Visitors line up for Centre Block's farewell tour
Friday's your last chance to visit before Parliament Hill landmark closes for 10-year renovation
People lined up in the snow early Friday morning for a final chance to visit Centre Block before it closes for a decade for renovations.
Pierre-Olivier Phan-Lachapelle took the day off work and travelled from Montreal to take his first-ever tour of the Parliament Buildings.
"I wouldn't have the opportunity for 10 years. It made me really want to come," he said. "I'm a proud Canadian."
Darlene Svendsen also took the day off work to tour the soon-to-be-shuttered landmark. At almost 60, Svendsen said she's not sure when she'll get another chance.
"Who knows where I might be or what condition I might be in to walk around in there? So I thought, I'm not going to miss the opportunity if I can help it," Svendsen said.
Mario Desrochers was among the first in line at the ticket office across Wellington Street, arriving with his wife 45 minutes early.
"It will be closed for a long time, and I hope I will see the improved building in 10 years, so I would like to compare," Desrochers said.
Hayden Liao and her boyfriend, Sincere Wang, happened to be visiting Parliament Hill Friday morning when they heard it was the last day to visit Centre Block, and rushed to join the line for tour tickets.
"We're very lucky," Liao said. "We want to have a look."
Brigette Gomes lined up for tickets with her baby daughter tow.
"We haven't been yet and I've lived in Ottawa for about 13 years, so I figured now's the best time because it won't be there for another 10 [years]," Gomes said. "I figured, we can't start them too young on learning about their civics."
"We just wanted to see it with her before it's gone," said 15-year-old Ruby Kofoed, there with her sister Faye, 13. Their mother used to work in the building as a Parliamentary intern.
The House of Commons will be back in session on Jan. 28 in the newly restored West Block.
Guided tours of that temporary location, and of the Senate of Canada Building just down the street, start in February.