Public Services and Procurement Canada unveils design, scope and timelines for rehabilitation of Centre Block

Public Services and Procurement Canada unveils design, scope and timelines for rehabilitation of Centre Block

GATINEAU, QC, June 17, 2021 /CNW/ – Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is restoring and modernizing the Centre Block, Canada’s main Parliament Building, so that it meets the needs of a 21st-century Parliament and is accessible to Canadians and visitors for generations to come.

Today, PSPC provided an update on the progress of this historic project, including the presentation of concept designs for the Centre Block and the new Parliament Welcome Centre.

The rehabilitation of the Centre Block is the largest and most complex heritage rehabilitation ever seen in Canada. To ensure this heritage building can serve Canadians for another century, it needs to be carefully taken apart and rebuilt to integrate modern standards, including a reinforced structure, seismic upgrading, and new building and digital systems.

The restored Centre Block will be more accessible and secure through the addition of a new Parliament Welcome Centre. The Centre Block will also be transformed from one of the government’s highest-energy users and Greenhouse gas-emitting buildings into a carbon neutral facility.

Work is already underway to realize these goals, including careful demolition work on certain components and the abatement of hazardous materials inside the Centre Block, as well as excavation work for the Parliament Welcome Centre.

While a project of this complexity carries a degree of risk and uncertainty due to unforeseen challenges, the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre are targeted for completion in 2030/2031. Parliament will conduct extensive commissioning and testing before reopening the Centre Block. Costs are estimated to be between $4.5B and $5B for the Centre Block and Parliament Welcome Centre. As construction activities continue to ramp up, the project will ultimately create over 70,000 jobs with economic benefits for companies and Canadians across the country.


“The Centre Block is where democracy thrives, learning flourishes, and free expression is welcomed. As a place that represents all Canadians and our shared values, it is important to restore this iconic heritage site and modernize it so that it will serve Canadians for another century and beyond.”

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“The rehabilitation of Centre Block will ensure that this iconic building continues to serve the heart of Canada’s democracy well into the 21st century, and preserve its splendour for future generations. It is our country’s most important national symbol, and it has been entrusted to all Canadians for its care and preservation.”

The Hon. George J. Furey, Q.C., Speaker of the Senate of Canada

“For us, the Members of Parliament who serve our constituents, the Parliament Building is our town hall, our office, our home away from home, a place of reflection and reverence, and it is our duty to safeguard this space for parliamentarians and for all Canadians, today and in the future.”

Anthony Rota, Speaker for the House of Commons

“We applaud the Government of Canada for the high degree of design excellence being achieved on the most important architectural design work happening in Canada today. The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada celebrates the thoughtful approach and vision to restore and modernize Centre Block: a project that truly showcases architectural excellence in Canada.”

John Brown, FRAIC, President, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Quick facts

  • This is the most significant investment in the Centre Block since it was built over 100 years ago. This major overhaul and upgrade is necessary because the Centre Block did not meet modern codes and standards. The building’s systems and components were beyond their useful life and at increasing risk of failure prior to its closure. 
  • This highly complex project is a monumental endeavour of rehabilitation and modernization. The scale of this project is immense:
    • Approximately 10 million pounds of asbestos has already been removed from the building and over 20 million pounds is expected to be removed in total.
    • Approximately 40,000 truckloads of rock has to be excavated and will be recycled in construction building materials.
    • More than 20,000 heritage assets have to be carefully restored.
    • Over 1,600 windows have to be replaced, and approximately 250 stained glass windows restored.
    • The entire Centre Block will be placed on a grid of over 500 base isolators, which will act as giant shock absorbers to separate the building from seismic shock waves in the event of an earthquake and ensure the building meets modern building codes.
  • This project builds on and draws upon lessons from a series of major projects, including the West Block and the Senate of Canada Building, all completed on time and on budget.
    • The Centre Block is approximately 3.5 times the size of the West Block and has significantly more heritage elements to be preserved and restored. 
    • The West Block rehabilitation cost $863 million (2011-2018) and took 7 years to complete. This would equate to approximately $1.14B in 2021.
  • Energy consumption will be reduced by at least 75% and water consumption by over 50%. 
  • The new Parliament Welcome Centre will create a safe and secure environment for the functions of Parliament and an open, accessible space to welcome and engage school groups and the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Parliament each year. 
  •  Today, an average of 400 workers are on-site daily, with the number expected to increase to over 1,500 workers at the project’s peak. PSPC is targeting to subcontract at least 5% of current and future work on this project to Indigenous firms. As well, 90% of the work delivered will flow to small and medium enterprises across Canada.
  • PSPC has been working hand- in-hand with its parliamentary partners, including the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons, and the Library of Parliament, to establish operational and functional requirements and to develop the design. More than 150 experts have contributed to the design concept.
  • The design has benefited from an independent review process carried out in partnership with the National Capital Commission and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. This review and feedback process involved a group of eminent Canadian architects and design professionals as well as a former architect of the U.S. Capitol, who was responsible to the American Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court for the operation and maintenance of the buildings and lands of Capitol Hill. The group has helped refine the current design. 
  • PSPC retained an internationally recognized, third-party cost estimator (Turner & Townsend) to provide an independent validation of the cost estimates for the rehabilitation of the Centre Block and the construction of the Parliament Welcome Centre.

