Just about every one of the guests at our downtown Ottawa bed and breakfast go and visit the Parliament Buildings which of course is one of the most visited attractions in Ottawa. After a wonderful breakfast at our Inn, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll to the Hill and take the guided tour. In the busy tourist season you will have to go the Visitor’s Tent and book a tour (they are free). Most people take the Centre Block tour and see the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Library. We would like to talk about the Turning of the Page ceremony which takes place every day at 11am in the Memorial Chamber in the Centre Block.
Construction of the Chamber began in
1923 and was open to the public on Remembrance Day in 1928. The Books of Remembrance contain the names of the men and women who died in service to Canada. There are seven books in total, which include names from the country’s first expeditions until the most recent missions. Both the overall style and the materials used reflect the solemnity and importance of the Memorial Chamber to Canada and to the countries where Canadians died. The floor is made of stone collected from the battlegrounds of Europe where Canadians fought in the First World War.
One of our guests recently attended the Turning of the Page ceremony which listed one of his relatives. The order of pages turned is based on a perpetual calendar system that ensures each name appears at least once yearly. With the date for each page set, family members can be present for the ceremony when the name of a relative is shown. You can email the office of the Deputy of the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrange a private viewing.
Much more information about the Memorial Chamber is available on the website that was unveiled in 2005 in conjunction with the Year of the Veteran. There is a virtual tour of the Chamber and also one of the Turning of the Page ceremony.
So when you are planning your visit to the Parliament Buildings make sure you see this important feature.