Ottawa Tourism

Changing of the Guard

Late June through late August

Every summer morning Parliament Hill is alive with music and colourful drills. The Changing of the Guard began as a morning routine on the Hill in 1959, and has turned into an annual tradition. This large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. each morning, but arrive about 15 minutes early to grab a spot with a great view.

Fast Facts

  • The ceremony begins on Parliament Hill at 10:00 a.m. sharp each morning, following a march by the Guard from its Cartier Square Drill Hall just south of Parliament Hill and up Elgin Street.
  • The Ceremonial Guard is assembled from two regiments – the Governor General’s Footguards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards – and also has its own regimental band and pipers who perform in the ceremony.
  • Most of the Ceremonial Guardsmen taking part in the ceremony are university and college students; all are primary reservists in the Canadian Forces.
  • Performances are free of charge. For best viewing, arrive on Parliament Hill at 9:45 a.m.