Transcript: Parliament Hill Under Repair | Jan 02, 1996

(‘O Canada’ plays.)

A series of fast clips feature a window shop of a souvenir store; white bells with a stamp of the Canadian Parliament; a group of jars with a stamp that reads ‘Ottawa’ and has a drawing of the same building; a plaque with the lyrics for ‘O Canada’ National Anthem with the Parliament on top; A souvenir plate with a drawing of the same building that reads ‘Parliament buildings. Ottawa, Canada.’ Then, a postcard-stand that swirls while displaying colorful pictures of Canada and finally a hand holding a postcard of the Parliament that uncovers the actual building when putting it down.

Then it changes to a shot with machinery working at the place. Now, a construction officer appears on screen. He’s a man in his fifties and is clean-shaven. He wears a black coat, a white shirt with a red tie and a colorful blue scarf. His head is protected with a white construction helmet with the Canadian flag at the front.

The Officer says WE HAVE FOUND
SOME DIFFICULTIES
OR SOME PROBLEM
WITH THE TOWER.
WE REACH A POINT WHERE
IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE
TO KEEP GOING AHEAD WITHOUT
DOING MAJOR RESTORATIONS.

The screen features a group of contractors up in the tower talking. Then it changes to a view from up high that presents the city covered in snow. A slate reads ‘Rejean Plamondon. Senior Project Manager.’ Later on, it changes to a view of the top a tower with the flaming Canadian flag.

Rejean continues THE PROJECT
THAT WE ARE
DOING WAS THE RESTORATION
OF THE MASONRY OF THE
PEACE TOWER AND
WHILE WE ARE HERE FOR THE
STARTING AT THIS LEVEL HERE,
WE HAVE LOOKED AT THE ROOF
AND WE THOUGHT THAT IT WAS
A GOOD DECISION TO FIX THE
ROOF AT THE SAME TIME.

A new slate reads ‘Don Nixon. Project Manager.’ Don is man in his fifties. He has dark short hair and is clean-shaven. He wears blue jeans, a long grey coat, and a white construction helmet.

Don says IF WE WERE
RENOVATING THE
ROOF WE WOULD TAKE THIS
ALL OFF, THROW IT AWAY,
PUT A NEW ROOF ON.
BUT WHAT WE ARE DOING IS
CONSERVING THE ORIGINAL
HERITAGE FABRIC, SO
WE WANT TO SAVE IT.
THAT'S THE OBJECT;
WE HAVE TAKEN OFF,
VERY CAREFULLY AND DONE
OUR WORK ON IT UNDERNEATH,
AND THEN PUT IT
BACK ON.

The screen shows different parts of the building that need work. There are holes on some walls and stones missing.

Rejean continues WE REMOVED THE
PART OF THE STONE
THAT HAD BEEN DAMAGED
BY THE TEMPERATURE,
THE FREEZE AND THAW.
AND THIS HAS BEING REMOVED;
WE ARE GOING TO PUT
A NEW PIECE OF
STONE IN THIS AREA,
IT'S GOING TO BE VERY
CLEAN AND IT'S GOING TO BE
REFINISHED AND WE'LL
RE-SHAPE THE STONE
SIMILAR TO WHAT
WE HAVE AROUND.

Fast clips show a contractor working by the big clock face and then refilling the joints.

Rejean continues WE ARE AT THE LEVEL
OF THE CLOCK FACE,
AND WE ARE SEEING SOME
PEOPLE RIGHT NOW DOING SOME
REPOINTING ON THE JOINTS.
AS YOU CAN SEE, ALL OF THE
JOINTS OF THE PEACE TOWER -
ALL ELEMENTS, ALL THE
JOINTS HAVE BEEN CLEANED,
THE BRASS IS COMPLETELY CLEAN,
BRUSHED WITH A NON-ABRASIVE
TECHNIQUE AND WE ARE
GOING TO REFINISH THIS
WITH PROPER PAINT THAT
WILL GO ON TOP OF IT.
I BELIEVE THAT IT
IS OIL PAINT, EH?

Don responds YEAH,
IT'S ACTUALLY
A WAXED FINISH.
THIS IS THE FINAL
COLOUR HERE.

Rejean continues OKAY, SO
THERE'S GOING
TO BE A WAX FINISH ON TOP
AND WE CAN SEE THE FINAL
FINISH OF THE SURFACE.
(drilling)

Rejean continues ALL THE JOINTS
ARE BEING
CUT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE JOINT WITH A SAW CUT,
AND THEN THE JOINTS ARE BEING
EXCAVATED UP TO
TWO INCHES MINIMUM,
AND AFTER THAT WE ARE DRILLING
HOLES THROUGH THE JOINTS
AND PUT THESE LITTLE
TUBES IN WHICH ARE GOING
TO BE USED TO INJECT A
GROUT BEHIND THE STONE.

