Politics

Curtain slowly lifts on Parliament's revamped West Block

Final construction work on Parliament's West Block is on track to wrap up this spring, says Public Service and Procurement Canada. Once completed, the heritage building is expected to act as the temporary home for the House of Commons for 10 years.

Renovations on track to wrap up in spring 2018, says Public Services and Procurement Canada

Workers pose inside the West Block as renovation work on heritage buildings in the Parliamentary precinct continues. (Marie Lemay/Twitter)

Workers are putting the final touches on Parliament Hill's revamped West Block, which is set to act as a temporary home for the House of Commons for the next 10 years.

New photos shared on Twitter by the deputy minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada are offering a sneak peek at the heritage building's $863 million makeover.

Final construction work on the building is on track to be completed this spring, said department spokesperson Pierre-Alain Bujold.

Some 5,000 assembly parts and 30,000 bolts are being used in the West Block's roof structure. (Marie Lemay/Twitter)

The construction of a four-level underground visitor centre and the rehabilitation of the government conference centre — once home to Ottawa's central train station — are also expected to wrap up this spring, Bujold said.

Besides rehabilitation work on the original West Block, the most striking addition is the permanent courtyard infill and its glass canopy, which will welcome MPs once the House of Commons makes its temporary move from Centre Block.

A decision on the details of the move, including dates and timing, will be made before Parliament rises this spring, Bujold said.

Rehabilitation work continues at Parliament Hill's West Block, set to be the temporary home of the House of Commons while work on Centre Block continues. (Marie Lemay/Twitter)

In the meantime, workers are focused on making sure the West Block's facilities, including multimedia and security systems, are ready by moving day.

Massive revitalization plan

Renovation of the West Block began in 2011 — the first step in a three-stage revitalization of heritage buildings across the Parliamentary precinct.

Once work on the West Block has ended, workers will begin renovating Centre Block and then East Block.

An artist's rendition of what the temporary House of Commons chamber will look like. Once it is no longer needed in that role, the space will be converted to six Commons committee rooms. (Public Works and Government Services Canada)

The West Block will serve as a temporary home for the House of Commons once work begins on Centre Block.

During that time, West Block will also house four committee rooms and offices for the prime minister, House officers, party leaders and party whips.

Once the House of Commons has moved back into a renovated Centre Block, the West Block will again serve as a parliamentary building, housing six committee rooms and offices for 52 MPs and their staff.

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