The focal point of Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations will be moved off Parliament Hill this year amid the escalating renovation work to Centre Block.
There will be no stage for performances on Parliament Hill this July 1, Canadian Heritage confirmed to OBJ in a statement Thursday. Instead, a venue will be set up in the nearby Major’s Hill Park with programming throughout the day.
Spokesperson Amélie Desmarais said Canadian Heritage and Public Services and Procurement Canada are working to ensure that tourists and Ottawa residents will still be able to visit Parliament Hill throughout the day.
The full lineup of performers and celebrations slated for Canada Day 2020 will be unveiled in the spring, Desmarais said.
Ottawa tourism officials have long known that disruptions to traditional draws such as Canada Day celebrations would be unavoidable amid the decade-plus of work needed to renovate and revitalize the iconic Centre Block structure. Some have suggested a large tarp featuring the facade of the Peace Tower would help to mitigate the impact on vistors’ interest.
Centre Block officially closed for construction just over a year ago. Members of Parliament received an update on the massive renovation project earlier this week, where they heard that the first year largely revolved around assessing the work and updates required to the heritage structure.