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Why does the Parliament Building need a new pavilion?

The global security context has evolved in recent years, and the National Assembly’s security infrastructures no longer meet modern-day requirements. Our security systems are outdated and our screening devices must be adapted to state-of-the-art technology. The project’s main goal is to heighten public safety and the security of MNAs and other occupants.

Each year, the Parliament Building welcomes more than 124,000 visitors, but our infrastructures were not designed for such numbers. Moreover, our reception areas are not adapted for mobility-impaired persons, and we lack room to safely welcome the numerous school groups that visit.

It will be the Parliament Building’s first expansion in 100 years, following the addition of Le Parlementaire Restaurant in 1917.

What does the project entail?

The project involves building an underground reception pavilion, with an estimated surface area of 3,800 m², and expanding facilities underneath the inner courtyard by 1,500 m² in order to upgrade the Parliament Building to current standards and make it safer and more inviting.

Thanks to this project, the National Assembly will be better equipped:

  • Security infrastructures meeting modern-day requirements;
  • Visitor reception areas that are better adapted to the growing number of visitors;
  • Facilities that are more accessible to mobility-impaired persons;
  • A visitor centre offering a theme-based exhibit on Québec history and democracy;
  • A multi-purpose reception room for groups;
  • An agora for film screenings, theme-based exhibitions and conferences;
  • Two additional functional, accessible parliamentary committee rooms.

For more information, see the Concept section.

How will the project enhance Parliament Building security?

Security screening will occur inside a reception pavilion that is separate from the Parliament Building. Current security measures will be reinforced with leading edge technology adapted to modern-day requirements.

The security measures to be put in place include:

  • A new, integrated security system;
  • More effective security screening at access points;
  • A single, centralized control centre;
  • A loading dock for delivering merchandise straight into a building on the Parliament grounds;
  • Security stations and gates on the northern walkway.

What is the project’s visual impact?

During construction, boarding will be installed in front of the Parliament Building. Cranes and other heavy machinery will also be visible on the site and could obstruct the view of the Building.

How long will construction work last?

Construction will run from spring 2016 to the inauguration of the new pavilion in spring 2019. To monitor its progress, see the Construction site section.

What are the main disturbances the construction site will cause?

Although construction sites inevitably cause some disturbance, every effort will be made to minimize it. The Parliament and neighbouring streets and sidewalks will remain accessible. The number of trucks on Honoré-Mercier avenue may increase.

In addition, noisier work, such as blasting, will occasionally be carried out. The public and the media will be informed of the main disruptions through press releases.

Will the Parliament Building remain accessible to the public during construction?

All services to the public, such as guided tours and access to parliamentary proceedings, will be maintained during construction, with the exception of visits of the Parliament grounds. The public will enter via Door No. 3, at the corner of Grande Allée and Honoré-Mercier avenues, during regular visiting hours.

Who authorized the expansion project?

The Office of the National Assembly, which acts as the National Assembly’s Board of Directors, unanimously authorized the infrastructure improvement project on November 12, 2015.

What are the costs associated with the project?

This project will require an investment of $60.5 million. The National Assembly will cover the full cost out of its own-source revenue and yearly budgets. No additional funding will be requested.

How will the project be carried out?

To ensure the project’s success, the National Assembly has set up a project management structure. The work is coordinated by a project manager who acquires the services of professional outside firms, including a managing contractor, to design and carry out the project. These outside firms, including a managing contractor, are supported by a team of in-house professionals (architects, engineers, technicians).

The construction management approach will be used to carry out the infrastructure improvement project. The project was sub-divided into 40 separate construction “packages”, each “package” being subject to a public call for tenders. The managing contractor will act as the principal contractor in overseeing the work. Québec’s Amphithéâtre was built using the construction management model.

Who is on the team that will design and carry out the project?

The outside firms below were selected following public calls for tenders:

  • Pomerleau, managing contractor
  • GLCRM and Provencher Roy consortium, architects
  • CIMA+ SENC, mechanical/electrical engineering
  • WSP Canada inc., civil/structural engineering
  • SCP Consultants en sécurité inc., technical security

Is the project “green”?

The new pavilion will be an environment-friendly building designed to obtain LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an international sustainable development standard. In addition, each outside firm selected for the design component has one LEED-certified professional.

Are there comparable projects elsewhere in the world?

A number of parliaments here and elsewhere have undertaken vast construction and renovation projects to heighten the security of their facilities and equip themselves with new reception areas. A few examples are:

Who can I contact for more information on the project?

For more information on the project, contact us at