Rehabilitating the Government Conference Centre and office accommodation

I am Thierry Montpetit with the Parliamentary Precinct Branch of Public Services and Procurement Canada. We’re standing in the concourse of the Government Conference Center. This magnificent space will be housing the Senate Chamber. Workers are starting to install the superstructure there will be supporting the viewing gallery and the concourse is accommodating of the Chamber because of the large space that is available and the very beautiful heritage ceiling above us that will be restored. We’re now standing in the ticketing block. The amount of work is substantial. You can’t really appreciate this work as you’re passing by outside the building. But this is obviously a very old building and to bring it up to current building codes, to bring it up to current seismic codes, takes a lot of work. You can see workers have removed floor slabs. We’re restructuring the building, putting in new staircases to make the building absolutely serviceable for the years to come. So the building sits in a very very prominent location right next to the National War Memorial. The building is also completely scaffolded right now. This will allow us to do much needed masonry repair and masonry cleaning while at the same time addressing, repairing, and stripping all the corroded cast-iron windows. What’s special about this building is its Beaux Arts classical style. It’s actually a quarter scale replica of Pennsylvania train station in New York City, which was demolished in 1966 and we’re very lucky here in Ottawa to have one of the last surviving original train stations of that particular vintage.

Paul Whisler

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