The seat of Canada's federal government and the setting for national celebrations the year round, Parliament Hill is the most visited Ottawa attraction. Truly a must-see!
- The Parliament Buildings are set on a dramatic hill overlooking the Ottawa River.
- The original structure burned to the ground in a tragic fire in 1916 - except for the Library, which was saved by a quick-thinking employee who closed the Library's massive steel doors.
- Free guided tours are available daily, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Schedule varies.
- There are hundreds of individual gargoyles, grotesques, reliefs and bosses carved into the stonework of the buildings, including four looking out from high on each corner of the Peace Tower.
- The 53-bell carillon in the Peace Tower marks each quarter hour; the Dominion Carilloneur performs daily free concerts.
- Each morning during summer months, the front lawn of Parliament Hill is the setting of the daily Changing the Guard ceremony; each evening the public is invited to gather again to witness the awe-inspiring Sound and Light show - spectacular lighting effects and stunning giant images projected on the Parliament Buildings set to words and music. Both events are free.
- Parliament Hill is the focal point for Canada Day celebrations each July 1, with hundreds of thousands gathering for great entertainment and the massive fireworks finale.
- The grounds of Parliament Hill are dotted with numerous sculptures of important Canadians.
- In December, the Hill is bathed in the colours of thousands of lights as one of the premier sites of the Christmas Lights Across Canada.