Video: Renovating the Centre Block

Built between 1916 and 1927, the Centre Block building is possibly Canada's most important national symbol. An icon of Canadian democracy, Centre Block has inspired millions upon millions of people who visit Parliament Hill.

In 2018, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) embarked on the largest heritage restoration project that Canada has ever seen. The objective: to preserve this majestic piece of our nation's 150-year history for generations to come.

Watch this video from 2017, before the project began.

Transcript of Renovating the Centre Block

Start of video

[Music plays]

[Shot of the Parliament building outside.]

[Shot of the House of Commons.]

[Shot of the interior of the Senate.]

(Shot of the seats and wall paintings in the Senate.]

At the heart of Canada's democracy ... is our Parliament ... home to the two chambers the House of Commons and the Senate.

Canadians know it as the backdrop for events and ceremonies ...

It's also where the issues of the day are debated and the laws of the country are made.

[A fast-moving time-lapse shot of people moving.]

Hundreds of thousands of people tour inside every year.

[Shot of an old black and white photo of the Parliament building in 1916.]

[Shot of the Parliament building on fire.]

[Shot of an old newspaper called The Citizen dated Friday, February 4, 1916.]

[Text on screen: Parliament Building, Housing Commons and Senate, Destroyed by Fire; Several Lives Lost and Many Thrilling Escapes are Recorded.}

[Black and white shot of the Library of Parliament.]

[Close-up black and white shot of the Parliament building being rebuilt.]

[Wide angled black and white shot of the Parliament building being rebuilt.]

But on February 3, 1916, some 100 years ago, fire stormed the Centre Block. Seven Canadians died. Only the Library of Parliament survived. Even as we fought in the First World War, the Centre Block was rebuilt.

[Pan shot from the bottom of Parliament to the top of the Peace Tower.]

The Peace Tower, with its Memorial Chamber and carillon, is our living memorial to over 60,000 Canadians who died for our country.

[Shot of a hand signing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.]

In April 1982, our Constitution was repatriated and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms was created.

[Shot of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the Queen of England sitting at a desk surrounded by people.]

Our Charter keeps our freedoms alive.

[A fast-moving time-lapse shot of a crowd of people on Parliament Hill on July 1.]

Canadians come here to celebrate, hold rallies, and even exercise …

[Close-up shot of a painting in the Library of Parliament.]

[Close-up shot of drainage and conduit piping.]

[Close-up shot of a marble wall and column.]

With the exception of the Library of Parliament, there has been no major rehabilitation of the Centre Block in over 100 years.

[Shot of detailed drawings of the Centre Block ceiling sculptures.]

Now, the Centre Block needs our help.

[Shot of one of the Parliament building towers with scaffolding.]

[Shot of two construction workers and an engineer looking at a laptop computer.]

Our rehabilitation efforts will fully restore and modernize this iconic building while preserving its architectural heritage.

[A panning top-to-bottom shot of one of the towers on the roof of the Parliament building. Two workers can be seen working on the roof.]

Many tradespeople and professionals will contribute their expertise.

Thousands of jobs for Canadians will be created.

[A shot of the Rideau Canal with the Parliament Hill in the background.]

[A shot of scaffolding around a brick wall.]

This important building and the people who work here must be protected.

[A shot of a crane close to a brick wall.]

It will be the largest heritage rehabilitation project of its kind in Canada.

[A shot of the Parliamentary flame at Centre Block with the Parliament in the background.]

We want the Centre Block to remain at the heart of our democracy as we build on our past for tomorrow.

[Music stops]

(Canada Wordmark)

End of video

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