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Red Chamber moves to new home in Senate of Canada Building

By Charelle Evelyn

‘A rehab project of this scale is no small undertaking,’ says Senate Speaker George Furey at the ceremony handing over the key to the Senate of Canada Building on Dec. 13. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Senate Speaker George Furey receives the ceremonial key, designed by Dominion Sculptor Phil White, to the Senate of Canada Building—formerly the Government Conference Centre—from Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough on Dec. 13. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough, speaking at a ceremonial key handover to the Senate of Canada Building on Dec. 13, says the Parliamentary Precinct rehabilitation project has created 1,400 jobs in a broad range of industries. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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The Diocletian windows in the main foyer of the Senate of Canada Building let natural light into the structure for the first time in roughly 60 years, after having been covered up since the former train station was used as the Government Conference Centre after 1967. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Looking a little out of place in the grandly appointed space during a media tour on Dec. 13, plywood desks served as placeholders for Senators’ seats in the interim Red Chamber until the real desks could be moved out of Centre Block this winter. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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The Senate coat of arms keeps watch above the Speaker’s chair in the Senate Chamber in the newly renovated Senate of Canada Building on Dec. 13. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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The ceiling was fully restored to its original Beaux Arts splendour among the various seismic, mechanical, and architectural upgrades made to the former train station and Government Conference Centre. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Perched above a pair of medium-sized committee rooms flanking the Senate of Canada Building foyer are a pair of lounges, in what was formerly the train station waiting room. One is open to the public, while the other, pictured, on the west side of the building, is reserved for Senators. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Maple leaves are a common design element in the Senate of Canada Building, etched into glass panels and doors, such as these leading to a committee room. The templates for the leaves were carved by Dominion Sculptor Phil White. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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The view from the bottom of the main stairs upon entering the Senate of Canada Building includes the edifice’s original clock, which, along with the original chandeliers that have also been restored, was kept in storage for decades. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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An original train station bench has been returned to its former home in the Senate of Canada Building. Transferred to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in the 1960s for use in its rail exhibition, the piece was up for sale on Kijiji before it was spotted and donated to the Senate earlier this year. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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A pair of new thrones was gifted to the Senate by the Queen to mark Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, and will be used in the interim Chamber for the first time. The chairs from Centre Block will be restored. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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The new stairs connecting the mezzanine outside the Chamber gallery to the first floor are made of marble sourced from Vancouver Island. The original marble in the Senate of Canada Building comes from Quebec. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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A view of the interim Senate Chamber from the translation and technician booth in the Senate of Canada Building. The Senate will begin video broadcast of its Chamber proceedings for the first time by March 1, with video also streaming inside the Chamber. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Stairs outside the Senate Chamber in the Senate of Canada Building, pictured on Dec. 13. Seven new stairwells and five elevators were added to the former train station and conference centre. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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This large committee room in the Senate of Canada Building will take the place of the Aboriginal Peoples Committee Room in Centre Block (160-S). With limited wall space, the Aboriginal art that decorated the Centre Block space will be displayed in the new room on a rotating basis. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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Rehabilitation on the Government Conference Centre began in 2014 to transform it into what is now called the Senate of Canada Building. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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This ceiling encompasses a five-storey space that includes a lounge, cafeteria, and Library of Parliament branch, along with three committee rooms. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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When the Senate resumes sitting on Feb. 19, 2019, it will be in the new Senate of Canada Building, as seen on a media tour on Dec. 13. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

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