Architecture and Rehabilitation
The Senate’s permanent home is in Parliament’s Centre Block, but the Upper Chamber presently operates out of the Senate of Canada Building on Rideau Street, just steps from Parliament Hill. The Senate moved into the historic former train station in February 2019 and will occupy this temporary location while Centre Block is rehabilitated. Senators also have offices in East Block, the oldest of the three heritage buildings on Parliament Hill.
Senate of Canada Building: the Senate’s temporary home
The Senate of Canada Building hosts the temporary Red Chamber, where senators representing all of Canada’s regions meet to debate legislation and issues of importance to Canadians. Built in 1912 and originally Ottawa’s central train station, you can still see the grandeur of the building’s early 20th-century style and original Beaux-Arts exterior. Extensive renovations have given this historic structure a new lease on life.
Centre Block: the Senate’s permanent home under rehabilitation
Built immediately after a fire destroyed the original structure in 1916, Centre Block is one of Canada’s most iconic buildings. It is the permanent home of the Senate and House of Commons chambers. The soaring Peace Tower is immediately recognizable and has become an important symbol of Canada. Except for the Library of Parliament, Centre Block has undergone no major renovations since its opening in 1920.
The modernization of Centre Block — which required the building to close to the public in late 2018 — is the largest, most ambitious heritage rehabilitation project ever seen in Canada. The Senate’s Subcommittee on Long Term Vision and Plan is overseeing this unique program, as well as the construction of the new Parliament Welcome Centre.
For an exclusive view of Centre Block’s rehabilitation, follow the Senate’s Front & Centre series on social media (#FrontAndCentre) and on YouTube.
Learn more about the history and architecture of the Senate’s three iconic buildings.
Front & Centre in motion
Explore the "Front & Centre" video series on the Senate’s YouTube channel for fascinating and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Centre Block’s rehabilitation.
Front & Centre in words
Visit SenCAplus, the Senate’s online magazine, to read in-depth features about Centre Block’s rehabilitation, exclusive interviews with field experts and the Senate’s other heritage spaces and artefacts.