Fast clips show Don pointing at some of the damaged areas of the building.

Don says THERE'S TWO TYPES OF
EROSION OF STONE HERE.
WE HAVE THIS, WHICH IS
CALLED BY SALT CRYSTALLIZING
AND SPALLING OFF THE
SURFACE OF THE STONE.
THAT EROSION IS CAUSED
BY WIND WHIPPING AROUND
AND EATING THE STONE
FROM THE OUTSIDE,
SO TWO DIFFERENT METHODS
OF STONE EROSION.

Rejean says WE ARE NOW AT THE
LEVEL OF THE GARGOYLE,
THE VERY INTERESTING
STRUCTURE THAT WE SEE
FROM THE BOTTOM OF
THE PEACE TOWER.
THEY ARE EXCEEDING THE
SURFACE OF THE BUILDING
BY APPROXIMATELY TEN FEET
AND THEY ARE A VERY,
VERY HEAVY STRUCTURE.

Fast clips show parts of the gargoyle as the description flows.

Rejean continues THESE ARE THE MOST
IMPORTANT
STRUCTURE ON THE PEACE TOWER
AND THEY ARE IN
PRETTY GOOD SHAPE.

A new clip shows Rejean and another man standing by the gargoyle. The man is in his forties. He has short dark hair and is clean-shaven. He wears blue jeans, a blue sweater with red sleeves, and a white construction helmet.

The Man says MY NAME IS
STEPHEN MILLER
AND I AM THE STONE
CONSERVATOR ON THE SITE.
WELL THIS HUGE GRANITE,
STAND STICK GRANITE,
SORT OF GARGOYLE IS
IN, AS REJEAN SAID,
IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION
REALLY CONSIDERING AND
ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO SOME
OTHER STONE ON THE BUILDING.
BASICALLY IT'S DIRTY, YOU'VE
GOT WATER RUN-OFF LINES,
YOU'VE GOT SOME ATMOSPHERIC
SOILING IN SOME OF THE RECESSES,
AND SOME LITTLE BIT CHIPPING
AND LOSS OF SHARP DETAIL,
BUT OVERALL THIS IS IN
VERY GOOD CONDITION.
THIS PROJECT IS
CONSERVATION.
WE'RE NOT HERE TO
CLEAN THE BUILDING BACK
TO ITS ORIGINAL STATE OR DO
WHOLESALE STONE REPLACEMENT;
WE'RE HERE TO BASICALLY
CONSOLIDATE WHAT WE'VE GOT
AT THE MOMENT AND
TRY AND STABILIZE IT
AND SLOW DOWN DETERIORATION.

Don says OWLS HAVE GOOD EYESIGHT.
THEY FLY AT NIGHT
AND THEY HUNT MICE.
YOU SEE THE OWL UP THERE?

The screen presents an owl sculpture on the wall.

Don continues NOW THOSE OWLS
HAVE BAD EYESIGHT.
SEE THEY'RE WEARING GLASSES,
SO IT'S PURE FANCY.
IN THE 1920s WHEN
THE TOWER WAS BUILT,
THERE WAS A DIFFERENT
CULTURE AND ARTISANS WOULD,
OR ARCHITECTURES OF THE DAY,
AND THE WORKERS WOULD CARVE
THESE THINGS AND IT
WAS A NORMAL THING.
WITHIN THE CENTRE BLOCK
WE HAVE MANY, MANY,
MANY CARVINGS LIKE THIS.
TODAY WE DON'T DO THAT; IT'S
NOT PART OF OUR CULTURE TODAY.

Fast clips show a man in his fifties. He has short grey hair and has a moustache. He wears a black coat, a white shirt with a contrasting tie and brown gloves. A slate reads ‘Glenn Duncan. Parliamentary Precinct Directorate.’

Glenn says HERE BEHIND ME WE
HAVE THE EAST BLOCK,
WHICH WAS CONSTRUCTED IN
TWO DIFFERENT PERIODS.
THE PART THAT WE'RE GOING TO
BE GOING AND VISITING IS THE
1910 WING, WHICH WAS THE PART
THAT WAS BUILT SECONDLY AND WE
HAVE COMPLETELY GUTTED THIS
BUILDING BECAUSE WE HAD ASBESTOS
IN IT AND NEEDED TO BE REMOVED
RIGHT DOWN TO THE BARE WALLS
AND WE'RE GOING TO BE
RECONSTRUCTING THAT
STARTING WITHIN A
MONTH OR SO.

