Langevin Block

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Langevin Block
View of the Langevin Block from Wellington Street
The Langevin Block in 2010
General information
Type Office of the Prime Minister and the Privy Council Office
Architectural style Second Empire
Town or city Ottawa, Ontario
Country Canada
Construction started 1884
Designations Classified Federal Heritage Building
Official name Langevin Block National Historic Site of Canada
Part of Confederation Square National Historic Site of Canada

The Langevin Block (French: Édifice Langevin, IPA: [lɑ̃ʒvɛ̃]) is an office building facing Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. As the home of the Privy Council Office and Office of the Prime Minister, it is the working headquarters of the executive branch of the Canadian government. Accordingly, the term Langevin Block is sometimes used as a metonym for the Prime Minister's Office. The building is named after Father of Confederation and cabinet minister Hector Langevin.[1]

The building is a National Historic Site of Canada.[2]


The East Block and Langevin Block as seen from the grounds of Parliament Hill

While the offices of senior Privy Council Office officials remain in the Langevin Block, its use is now largely limited to the Prime Minister's Office, in addition to his or her office in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings.

Started in 1884 and completed in 1889, the block was the first federal government office building constructed outside the Parliament Hill precinct. It is built of sandstone obtained from a New Brunswick quarry owned by Charles Elijah Fish. It occupies a prominent place on Ottawa's Wellington Street, adjacent to the National War Memorial, Chateau Laurier, Government Conference Centre, Rideau Canal, National Arts Centre, High Commission of the United Kingdom in Ottawa, and the Sparks Street Mall. Originally named the Southwest Departmental Building, its current name comes from Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, the Public Works Minister in the Cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald.

The structure is distinctive in Ottawa for its Second Empire Style design because most government buildings from the period were built in the Gothic Revival style. It was designed by the Chief Dominion Architect Thomas Fuller, who also designed the original Parliament Buildings. In 2000, it was named by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada as one of the top 500 buildings produced in Canada during the last millennium.[3]

The building is connected by a bridge to an office building at 13 Metcalfe Street.

In 2017, the Assembly of First Nations called for the building to be renamed, due to Hector Langevin's role in the creation of Canada's controversial Indian residential schools system.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bellegarde, MPs urge feds to change name of Langevin Block". The Globe and Mail, February 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Langevin Block National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Cook, Marcia (May 11, 2000). "Cultural consequence". Ottawa Citizen. Canwest. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  • Exploring Ottawa: an architectural guide to the nation's capital. Harold Kalman and John Roaf. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983.
  • Ottawa: a guide to heritage structures City of Ottawa, Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee; managing editor, Lucy Corbin. 2001

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°25′25.23″N 75°41′49.42″W / 45.4236750°N 75.6970611°W / 45.4236750; -75.6970611