The Senate of Canada Building — a heritage jewel
Formerly known as the Government Conference Centre, the Senate of Canada building was once home to Ottawa’s central train station. Preserving the elegant heritage aspect of the space was therefore a top priority throughout the restoration work. Today, the building serves as the interim headquarters for the Senate of Canada, while its permanent home, Parliament Hill’s Centre Block, undergoes its first significant overhaul since it was completed in the 1920s.
Aside from limited changes made in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the building remained largely in its original state and was in critical need of rehabilitation by the time restoration began in late 2014.
When restoring woodwork, the use of original materials was favoured by Beaubois, in order to protect the building’s heritage significance. This required removing, working and reinstalling the entirety of the building’s doors, window and door frames, moldings and other wood trim.
The Beaubois team was also able to contribute custom woodwork to the Senate Chamber, for a unique look that is truly Canadian. This included two oversized, yet subtle, wooden flags installed at the head of the room, as well as 12 carved pilasters highlighting the coat of arms of each province and territory. At the entrance, Beaubois provided stunning walnut doors on which maple leaves of all sizes were engraved. Walnut wood was the preferred material used throughout the project.