East Block and the Supreme Court

As I mentioned in an earlier post, last Sunday I biked downtown and has a nice tourist afternoon exploring this amazing city (Ottawa). Being a tourist in my own town is one of my favourite things to do, especially when I haven’t been able to travel to anywhere new in awhile. It is great fun in all seasons, but of course it is a little easier in the summer. Plus there are several tours here that only run in the summer, or run more often in the summer, because we have far more tourists then.

Both the tours I took on Sunday were also free, making this a great idea, like me, your budget is a little tight. In Ottawa, my favourite free tour is the Parliament Centre Block tour, which I have posted about before. I’ve done that tour multiple times with different visitors to the city, and I’ll do it any time just to get a glimpse at the Parliament Library. That tour runs year-round, but the East Block tour only runs from July to early September, so Sunday was my last-ditch attempt to get to it before they stop for the season.

The East Block tour is a chance to see offices that have been restored to how they would have been in 1872, just after Canada’s confederation. We started with the Governor General’s office:

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Then moved to the Prime Minister’s office down the hall:2015-08-30 13.42.14 2015-08-30 13.44.47 2015-08-30 13.44.37And ended up in the Cabinet, which had by far the most impressive crown molding I have ever seen!
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Our tour guide was fantastic, very enthusiastic and he seemed to know something about every item in the room. If you ever end up in Ottawa in the summer don’t miss out on this tour, it is often less busy than the Centre Block tour and totally worth it. I love seeing how people actually lived in the past and even though these offices belonged to the most powerful men in Canada at the time, I still think they give great insight into what it was like to live here in the 1870s.

After that tour I biked past Centre Block….

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…and West Block (they are doing major renovations to the exterior. I love the new copper roof, it is a shame it oxidizes so quickly)…2015-08-30 14.36.27

…and I ended up at the Supreme Court!2015-08-30 15.32.38 2015-08-30 14.43.14

This building is incredibly imposing both inside and out. They run tours on the hour (English) and half hour (French) in the summer, and by appointment in the winter.
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We got to see a Federal Court/Federal Court of Appeals (apparently they use this room for both types of court proceedings).2015-08-30 15.09.14 2015-08-30 15.07.56

And then went upstairs to the actual Supreme Court.
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The whole building is quintessential Art Deco, and I love all the intricate details, like this beautiful chandelier. The emphasis on symmetry is also interesting, since it seems to outweigh any practical concerns, to beautiful effect. 2015-08-30 15.11.05 2015-08-30 15.31.26

The view from behind the Supreme Court is an unusual aspect of the Parliament Library, and Notre Dame and the National Gallery in the background. This whole area is incredibly picturesque.2015-08-30 15.37.24

What a fun Sunday! I also managed to get to Gatineau Park and explore there during the week, but that will have to wait for another post. This is already quite long enough! Monday is a holiday here in Canada (Labour Day) so I’ll be delaying my usual post until Tuesday. All of this reading about simple living is helping me to notice areas of self-imposed stress in my life, and start to address them. And trying to force myself to post on a holiday is definitely an area of stress. So no more! Instead, I’ll be back on Tuesday 😉

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the holiday if you have one!

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2 Responses to East Block and the Supreme Court

  1. Pingback: Blog Catchup – Mackenzie King Estate | One Stitch, One Step

  2. Pingback: 2015 Year in Review | One Stitch, One Step

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