National War Memorial to close to public during restoration

The National War Memorial will be closed to the public for close to seven months beginning in April as it undergoes what the federal government calls "a major restoration."

Restoration work to finish in early November

Sgt. Kyle Button salutes as he stands in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The memorial will close to the public for close to seven months in 2016. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The National War Memorial will be closed to the public for close to seven months beginning in April as it undergoes what the federal government calls "a major restoration."

Public Services and Procurement Canada said the memorial, at the intersection of Elgin and Wellington streets in Ottawa, will be inaccessible to the public from the second week of April until early November.

The federal government says the restoration will consist of completing structural slab replacement, replacing damaged pavers where needed, repairing damaged areas of the Cenotaph and refurbishing the bronze statues.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier would be "preserved and protected" throughout the project, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Pedestrians and vehicles should be able to move around the site during the work, but the memorial itself will be off-limits to the public.

Public interest in the National War Memorial and attendance at annual Remembrance Day ceremonies held there has grown since the shooting death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was guarding the monument on Oct. 22, 2014.

The memorial was first unveiled in 1939 to commemorate the response of Canadians in the First World War.

People place poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial following the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 11, 2015. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)