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East and West Memorial Buildings

East and West Memorial Buildings

These twin buildings are located on Wellington Street in Ottawa. They overlook the Ottawa River and Quebec's Gatineau Hills. Their architecture, in particular their chateau style, copper roofs and stone facing, is in keeping with the Parliament Buildings, the old stone churches and other federal buildings in the vicinity. The architects were Messieurs Allward and Gouinlock. Work on the East Memorial Building began in 1949 and was completed in 1956. The West Memorial Building was completed in l962.

Construction of the two edifices, originally called "Veterans Memorial Buildings", began following the Second World War. In addition to honouring those who served and those who died in that war, the buildings would also house, under one roof, the employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the associated Agencies, who initially were housed in several locations in Ottawa.

The Memorial Arch which connects the East and West Memorial Buildings, as they are now called, spans Lyon Street and bears the following inscription, taken from Ecclesiasticus:

ALL THESE WERE HONOURED IN
THEIR GENERATIONS AND WERE
THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES

Flowerbeds are maintained under the Arch and the area is illuminated at night. A marble relief sculpture, "The Canadian Phalanx", created by Ivan Mestvovic in honour of Canadian soldiers in the First World War, now stands under the Arch. The three and one-half tonne stone panel is almost three metres long and two metres high. The National Capital Region architect B.A. Topolski designed the relief's grey granite frame, reminiscent of the towering pylons of the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge.

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These twin buildings are located on Wellington Street in Ottawa. They overlook the Ottawa River and Quebec's Gatineau Hills.

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