In photos: a peek inside the former U.S. Embassy in Ottawa

The former U.S. embassy in Ottawa has sat empty for almost 20 years. Now, in the lead-up to Canada's 150th birthday celebrations, the Canadian government is looking to clear away the cobwebs on the prime real estate and turn it into a popular destination.

The outside of the building, which is located at 100 Wellington St., in Ottawa. (The Hill Times Photograph by Sam Garcia)

The building sits across from the Parliament buildings—prime real estate in the capital. (The Hill Times Photograph by Sam Garcia)

The U.S. Embassy occupied it from 1931 until 1998, when it moved to its current location. (The Hill Times Photograph by Sam Garcia)

'100 Wellington,' as it's colloquially called, has sat empty since the U.S. Embassy relocated. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

Reports say the building costs roughly $200,000 a year to maintain—even when not being used. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

The Canadian government has now asked for public input into what the future of the landmark should be. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

In the past, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has suggested the building be turned into a Canadian-themed museum. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

A media tour was held on Aug. 8 in advance of the government launching official public consultations on Aug. 18. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

The view from the building shows Parliament Hill. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

The government says it has its own list of possible uses for the building, but is looking to gain public feedback through a town-hall meeting at the Sir. John A. Macdonald building, and through an online survey: http://www.canada.ca/100WellingtonStreet. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)

The public consultation period ends on Sept. 9, after which there will be an analysis before the government announces the new use. (The Hill Times Photograph by Jake Wright)