The Visitor Welcome Centre on Parliament Hill gets a Ceremonial Cornerstone

On September 28, 2017, a ceremonial cornerstone was laid by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, in the presence of Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada, and the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons. The cornerstone, set in front of the western entrance, commemorates Parliament Hill’s Visitor Welcome Centre, the first new building constructed on the Hill in more than 100 years.
A ceremonial cornerstone being laid into place by
His Excellency the Right Honourable David
Johnston, former Governor General of Canada.

From left to right: Philip White (Dominion Sculptor,
PSPC), Irvin Heiber, PCL construction manager, His
Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston,
former Governor General of Canada and Paul
Frame, Director, West Block Rehabilitation Program.

As the construction manager, PCL Ottawa assisted in facilitating the ceremony by working with RJW Stonemasons to set the carved stone. The first phase of the Visitor Welcome Centre is currently being built in unison with the rehabilitation of West Block. The second phase of the Visitor Welcome Centre is planned to expand the Centre to the East, connecting the West, Centre, and East Blocks.

The ceremonial laying is traced back to the first Parliament Building by the Prince of Wales in September of 1860. The cornerstone laid in September of 2017 bears the first inscription on Parliament Hill to be carved in both official languages.

The Government of Canada designed the cornerstone's inscription and had it carved in Ottawa’s Willowbank workshop facility. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, on behalf of the Government of Canada, hosted a ceremonial cornerstone laying by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at the Visitor Welcome Centre. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and other dignitaries joined the Governor General and the Minister for this event.

The stone was engraved to mark this occasion by Mr. Danny Barber and his apprentice Ms. Justine Southam. Both are alumni of Willowbank, a Canadian charitable organization and heritage academy.

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