with industry experts has also emphasized the need for skilled craftspeople that understand how to work with historic materials and how best to conserve them.

For example, the student program with Carleton University not only leverages expertise in Building Information Modelling (BIM) to support heritage conservation, it also introduces these young apprentices to the living history that is the Centre Block and to its various teams of experts. More importantly, it gives them the job training and knowledge to support them in their future endeavours. Some of these students have gone on to work on the Parliamentary Precinct projects following graduation.

Another key partner for PSPC is the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). This valued relationship is key to ensuring that world-class design remains central on some of the most important public buildings in our country. The RAIC supported the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project through the creation of an Independent Design Review Panel—assembling distinguished Canadian architects and design professionals, as well as a former Architect of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to provide feedback on the design direction for the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre.

Similarly, the partnership with the RAIC is also supporting the Block 2 Design Competition. For this international design competition, the RAIC has designated professional advisors to oversee the overall competition process and created an independent jury, enabling PSPC to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience.

As we advance the work on sustainability towards the Government’s environmental targets, PSPC is working in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council to help identify existing issues, best practices and opportunities for implementation in the Precinct buildings and grounds.

Several other partners have also provided their expertise and support by participating in the Accessibility Advisory Panel. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Rick Hansen Foundation, March of Dimes, the Canadian Association of the Deaf, Spinal Cord Injuries Canada, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Communication Disabilities Access Canada and the Environmental Health Association of Québec are providing valuable insights that will allow PSPC to stay abreast of key universal accessibility initiatives and allow the department to develop a comprehensive and inclusive Universal Accessibility Review and Action Plan.

Maintaining a positive visitor experience while PSPC modernizes and rehabilitates these significant heritage sites is also an important consideration. To help mitigate some of the impact of the construction activities, PSPC has partnered with the City of Ottawa to develop window exhibits along Sparks Street. PSPC also worked closely with organizations who offer a visitor experience on Parliament Hill to ensure that their activities continued unimpeded. For example, PSPC collaborated with the Department of Canadian Heritage to ensure that the Centre Block can remain centre stage for the sound and light show. Arrangements were also taken with the Department of National Defence to continue offering the Changing of the Guard. Parliament Hill has become such an iconic stop for any visit to the nation’s capital that PSPC maintains regular engagements with the local tourism organizations to share information about the rehabilitation projects and keep them and their members apprised of any new developments.

These partnerships and valued relationships are the cornerstone to our success in delivering projects that reflect design excellence and sound stewardship in preserving and modernizing these heritage icons so that they will serve Canada in the 21st century and beyond. From our many communities and national partners who support our vision to the involvement of the next generation in apprenticeship programs within our construction projects, we will continue to nurture these relationships as we update our vision of the Long Term Vision and Plan.

Governance for the Long Term Vision and Plan

The Long Term Vision and Plan is a partnership between Parliament and the Government of Canada. Parliament, represented by administrations in the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament and the Parliamentary Protective Service, leads the engagement on parliamentary requirements within their respective organizations and through established parliamentary committees. The Government of Canada, represented by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), is the federal steward of the buildings and grounds in the Parliamentary Precinct and leads on the financial management, planning and delivery of the LTVP based on Parliament’s established functional requirements. This split in accountability for the LTVP brings with it a degree of risk in decision making that is managed through governance structures at the administrative levels between PSPC and the parliamentary administrations, as well as through engagement with separate sub-committees of the House of Commons’ Board of Internal Economy and the Senate’s Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

A flow chart of the governance bodies of the Long Term Vision and Plan. See image description below.
Image description of the governance bodies of the Long Term Vision and Plan

An organizational chart showcasing how the Parliament, the Cabinet and the Treasury Board are related to the LTVP. There are 8 levels in the chart.

Level 1


Level 2

The House of Commons

  • the Speaker or Board of Internal Economy (BOIE)
  • the House administration and accommodation requirements accountability
  • the House of Commons working group on the LTVP

The Senate of Canada

  • the Speaker or Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA)
  • the Senate administration and accommodation requirements accountability
  • the Senate subcommittee on the LTVP.

The Library of Parliament and Parliamentary Protective Service, which are accountable to both speakers, is placed between the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada.

Level 3

A 2-way arrow connects the House of Commons to the level below it. This level is labelled, administration standards and requirements.

A 2-way arrow connects the Senate of Canada to to the level below it. This level is labelled administration standards and requirements.

Level 4

A 1-way arrow points down from the level above to:


  • the Parliamentary Precinct Oversight Committee (DM and Clerk)
  • the Parliamentary Precinct Planning Committee (ADM)
  • the Parliamentary Precinct Joint Steering Committee (DG)

Level 5

A 1-way arrow points up to the level above to:

PSPC administration

  • portfolio management
  • budget
  • planning and design
  • project delivery.

A line goes from PSPC administration to:

  • the National Capital Commission
  • the Federal Heritage Building Review Office (Parks Canada)
  • Heritage Canada.

Level 6

A 2-way arrow points to the levels above and below:


  • custodial accountability
  • the Minister

Level 7

Treasury Board

Level 8


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