Glenn walks to the door to point out details on the entrance wall that has black marks all over.

Glenn continues AN INTERESTING LITTLE PIECE
OF TRIVIA HERE IS YOU CAN SEE
THESE MARKS ON THE STONEWORK
THESE ACTUALLY GO BACK
SOME TIME AND PEOPLE USED TO
SMOKE PIPES AND THEY'D STEP
OUT FOR A SMOKE AND WOULD
STRIKE WOODEN MATCHES HERE ON
THE STONEWORK TO LIGHT THEM.
SO THAT'LL BE ONE OF THE
FEATURES OF THE PROJECT THAT
WE WILL RETAIN BECAUSE OF ITS
HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE –

The door opens and a man greets Glenn while passing by.

Glenn continues HI.
ALL FEDERAL BUILDINGS WHICH
ARE OLDER THAN 40 YEARS
ARE CLASSIFIED BY THE FEDERAL
HERITAGE BUILDING REVIEW OFFICE
AND THEY BASICALLY
LOOK AT A BUILDING
AND DETERMINE WHAT ARE THE
FEATURES OF THAT BUILDING
WHICH HAVE HERITAGE VALUE.

Glenn stands by a metal heavy door with antique security locks.

Glenn continues THIS IS THE
VAULT DOOR - THE
FIRST VAULT DOOR THAT GOES
INTO ANOTHER SET OF VAULTS
AND THIS IS WHERE CANADA
AT ONE TIME KEPT ITS GOLD
RESERVES BEFORE WE HAD,
I GUESS, BANK OF
CANADA AND WHATEVER,
AND THERE WERE ALSO A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT KINDS OF SECURITIES,
ETCETERA, KEPT HERE,
SO THIS WAS A PRETTY
HIGH SECURITY FACILITY.
SO YOU HAVE THIS FIRST
BANK VAULT DOOR HERE.
THESE ARE A LITTLE HEAVY,
AND THEN YOU CAN SEE
THE HISTORIC VALUE OF
THIS IS ITS BEAUTIFUL,
INTRICATE WORKINGS HERE.

Glenn stands in a room with numerous lockers painted in white.

Glenn continues WELL THIS IS THE SORT
OF INNER-VAULT CHAMBER.
THE WALLS THAT ARE BUILT
AROUND HERE ARE, YOU KNOW,
A MASS OF CONCRETE AND
ARE SEVERAL FEET THICK.

Now, Glenn goes back to the metal heavy doors for a new evaluation.

Glenn states NONE OF THIS IS
SALVAGEABLE
IN TERMS OF BEING ABLE
TO TAKE IT OUT
AND RE-USE IT.
WE THOUGHT AT ONE TIME THAT
THERE MIGHT BE SOME RE-USE
BUT IT'S JUST TOO
EXPENSIVE, SO IT'LL JUST
BE INCORPORATED INTO THE
BUILDING AND REMAIN HERE.
WHO KNOWS, SOME TIME IN THE
FUTURE WE MAY WANT TO USE IT.
FROM A HERITAGE PERSPECTIVE
WE WANT TO RETAIN AT LEAST
SOME ELEMENTS OF WHAT WAS HERE
BEFORE SO THAT IT'S SORT OF -
PEOPLE CAN MAKE REFERENCE TO
IT IN THE FUTURE THAT THIS,
IN FACT, PLAYED THIS
CENTRAL DEPOSITORY ROLE
IN THE HISTORY OF
THE BUILDING.

The screen features Glenn and Rejean standing out of the building. The background features machinery and vehicles working.

Glenn continues THE TASK ISN'T
AS DAUNTING
AS ONE MIGHT THINK
BECAUSE WE REALLY ARE
SUPPORTED BY A GREAT MANY
OF VERY SKILLED PEOPLE.

Rejean says I ALSO HAVE TO SAY THAT
ALL THE PEOPLE ARE VERY,
VERY PROUD OF GIVING PART OF
THEIR LIFE TO THESE BUILDINGS.
THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT
TO ALL THE CANADIANS
AND TO US THAT WE WANT TO
GIVE MANY YEARS OF THAT
AND WE DO THIS WITH A
LOT OF INTEREST.

Glenn concludes AND PRIDE.
IT'S FUN COMING TO
WORK IN THE MORNING.

("O Canada" plays)
Fast clips show a hand holding a postcard with a picture of the Canadian Parliament in the summer, that blocks the view of the actual building at the back covered in snow.

Watch: Parliament Hill Under Repair