Associated links


Centre Block Rehabilitation Project

Balancing the Conservation and Renewal of Canada’s Most Iconic Site

The restoration and modernization of Centre Block led by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the centrepiece of the Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct. Through this rehabilitation project, the building and grounds will be carefully adapted to meet the requirements of the Parliament of Canada, as well as 21st-century expectations for sustainability, security and accessibility—while protecting and conserving their heritage character, qualities and features.

Given the heritage value and deteriorating state of the building, this work is important and necessary, and presents tremendous technical and design challenges. Achieving the balance between conservation and renewal is one of the project’s greatest challenges. To address this, PSPC has engaged heritage conservation specialists with the design lead (CENTRUS) and the construction manager (PCL/EllisDon) to ensure heritage conservation requirements guide all aspects of the project. This included the development of a comprehensive asset-level inventory and condition assessment, a conservation management plan, and a heritage impact assessment process. Collectively, these efforts will ensure the conservation of heritage value assets, as set out in the National Historic Site and Classified Federal Heritage designations.

In addition, a Conservation Management Team is in place to guide this work, and includes experienced heritage conservation experts from the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, PSPC and the Canadian Conservation Institute, among others. This group advises on all activities to protect and preserve the thousands of elements that make up Centre Block’s irreplaceable living decorative program, including sculptures, murals, stained glass and light fixtures, as well as the commemorative monuments across the site.

Guided by the original design intent for the landscape and building, the goals of the heritage restoration  program are to: ·   

  • conserve the heritage value and symbolic meaning of Parliament Hill and Centre Block as the physical expression of Canada’s history, identity, and parliamentary democracy;
  • reinforce Parliament Hill and Centre Block as a coherent, three-dimensional composition, or “Total Work of Art”;
  • reinstate the intended range of sequences and experiences, as well as the intended interrelationships among the site, the functions and activities, the buildings, the landscape, and the people;
  • reveal and preserve the original Beaux-Arts design of Centre Block;
  • strengthen the connection between Parliament Hill and Centre Block through the reinstatement of a dignified entry sequence that builds on historic patterns and reinforces their character-defining attributes; and
  • reinforce the primacy and central position of Centre Block on Parliament Hill and within the Parliamentary Precinct and the National Capital.

Work is being carried out meticulously to protect the living decorative program, a vital expression of Canada’s parliamentary democracy, history, and nationhood. From intricate wood and stone carvings to historic lighting and paintings, these decorative and artistic works are being individually assessed, catalogued, protected and conserved, either off-site or in place. Elements that cannot be removed, such as decorative plaster ceilings and some ornate stone and wood sculptures, will be covered and protected in their current location. This work includes:

  • assessing, cataloguing, and protecting more than 20,000 heritage assets, such as the hand-painted linen ceiling in the House of Commons, in preparation for subsequent restoration;
  • removing 400 historic windows and restoring approximately 250 stained glass windows;
  • removing more than 170 heritage light fixtures, some weighing more than 1,540 kilograms;
  • removing, protecting, and storing 50 painted art works:
    • 15 frescoes
    • 10 Pusterla murals
    • 17 Crisp murals
    • 8 war paintings
  • Covering and protecting marble columns, wood flooring and stairwell railings throughout the building for the remainder of the project.

