Parliament Welcome Centre

One of the key projects of the Long-Term Vision and Plan was to build a new, fully accessible Visitor Welcome Centre to greet visitors to Parliament Hill. We are expanding upon it to build the Parliament Welcome Centre.

On this page

A welcoming and secure space

We are building the Parliament Welcome Centre to increase our capacity to greet guests, enhance security and make Parliament Hill more accessible to its millions of visitors each year. The Centre is being designed and built in two phases.

Phase 1, known as the Visitor Welcome Centre, opened in January 2019.

Phase 2, known as the Parliament Welcome Centre, is now under construction. It will connect the West, Centre and East blocks into a fully integrated complex. It will also provide additional space to support Parliament’s day-to-day operations.

Image of Parliament Welcome Centre timeline – see long description below
Parliament Welcome Centre timeline

Phase 1: Visitor Welcome Centre: Opened in January 2019


Phase 2: Under construction: Will connect East, Centre and West block


Parliament Welcome Centre

Phase 1

The first phase, the Visitor Welcome Centre, is complete. It is a modern, 4-level underground complex. The centre is designed to blend perfectly with the historical structures and natural surroundings of Parliament Hill. It allows a physical connection to the West Block, which is where the House of Commons Chamber is now located.

A woman standing in front of the entrance to a building.

The entrance to the Visitor Welcome Centre is located on the west side of the Centre Block, accessed through a plaza where visitors can gather.

The interior of the Visitor Welcome Centre.

Inside, visitors find themselves in a bright and open space. It provides a modern, accessible and engaging entryway to the West Block.

The 21st-century security screening equipment helps ensure visitors, as well as people working on Parliament Hill, are safe and secure.

The Visitor Welcome Centre includes:

  • a security area
  • an information and ticketing area
  • gathering spaces
  • washrooms
  • a gift shop

Construction of phase 1

Phase 1 of the Parliament Welcome Centre was built at the same time as the restoration and modernization of the West Block. Both projects were completed in November 2018.

Restoring and modernizing the West Block

Here is a snapshot of the completed phase 1 project:

  • Scope: Build phase 1 of the Parliament Welcome Centre
  • Project status: Complete. Excavation for phase 1 began in 2015. Construction began in 2016 and the centre welcomed its first visitors for the return of Parliament in January 2019.
  • Approved budget: $130 million (excluding Harmonized Sales Tax). In addition to construction costs, the budget also included items such as:
    • planning, professional and consultant fees
    • architectural design fees
    • security measures
    • fit-up of interior spaces
    • furniture
    • information technology equipment
  • Economic impact: The overall project is estimated to have helped create or sustain approximately 600 jobs.
  • Design contract: Competitively awarded to IBI Group with Moriyama & Teshima Architects of Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Construction management services contract: Competitively awarded to PCL Constructors Canada Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario.

Videos about phase 1

Location of phase 1
Visitor Welcome Centre—Overview

Watch this video to see the parts of phase 1 and where each one is located.

The cornerstone at the Visitor Welcome Centre

A cornerstone is set at the western entrance of the Visitor Welcome Centre. It reads: “This stone was laid by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston Governor General of Canada.”

A look inside the Visitor Welcome Centre during construction

Watch a video of 2 students inviting you on the construction site as phase 1 was being built.

Phase 2

As part of the Centre Block project, we are now building phase 2 of the Parliament Welcome Centre. This construction work will expand the Visitor Welcome Centre to the east.

Latest progress on the Centre Block project

When completed, the Parliament Welcome Centre will offer Canadians an engaging visitor experience to supplement guided tours. It will also support parliamentarians, while ensuring the safe and secure movement of people, services and goods across the complex.

Related links

Page details

Date modified: