Photos

The replacement House of Commons is just about ready

MPs will start moving into the new chamber in a few weeks and stay there for about a decade.

MPs move into the new space in West Block over the holiday break

The new chamber exists within what was the courtyard for West Block. (Max Paris/CBC)

Speaker Geoff Regan has the key to the new chamber and MPs will start moving in to the new House of Commons soon. 

Minister of Public Services Carla Qualtrough handed over the ceremonial key for the new building Thursday. 

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Geoff Regan, received a ceremonial key to the newly-renovated West Block of Parliament on Thursday. MPs will move in after their December break, and will hold sittings there for the next 10 years while Centre Block is closed for rehabilitation. 0:27

The new House of Commons is located in what used to be the outdoor courtyard of the West Block building.

The 159-year-old building has undergone seven years of renovations and repairs to get ready for the move, which starts next month. 

It will host MPs during an estimated decade-long restoration of Centre Block, its neighbour and building under the Peace Tower.

A look at one of the new desks that MPs will soon be pounding on to make their points. (Jonathan DuPaul/CBC)

A glass roof was suspended over the courtyard space to keep out the elements, but let in natural light.

All of the masonry was restored and repaired over the seven year renovation project. (Max Paris/CBC)

The covering doesn't actually rest on any part of the old structure but is supported by 20 giant steel columns planted inside the courtyard. 

The new chamber has the feel of a building within a building.

A view inside the courtyard, but just outside the new House of Commons. (Max Paris/CBC)

To reach the galleries, visitors will cross over a bridge from the old exterior building to the new interior one.

A look at the hallway where the public will come in before taking their seats in the public gallery to see MPs debate. (Max Paris/CBC)

Seats are arranged arena style and look down on the floor where the public can watch Members of Parliament debate the issues of the day.

The new building and public galleries are wheelchair accessible. 

The coat of arms for the Northwest Territories, one of the many intricate details in the new House of Commons. (Max Paris/CBC)