PSPC is also leveraging innovative techniques such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) to support heritage conservation. These digital models will enable the Centre Block team to create 3D representations of heritage assets such as sculptures, grotesques, carvings, woodworking elements, and assist conservation specialists in their work.

Balancing heritage conservation and respectful adaptation to meet contemporary requirements, while embodying 21st-century cultural aspirations, is neither quick nor simple—it involves consultation and engagement with a diverse array of stakeholders and authorities, and consideration of a broad range of perspectives. Requirements must be studied and preliminary designs prepared to understand their implications for the historic landscape and building.

This important work will ensure that visitors to Parliament Hill and Centre Block can continue to enjoy these emblems of Canada’s parliamentary heritage for another century.

For more information watch:

Centre Block project construction update
Protecting the heritage features of the Centre Block
The treasures of the archaeological excavations of Parliament Hill  


Centre Block Rehabilitation Project

Preserving Canada’s Indigenous Culture and Heritage

Centre Block is one of Canada’s most iconic buildings and a symbol of our democracy and values. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is ensuring that the rehabilitated Centre Block truly represents Canada’s rich diversity and Indigenous heritage.

Through the rehabilitation, the many existing Indigenous symbols and art pieces found throughout the building will be restored and reinstated. For example, the “Giniigaaniimenaaning” stained glass window, commissioned to commemorate the survivors of Indian Residential Schools and their families, was removed for protection for the duration of the project and will be reinstalled above the members’ entrance to the House of Commons.

Early on in the project, PSPC engaged with representatives from the Algonquin Nation to explain the work that will be undertaken, with a commitment to incorporating Indigenous design into the new Parliament Welcome Centre. As part of this process, PSPC intends to carry out broader engagements through a Visioning Session, where members will include Elders and Indigenous experts and academics, These members will bring external perspectives to the rehabilitation of the Centre Block and construction of the Parliament Welcome Centre, along with increasing opportunities for Indigenous historic, artistic and cultural elements to be included.

PSPC has also worked with the National Indigenous Organizations and with the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Algonquin of Pikwakanagan on the creation of Indigenous content for interpretive panels that will line the front of the Centre Block construction site. One panel will focus on the collaborative work to authenticate a stone knife (Mòkomàn) discovered on Parliament Hill as part of the archaeological work carried out in preparation for the Centre Block project. PSPC and the two Algonquin communities are working together to transfer the artifact to the Algonquin Nation, and to develop an Indigenous archaeological field school to ensure that Indigenous people are conducting this important archaeological work.

PSPC is also creating opportunities for Indigenous firms by targeting to subcontract at least 5% of the work on current and future work on this project to Indigenous firms. For instance, PSPC is working to develop apprenticeship programs in a variety of trades to encourage more Indigenous peoples to take part in projects in the Parliamentary Precinct. PSPC is co-developing a pilot project with the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario to increase Indigenous labour market participation in projects in the Precinct and the National Capital Area. The project will first focus its work on the Centre Block program to develop a “proof of concept” approach, including a “concierge” package to assist winning bidders.


Centre Block Rehabilitation Project

An Accessible and Inclusive Parliament Building

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is restoring and modernizing the Centre Block, making it more welcoming and accessible for all Canadians and ensuring the building meets the needs of a 21st century Parliament.

Universal accessibility is at the core of the Centre Block rehabilitation.  All aspects, including the corridor width, washrooms, lighting, acoustics, and even the choice of furniture are being carefully thought out to provide an inclusive, accessible, and comfortable environment.

The addition of the Parliament Welcome Centre is key to achieving this objective, allowing Canada’s Parliament to become both more secure and accessible, so that all visitors can engage in our country’s parliamentary tradition and democratic processes. 

Transforming the previously inaccessible courtyards into useable space is also central to efforts to making the Centre Block universally accessible while respecting the building’s heritage structure and without interfering with the operations of Parliament. The enclosed courtyards will provide the space needed for visitors to transition from the Parliament Welcome Centre to the Centre Block, and will provide access to the galleries of both Chambers.  The courtyards will accommodate large elevators and offer wide corridors. With these new spaces, the number of visitors to Parliament will more than double from 350,000 per year to over 700,000, providing more school groups the opportunity to visit and connect with Parliament. 

