Welcome back to A-Z Travels after a three-week break, during which I’ve begun my journey from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Calgary, Alberta. Last time I left you saying that the next instalment of A-Z Travels would be L for language. However, after a chat with friends over pizza we decided it just wasn’t that interesting (also hard for pictures!), so this week I’m going to write about Legislative buildings… how is that more exciting I hear you say? Well let me tell you!
Matt and I are history and politics nerds, having studied the subjects at university. This led to us finding city halls on our American road trip and legislative buildings in Canada. Legislative buildings are where elected officials meet to shape the future of their province. Inside their walls debates rage and laws are passed. It is a politics nerds dream and once you start visiting them you won’t stop!
Even if you’re not that into history there are plenty of reasons why you should visit. Here are my top five:
One of the main reasons we have visited legislative buildings is that they are completely free! This makes them a great activity for anyone on a budget. You can wander around the grounds and gardens (if it has any) freely and often they have statues and informative boards dotted around. In addition, many host tours which are also completely free. In some places these are guided, others are self-guided.
In Edmonton we had a great chaperon and we were even able to sit in on a session. Whereas, in Victoria we strolled around by ourselves. However, Quebec City was a guided tour only and would need to book in advance.
As they are important buildings they are often very nice to look at. They are often some of the oldest buildings in the cities which provides a sense of history and some great architecture. Styles include neo-classical, Gothic revival, neo-baroque, Palladian and Beaux arts (quite a mix!). In comparison to the UK, Canada has very few old ‘historic’ buildings so seeing these structures make me feel a little bit more at home too.
Many also have beautiful gardens surrounding them filled with colourful flowers. That’s if you’re there in the summer! Having visited Edmonton and Halifax outside of summer we didn’t explore the gardens too much, but Victoria was refreshing with lots of fantastic colours after the brown of an Albertan winter.
Once again, they are important buildings, so they need to be convenient and accessible to everyone. There is a Legislative building in every province and territory in Canada. They are often located in downtown areas which is great for any traveller.
Here is a list of all locations:
|Province or Territory||Location||Name|
|Ontario||Ottawa||Parliament Building of Canada|
|Alberta||Edmonton||Legislative Building of Alberta|
|British Columbia||Victoria||Parliament Building of British Columbia|
|Manitoba||Winnipeg||Legislative Building of Manitoba|
|New Brunswick||Fredericton||Legislative Building of New Brunswick|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||St. John’s||Confederation Building|
|Northwest Territories||Yellowknife||Legislative Building of Northwest Territories|
|Nova Scotia||Halifax||Province House|
|Nunavut||Iqaluit||Legislative Building of Nunavut|
|Ontario||Toronto||Legislative Building of Ontario|
|Prince Edward Island||Charlottetown||Province House|
|Quebec||Quebec City||Parliament Building of Quebec|
|Saskatchewan||Regina||Legislative Building of Saskatchewan|
|Yukon||Whitehorse||Legislative Building of Yukon|
Sometimes we flit through places without ever learning about where we are. Legislative buildings are a treasure trove of facts that will please anyone with even a tiny amount of interest in history. They include beautiful art works and informative boards to keep you interested.
Favourite facts: Province House in Nova Scotia has sat every day since 1819, making it the longest standing legislative building in the whole of Canada.
In the top of the dome of Edmonton’s building are five palm trees grown from seeds believed to have been donated to the Legislature by the U.S. state of California in 1932.
Great in any weather
We can’t be blessed with sunshine on all our travels so sometimes indoor activities are required. Depending on the size of the location you can kill a few hours away from horrible weather inside. If its sunny take a picnic and enjoy the gardens. The perfect activity for any type of weather!
Tips for visiting
Check out the website to see if you need to book in advance
Travelling out of season: check opening times
You’ll have to go through security so try to pack as little as possible in your bag
Charge your camera, there will be lots of opportunity for photo’s
Be prepared to leave phones and cameras locked away securely if you get to sit in on a session, they can’t be taken in with you.
Thanks for joining me again on my A-Z Travels of Canada. I hope you’ll join for the next installment, in the mean time please feel free to comment, like and share this one. Happy Travels 🙂