Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario

The centrepiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape, Parliament Hill is the political and cultural heart of the city. The Parliament Buildings sit atop the Hill, the gorgeous Gothic-style structures overlooking the Ottawa River, as the politicians within debate the present and future issues of the country. Free guided tours are available daily, including a chance to head up to the Peace Tower for an incredible view of the city. During the year, the Hill is the focal point for a number of the biggest celebrations in the country: Canada Day (July 1) sees about a hundred thousand people descend upon the landmark for entertainment and a thrilling fireworks show, the summertime Sound and Light show is a nightly marvel, and Christmas Lights Across Canada illuminates the Hill like no other spot in the nation.

Fast Facts

  • 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 of 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.

Getting to Parliament Hill:



Parliament Hill Photos


Contact Information for Parliament Hill:

Telephone: 1-613-992-4793
Toll-Free Telephone: 1-866-599-4999






Visit the Parliament Hill Web Page