The former Bank of Montreal building at the intersection of Wellington and O'Connor streets in downtown Ottawa has been renamed after Canada's first prime minister.

The old bank, which is across the street from Parliament Hill's West Block, was renamed the Sir John A. Macdonald building at a ceremony Wednesday.

"As Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald played an instrumental role in forming our great country. It is a fitting tribute to name this building, which faces Parliament Hill, in his honour, on his 197th birthday," said Rona Ambrose, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women.

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Sir John A. Macdonald would have turned 197 this week, but which day is not quite clear. (Supplied photo)

The heritage building is currently undergoing a renovation which is slated for completion in 2015. Once completed, the building will serve as the Confederation Room to host ceremonial events and large meetings for Parliament.

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This week marked the 197th anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birthday, which is officially Jan. 10 but his birth certificate was not issued until Jan. 11.