Government Conference Centre
Ottawa, ON

Government Conference Centre

This renovation project focused on four historic side-by-side buildings in Ottawa. These buildings served as the temporary home for the Canadian Senate while the official Senate Chambers were undergoing renovation.

PCL Construction
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Diamond & Schmidtt
Structural engineer
J. Cooke & Associates
Our Role

Our role was to fabricate and install steel structural features at many points throughout the building complex as part of a heritage steel renovation. We also added seismic bracing and lowered sections of floor, while preserving historic elements of the structure.

Facts & FIgures
  • 500 tons of steel
Overcoming Challenges

This job involved fitting new steel with existing old steel. There were no as-built drawings of the existing structure, which led us to do our own surveying and on-site investigation.

One of the most interesting challenges involved lowering parts of an existing ground floor by eight inches, while preserving a centre portion that is covered with heritage marble. The non-marble-covered floor areas are getting new structural slabs that require lower steel supports.

We had to remove one steel support beam at a time, shorten the existing columns, and then replace the original steel. This steel was integral to the heritage of the building and needed to be preserved.

Our challenges ran top to bottom: We also added new seismic bracing in the attic space to bring the buildings up to current code. The ceiling is made of heritage plaster, which needed to be perfectly preserved. We did fine and exacting work in the attic space between existing plaster ceilings and the top of the structure, modernizing the building without disturbing its history.


2 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1S 0X1
Ottawa Urban Design Award
Diamond Schmitt Architects & KWC Architects for the restoration and reinterpretation of the city's former train station as interim home to the Senate of Canada.
2020 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Transformative Projects)
Diamond Schmitt Architects & KWC Architects & ERA Architects
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