Building on the work of both the newly restored West Block and Senate of Canada Building, the Centre Block will offer an accessible, barrier-free path on all floors. Accessibility through inclusive design includes:      

  • Tactile Walking Surface Indicators at the top of all stairs;
  • Larger washroom fit-up including:
    • Adult changing tables
    • Grab bars
    • Emergency alarms buttons
    • Visual strobes alarms
  • Handrails for stairs that respond to universal accessibility best practices, potentially in addition to heritage handrails;
  • Touch-free and Power Door Operators;
  •  Inclusion of braille, tactile elements and/or QR Codes on building signage and wayfinding;
  • Service Counters/Receptions Counters with lower section of the counter with knee space; and
  • Assistive listening devices for persons with hearing impairments.

The Senate and House of Commons Galleries, Chambers and committee rooms will also be reconfigured to allow for accessible seating, something that was not possible in the past.

The Parliamentary Precinct intends to be a leading example in the development of accessible environments, making the site and buildings more accessible, family-friendly and inclusive of all Canadians and visitors.

For more information watch: Centre Block project construction update  


Centre Block Rehabilitation Project

A Green and Sustainable Parliament Building

Public Services and Procurement Canada is restoring and modernizing the buildings and grounds of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct, including the iconic Centre Block. This heritage building will be carefully restored and modernized to serve a modern parliamentary democracy and be accessible to all Canadians.

Centre Block will also be transformed from one of the government’s least-performing buildings, with one of the highest energy usages and greenhouse gas emission rates, into a carbon-neutral facility.

Centre Block, with its open courtyards, weathered building envelope and fatigued building systems, consumed a significant amount of energy per square metre to operate and maintain occupant comfort. In fact, Centre Block was the largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter per metres squared in the PSPC portfolio. Several factors contributed the building’s energy inefficiency, including:

  • lack of insulation in the masonry walls;
  • very little insulation in the roof;
  • inefficient and leaking single-pane windows;
  • lack of proper ventilation in approximately 60% of the building;
  • lack of cooling in approximately 70% of the building; and
  • century-old and inefficient mechanical systems that needed to run continuously year-round.

To make Centre Block energy-efficient, the building will undergo modern upgrades. To start, the building’s existing windows will be replaced with new, energy-efficient windows that also conserve its heritage character. Insulation will be added to key areas of the walls and roofs, and air infiltration will be reduced to improve the energy efficiency. The courtyards will be covered with glass roofs, decreasing the exterior wall area by more than 33% and significantly reducing heat loss.

As a key efficiency measure, the building systems will be adapted to draw on a renewed District Energy System, delivering clean energy to Parliament Hill from the Cliff Central Heating and Cooling Plant as part of the Energy Services Acquisition Program. This will provide the building’s heating and chilled water needs. The new building systems will enhance indoor air quality and thermal comfort while improving reliability and minimizing ongoing maintenance costs. As well, a network of geothermal wells will store excess heat energy from the building to be reused when needed, increasing the overall efficiency and lowering the energy demands of Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre.

For more information watch: Centre Block project construction update  


Centre Block Rehabilitation Project

A Modern Parliament Building For A Modern Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is restoring and modernizing the buildings and grounds of Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct. Through this rehabilitation project, Centre Block will become sustainable, accessible, and modern while celebrating the architectural style of the building and conserving its heritage elements.   

To ensure that the Centre Block can support modern parliamentary operations for another century, it needs to be taken apart carefully, undergo an extensive abatement program and be rebuilt to integrate modern standards including structure, seismic, and new building and digital systems

With 100 years of wear and tear and a high risk of critical systems failure, the building required massive intervention.

As well, all major building systems, such as mechanical and electrical, were well beyond their expected life cycle. They were increasingly failing and becoming more costly to maintain, and were unable to meet reasonable expectations for a professional workplace in the 21st century, let alone Canada’s seat of parliament.

In addition, the Centre Block is located in an active earthquake zone, and its original structure does not provide sufficient protection against earthquakes. To meet modern seismic standards, the building needed to be made safer and more resilient.

Addressing these concerns will require significant upgrades, including:

  • restoring the building’s stonework, wood, plaster, frescos, stained glass, marble and metalwork;
  • replacing, upgrading, and extending mechanical, electrical and fire safety systems;
  • using base isolation technology to ensure that the Centre Block and the Peace Tower can meet the required building code of being retrofitted to withstand a magnitude 6.0 earthquake; and 
  • restoring the Peace Tower, including its iconic clock and the Carillon.

