In Canada’s Capital, the winter landscape glows with over 300,000 multi coloured lights during the holiday season. The festivities begin with an illumination ceremony in early December and continue until early January. Throughout Christmas Lights Across Canada, the lights in Ottawa–Gatineau glow each evening from 4:30 pm to 2 am.
The Christmas Lights program was launched in 1985 to brighten the Ottawa winter. At first, the lights were only on Parliament Hill, but over the years the program expanded. Now, Ottawa and Gatineau glow each winter with Christmas lights at over 60 sites along Confederation Boulevard.
Parliament Hill. colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings — the parliament buildings — serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural elements of national symbolic importance. Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year.
Originally the site of a military base in the 18th and early 19th centuries, development of the site into a governmental precinct began in 1859, after Bytown was chosen by Queen Victoria as the capital of the Province of Canada. Following a number of extensions to the parliament and departmental buildings and a fire in 1916 that destroyed the Centre Block, Parliament Hill took on its present form with the completion of the Peace Tower in 1927.
Since 2002, an extensive $1 billion renovation and rehabilitation project has been underway throughout all of the precinct’s buildings; work is not expected to be complete until after 2020.
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