Senate won’t fully move out of Centre Block until end of year, reno delayed

Parliament Hill’s iconic Centre Block won’t be shutting down this summer, delaying the start of a badly needed renovation until at least next year.

Centre Block
The Centre Block of Canadian Parliament. Photo by DXR via Wikimedia Commons.

The Senate has announced it will not officially move out of its current home until the end of this calendar year and a similar decision is expected later today for the House of Commons.

Federal officials overseeing a massive renovation of the buildings that make up the parliamentary precinct had planned to close the Centre Block for a decade-long rehab starting this year.

Canadian Senate, Centre Block
The red chamber of the Canadian Senate. Photo by Saffron Blaze via Wikimedia Commons.

The Senate’s internal economy committee approved a phased-in moving schedule this morning that will relocate senators’ offices in the fall to temporary quarters in Ottawa’s former downtown railway station.

But the final move out of Centre Block will not occur until late December because their temporary home isn’t quite ready.

Senators say the phased transition won’t add to the renovation budget.

Renovating one of the country’s most iconic buildings is a massively complex project that has been years in the making, including creating a temporary House of Commons chamber inside the West Block.

Rehabilitating the parliamentary buildings is expected to cost more than $1 billion once all work is complete.

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