The Centre Block’s information technology, multimedia and security systems are also being enhanced. This modernization, including the insertion of a digital backbone into the building, as well as multimedia capabilities and facilities, will allow for enhanced broadcasting and videoconferencing capabilities that will extend the reach of the Parliament of Canada. Similarly, the restoration of historic committee rooms to provide more space as well as current technology for broadcast needs and simultaneous interpretation will provide additional access to parliamentary proceedings.

Finally, the construction of the Parliament Welcome Centre will offer an enhanced visitor experience to the increasing numbers of Canadians and international visitors who come to Parliament. An integrated and dynamic visitor experience will provide opportunities for a deeper and broader engagement with Canada’s parliamentary traditions and democracy.

Since construction of the building more than a century ago, technology has advanced, security threats have evolved, and the need for universal accessibility for all Canadians and a sustainable future has increased.  The Centre Block must be modernized so that it can serve a modern Parliament and a modern Canada that is increasingly connected, environmentally responsible and inclusive.   

For more information watch: Centre Block project construction update


Centre Block Rehabilitation: Restoring a Canadian Icon

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Independent Design Review Panel

Over the past several years, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has successfully completed several major restoration and modernization projects on some of the most notable heritage assets in the National Capital, including the Library of Parliament, the Sir John A Macdonald and Wellington buildings, the West Block and the Senate of Canada Building. The standard for design is high in this context, and must be balanced with functionality that serves a variety of uses, notably those of Parliament and the public.

Work is now underway on the apex project—the Centre Block—of this complex series of interdependent projects focused on restoring key elements of Canada’s built heritage and transforming Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct into a modern integrated campus. This is the largest and most complex heritage rehabilitation project ever undertaken in Canada, one of the largest globally, and among the most important architectural design work happening in Canada today. In addition to the task of restoring and modernizing this heritage building, a new Parliament Welcome Centre is being inserted into the heritage landscape to enable Canada’s Parliament to become both more secure as well as much more accessible to all Canadians, inviting more Canadians to engage in our country’s parliamentary tradition and democratic processes.

The Government of Canada is committed to getting it right, something this place and space demands and Canadians deserve. To get it right, PSPC has established a number of partnerships to leverage expertise. One of those partnerships is with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), which is helping to ensure that world-class design is brought to bear on some of the most important public buildings in our country.

One of the key challenges facing PSPC and the design team has been integrating the Parliament Welcome Centre into the heritage landscape and the heritage Centre Block building. Ensuring that the Parliament Welcome Centre brought together the parliamentary lawn and the Centre Block, acting as a bridge between the two, rather than separating or dividing them, required resolving many interrelated design challenges and finding the right balance.

To assist in achieving this balance in the design for the rehabilitated Centre Block and new Parliament Welcome Centre, PSPC, working in partnership with the National Capital Commission, and in collaboration with Parliament, engaged the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada to assemble an Independent Design Review Panel.

This group of eminent Canadian architects and design professionals as well as a former Architect of the Capitol (U.S.) in Washington reviewed and provided independent professional advice that has helped to guide PSPC and the design lead, CENTRUS, to find the balance between restoring this Canadian icon and modernizing it to support a 21st-century parliamentary democracy and making it more open and accessible for all Canadians.

The manner in which the Parliament Welcome Centre fits into the heritage landscape and into the Centre Block will ensure Canada’s Parliament is more secure and more accessible to all Canadians, inviting more Canadians to engage in our country’s parliamentary traditions and democratic processes. The restored and modernized Centre Block, including the Parliament Welcome Centre, will provide enhanced security, inclusivity, and dignity for all who visit and work in these important spaces.

The concept design has been endorsed by the Panel and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, as well as the Senate of Canada and House of Commons. On the design itself, the Panel noted:

“The resulting entry scheme to the Parliament Welcome Centre is simple, intuitive and elegant. Its exterior design affirms Canada’s “Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of historic places in Canada” principle of minimum intervention into the Parliament Lawn whose heritage value is so important to Canadians. Further, we now have a sequence of interesting and thoughtful spaces throughout the entire entry circulation system that are similarly simple, intuitive and elegant. We are convinced that following these concepts, documented through feedback provided at multiple workshops, will result in a remarkable visitor experience for all.”

