Stop #1: The Rotunda (continued...)

The center column depicts the Act of Confederation and the ten pillars represent the ten provinces. The arches indicate the joining together in Confederation and giving and receiving support to each other. In the floor around the central column is a mariner's compass. The dark marble around the base of the central pillar between the sixteen points depicts the sun. The dark marble forming a circle represents the world and the wavy band of marble represents the seas of the earth.

In the four upper corners are figures representing: Moses, the first lawyer; Justice, with a blindfold; Lamp of knowledge; crossed keys of freedom; hands clasped in friendship; and, a closed letter indicating integrity.

On the west and east sides are carved the heads of the original inhabitants of the land; the Inuit and First Nations. On the north and south sides are carved the facial likenesses of a trapper, a woodsman, a miner and a sailor. This is a tribute to the men who endured incredible hardships in opening up the wilderness to settlers and in many cases gave their lives so that those people following in their footpaths could enjoy a better life.

Source: Public Works and Government Services Canada
"The Parliament Buildings", by Roger Duhamel.

Stop #9: The Library of Parliament (continued...)

The Library's architects felt that only a Gothic Revival building "could be adapted to a site at once so picturesque and so grand." Inside, the variety of textures, colours and handcrafted detail are typical of this style of architecture. Thousands of flowers, masks and mythical beasts have been carved into the white pine panelling. The galleries display the coats of arms for the seven provinces existing in 1876 and one for the Dominion of Canada. In the centre of the room is a white marble statue of the young Queen Victoria, sculpted by Marshall Wood in 1871.

The Library has more than 17 linear kilometres of materials in its collection, including books, periodicals, government documents, CD-ROMs and videos. Parliamentary clients can also tap into services such as on-line databases, an electronic news filtering system and an on-line catalogue of information right from their desktops.

Source: Library of Parliament