The Senate of Canada Building (Government Conference Centre)

Project Overview

This construction management services contract serves to preserve, rehabilitate, and fit-up the Government Conference Centre for Public Works and Government Services Canada. The project, across the street from the Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel and adjacent to the Rideau Canal, has transformed the 100-year-old structure, designated a Classified Federal Heritage Building, into interim accommodation for the Senate while the Centre Block of Parliament is rehabilitated. The structure has been renamed the Senate of Canada Building in accordance with its new role.

The project involved investigating the existing building components, abatement and selective demolition, major structural upgrades to existing masonry, security steel / ballistic glazing structures, seismic upgrades, complete removal of and installation of new mechanical and electrical systems (with two new mechanical rooms, IT infrastructure and equipment, security infrastructure and devices), new vertical circulation throughout, new loading dock, interior fit-up that includes new office spaces and meeting rooms, rehabilitation of heritage fabrics and kitchen areas, and landscaping and exterior lighting work. Historical rehabilitation included stabilization and repair of vaulted plaster ceilings and walls, iron façade and iron window repairs, selective marble salvage and reuse, wood window and door repairs, repair and selective replacement of exterior stone façade, and light fixture refurbishment.

Originally built in 1912 as the Grand Trunk Central Station and later named Union Station, the building was acquired by the Crown in 1967 and repurposed for centenary celebrations that year, saving it from imminent demolition. After several years of disuse, the building was sanctioned as a “temporary” conference centre, and in 1988 was classified as a Federal Heritage Building. Upon completion of the five-year rehabilitation project in 2018, the building was renamed the Senate of Canada Building.


Public Works and Government Services Canada
Ottawa, ON
Ottawa – Buildings & Civil Construction
PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Building Revitalization, Government Public Facilities and Military, Historical Restorations
Construction Management


North American Copper in Architecture Awards, 2019 - Copper Development Association Inc.

The Willis Chipman Award, 2019 - Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards

Award of Excellence - Urban Infill, Mid-High Rise - Ottawa Urban Design Award 2019 - City of Ottawa

Civic Trust Award, 2020 - Civic Trust Awards

Award of Excellence - Adaptive re-use (government) - Ottawa Heritage Awards, 2019 - City of Ottawa