In their final report, the Independent Design Review Panel and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada provided additional comments on this historic project:

“It is our view that there is no more important architectural design work happening in Canada today. This project is quite literally an exercise in nation building. It is a critically important project for the Canadian Parliament and for all Canadians. The standards and expectations are exceptionally high, and the work undertaken will last for generations. There exists a one-off opportunity to get it right.”

“We feel strongly that this design review process is a best practice approach and is helping to create world-class design solutions for Parliament and Canadians.”

“We are convinced that the current design concepts provide a solid platform and clear direction for the project to achieve a world-class success.”

The partnership with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada will continue as the concept design matures, and PSPC and CENTRUS will continue to benefit from the members of the Independent Design Review Panel.

Members of the Independent Design Review Panel:

Hon. Stephen Ayers– Architect

Stephen Ayers, FAIA, NAC, CCM, LEED AP – Former Architect of the Capitol – Washington, DC – Ayers served under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump during his 11-year tenure.

He assumed the office as Acting Architect in February 2007, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama and was unanimously confirmed as permanent Architect of the Capitol by the United States Senate on May 12, 2010. Working on Capitol Hill for more than 22 years, Ayers oversaw 2,300 employees, 20 million square feet of space and an annual budget of $725M. He is an Air Force veteran and a licensed architect in the State of California.

Ayers is the first Architect of the Capitol to be certified as an Accredited Professional in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and worked to reduce energy consumption on Capitol Hill. In 2011, he received the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence from the Construction Industry Institute and in 2018 he received the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects and was elected as a member of the National Academy of Construction in 2013.

Shirley Blumberg– Architect

Partner, CM, OAA, FRAIC, AIA

Shirley Blumberg, CM, OAA, FRAIC, AIA is a founding partner of KPMB Architects and a Member of the Order of Canada for her contribution to architecture.

She has designed many of the firm’s noteworthy and award-winning projects, including the Fort York Public Library, the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre at UBC, and the Centre for International Governance Innovation Campus (CIGI). She was also the design partner for a major mixed-use academic and residential complex, Ponderosa Hub, at the University of British Columbia.

Recently completed projects she has led include the Global Centre for Pluralism for the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada in Ottawa the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and the Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University, the Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics and the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan.

In addition to the academic and cultural work, her practice addresses a broad range of projects including social housing and a water reclamation centre.

Shirley has served on the Toronto City Design Review Panel and the Toronto Community Housing Design Review Panel and established Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT), an independent initiative dedicated to the promotion of equality in the profession of architecture.

Wanda Dalla Costa– Architect

Wanda Dalla Costa is a practicing architect and professor who has been co-designing with North American Indigenous communities for over two decades. Her research focus includes Indigenous place-keeping and culturally responsive design. Dalla Costa currently teaches at Arizona State University, where she is an Institute Professor in The Design School, an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, and the Director/founder of the Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program. Dalla Costa is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation and the first First Nations woman to become a registered architect in Canada. She was one of eighteen Indigenous architects representing Canada in the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 and a YBCA 100 2019 honoree, an award which celebrates people, organizations, and movements shifting culture through ideas, their art, and their activism. Her firm, Tawaw Architecture Collective ( is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

George Dark – Landscape Architect

George Dark, FCSLA, FASLA, OALA, Senior Consultant, Landscape Architect and Urban Designer at Urban Strategies, is a member of both the College of Fellows of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He is the second recipient of the Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture (GGMLA), the highest honour bestowed on a Landscape Architect by the CSLA. Following a career with two international consulting firms, George was a partner of Urban Strategies for over 30 years developing the firm’s Urban Design and Landscape Architectural practice. George currently is a senior consultant with the firm, collaborating with USI to lead the strategic design direction of urban regeneration projects for some of the largest urban projects in Canada. 

George regularly assists public and private organizations with institutional strengthening, design management and civic urban design process. George is active in the charitable and not for profit sectors having served as Board Chair of the Evergreen Foundation of Canada for over 12 years while creating Brickworks, leading to his appointment as Chairman Emeritus of the organization. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, a Trustee of the McMichael Canadian Collection Gallery, chairing the Property and Buildings Committee of the Board of Trustees and was the Past Founding Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts and the Toronto Parks Foundation. 

