Politics

An inside look at the new House of Commons

The West Block will act as a temporary home for the House of Commons for the next 10 years as the Centre Block closes for construction.

In January, MPs will move across the parliamentary precinct to the West Block

The West Block will be home to the House of Commons starting in January, as the Centre Block closes for renovations. 1:09

In January, MPs will move across the parliamentary precinct from the Centre Block to the newly renovated West Block.

The building will act as a temporary home for the House of Commons for the next 10 years as the Centre Block closes for construction.

The interim House of Commons chamber is seen during a media tour of the renovated West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The West Block closed in 2011 for its $863 million makeover. It was the first step in a three-stage revitalization of heritage buildings across the parliamentary precinct.

The renovations doubled the square footage of the West Block and the excavated bedrock could fill 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The glass roof above the interim House of Commons chamber is seen during a media tour of the renovated West Block on Friday. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Besides rehabilitation work on the original West Block, the most striking addition is the permanent courtyard infill and its glass canopy, which will house the House of Commons. 

The glass used for the ceiling in the temporary House of Commons chamber is large enough to cover a football field. Some 5,000 assembly parts and 30,000 bolts are being used in the West Block's roof structure.

A view down the corridor in West Block, outside the new temporary home for the House of Commons. (Julie van Dusen/CBC)

​Similar to Centre Block, seven underground tunnels will connect to the building. There will also be committee rooms and offices inside. 

A closer view of the interim House of Commons chamber is shown Friday. (Canadian Press)