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Tour Ontario’s Historic and Political Landmarks
The most iconic landmark of Ottawa and the Canadian government as a whole would have to be Parliament Hill. Its stunning location on the southern banks of the Ottawa River, can’t be missed. With Gothic Revival architecture and a castle-like appearance, this one is quite the looker.
Learn all about its interesting past as a military base in the 18th and 19th centuries. It wasn’t developed into a governmental precinct until Queen Victoria made Ottawa the capital of Canada back in 1859.
Another government site worth checking out is the Department of National Defense (DND), the largest department of the Canadian government in terms of budget and staff. It was formed by the passage of the National Defense and then it joined forces with the Department of Militia and Defense with the Department of Naval Services and the Air Board. It has over 6,000 buildings so you’ll definitely have plenty to see while you’re there.
Department of National Defence
The National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa is the hub of information and activity for the Canada Department of National Defence. The main building is named Major-General George R. Pearkes Building.
Ontario Legislative Building
Constructed in 1893, the Ontario Legislative Building, located in downtown Toronto, houses prominent Canadian figures like the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and offices for members of the provincial parliament.
Altogether, the building is five stories tall with a multitude of separate wings and add-ons occurring throughout the years.
The impressive structure is surrounded by Queen's Park and is near University of Toronto. No matter your reason for visiting Toronto and the extended metro area, be sure to take a tour of the Ontario Legislative Building.
South Central Ontario travelers who schedule a visit to the Capital City of Ottawa, have the opportunity to see a wonderful variety of museums, attractions and historical sites. One must-see historical site is Parliament Hill, located in downtown Ottawa along the Ottawa River. This area of Crown Land was originally home to a military base named Barrack Hill, during the 18th and 19th centuries.
By 1859, construction began on the Gothic Revival style parliament buildings, with Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales laying the cornerstone for the Centre Block, in September 1860. After construction halted for a few years, the Parliament was finally completed in 1876. After the Centre Block was destroyed by a fire, in 1916, Governor General Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught re-laid the cornerstone to start its rebuilding. It took eleven years to complete the construction of the new tower. Numerous significant events have occurred at The Hill, including the 1939 visit by King George VI, the reigning Canadian sovereign, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth.
Tour this 952,391 square feet of land to see the quadrangle of buildings, all National Historic Sites of Canada, the numerous statues, the memorials and the Summer Gazebo of Carpenter Gothic style. The statue of Queen Victoria, the country's first monarch, was dedicated in 1901 by her grandson Prince George, Duke of Cornwall and York. Monuments include the Victoria Tower Bell and the Centennial Flame. During the summer, visit The Hill for Mosaika, the spectacular thirty-minute free light and music show. While in the area, be sure to include a visit to the Rideau Canal, located to the east of The Hill. Enjoy your time in Central Ontario as a guest of Best Western hotels, where comfortable accommodations await.