Barry Padolsky– Architect

Barry Padolsky B. Arch., M. Sc. (Urban Design), OAA, FRAIC, RCA, CAHP, is an Ottawa-based architect, urban design, and heritage consultant with 55 years of experience. He has been recognized with 43 national and civic design awards including the Massey Medal, the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award, and 29 awards for heritage conservation. Barry is a city planning, heritage conservation and visual arts advocate. He is currently a member (and former vice-chair) of the City of Ottawa Built Heritage Sub-committee. His essays have been featured in the Ottawa Citizen and the Globe and Mail. 

Claude Provencher– Architect

Claude Provencher co-founded Montréal-based firm Provencher_Roy in 1983. Considered one of the fathers of the new urban architecture that emerged in Canada in the late 1970s, he is the firm’s senior designer and has led an impressive number of architecture and urban design projects whose outstanding merit has garnered the firm numerous distinctions over the years, including the Governor General’s Medal and awards from Canadian Architect magazine and the Ordre des architectes du Québec. An example of one of the firm’s projects that garnered a first merit award at the 49th edition of the Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence at the conceptual phase, was the new reception pavilion at the National Assembly of Québec. It was designed by Provencher Roy in consortium with GLCRM Architectes. The project embodies a thorough understanding and mastery of heritage issues and shows great care and attention paid to an exceptional site.

Mr. Provencher supervises the design teams and helps establish the major orientations of the firm’s projects. Through his active, hands-on style, he ensures a continuous link with the client team and assists in project development.

A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and member of the Ordre des architectes du Québec and the Ontario Association of Architects, Claude Provencher was curator and member of the advisory committee for the Conseil du patrimoine culturel du Québec from 2009 to 2016.

From 1999 to 2011, he sat on the Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty of the National Capital Commission, in Ottawa. Quite dedicated to his profession, he has sat on numerous university committees and organizations for the advancement of excellence in architecture. Mr. Provencher has been a frequent guest speaker at conferences on architecture and urban design, both in Canada and in Europe.

Don Schmitt– Architect 

Don Schmitt, CM, OAA, FRAIC, RCA, AIA is the senior partner at Diamond Schmitt and a Member of the Order of Canada for architecture, design excellence and community contribution. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he won the RAIC Medal in the thesis year.

Recent buildings include the transformation of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, the Senate of Canada Building, The Collections, Curatorial and Conservation Centre for The Ingenium Museum of Science and Technology and the new Ottawa Public Library/Library and Archives Canada. Notable projects include Gilgan Center for Research at SickKids Hospital, Toronto, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo. Current projects include Geffen Hall, The New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, the York University Campus in Markham and the transformation of the historic Royal Victoria Hospital buildings and grounds as a campus devoted to sustainability systems and public policy for McGill University in Montreal.

His work on the design of compact, sustainable neighbourhoods involves a number of mixed-use communities including SmartCentres Place in Vaughan, Ontario, transit oriented, pedestrian centered and, at 20 million square feet, a significant landmark in North American urbanism.

Don is the Founding Chair of the Public Art Commission for the City of Toronto for which he was awarded the Civic Medal. He has served on the Design Review Panel of the National Capital Commission, Waterfront Toronto and is currently a Member of the Design Review Panel of the University of Toronto.

He is committed to design that transcends and supports community with sustainability, environmentalism and grace.

Dr. Jutta Treviranus– Inclusive Design/ Accessibility

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto ( Dr. Treviranus established the IDRC in 1993 as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively. She also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise ( Jutta founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University. She leads international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support digital equity. She has played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally. She serves on many advisory bodies globally to provide expertise in smart cities and inclusive digital infrastructure (e.g., Waterfront Toronto, London Olympics, NYC Libraries, World Economic Forum, Canadian Museum of Human Rights, etc.). Jutta’s work has been attributed as the impetus for corporate adoption of more inclusive practices in large enterprise companies such as Microsoft  and Adobe

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SOURCE Public Services and Procurement Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada unveils design, scope and timelines for rehabilitation of Centre Block

For further information: Cecely Roy, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Anita Anand, 343-549-7293; [email protected] ; Media Relations, Public Services and Procurement Canada, 819-420-5501, [email protected]

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