Our head office on Wellington Street in Ottawa is being brought up to modern safety, security and structural standards; work is scheduled for completion in late 2016. Bank staff, now working in temporary offices, will return to the building in early 2017.
The Bank's head office is one of Ottawa’s most distinctive and architecturally noteworthy buildings. It’s located near some of the country’s most important institutions and landmarks, such as the Parliament of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada.
234 Wellington Street
The original classical granite structure opened in 1938, and is now partially enclosed by a large indoor atrium and two glass towers. These modern elements were added in 1979, based on a design by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson.
Wellington Street, also known as Confederation Boulevard, is designated by the National Capital Commission (NCC) as a ceremonial and discovery route through downtown Ottawa and Gatineau, linking Ontario and Quebec. The boulevard’s elegant streetscape is often a focus for national celebrations and a popular destination for community activities and tourism.
The Head Office Renewal Project
In 2012, the Bank of Canada’s Board of Directors approved a plan to renew our head office after assessments determined that the main building systems had reached the end of their lifespans.
This is our largest infrastructure project since the two glass office towers were built. The renewed facility will be an efficient workplace for our employees and has been designed to meet the sophisticated business, technology, and security needs of a central bank operating in the global economy.
The entire complex is being modernized, with an extensive renovation and restoration of internal and external spaces. The changes include:
- new ventilation, heating, plumbing and electrical systems
- structural reinforcements to meet seismic standards
- upgrades to comply with current health and safety codes, such as the addition of sprinkler systems and improved emergency exits
- improved energy efficiency and environmental sustainability
- updated security systems
Once complete, the building will look virtually unchanged from the outside; its architecturally significant external facades have been retained. One key difference will be the plaza on the east end of the property, which has been redesigned to improve public access to the museum.
Construction work began in 2014, and the project has been on schedule and on budget throughout. Structural changes were substantially completed in 2015 and fit-up of interior spaces will proceed through 2016.
The estimated construction cost is $460 million. The cost of temporary relocation is estimated at $150 million, offset by reduced operating costs.
Bank of Canada Museum
Our completely reimagined museum will feature a prominent new entrance at Bank and Wellington streets
It will open in 2017 with new programs and exhibits that delve deeply into all of the Bank’s work.
It will also display and interpret artifacts from Canada’s National Currency Collection, continuing the tradition established during its years as Canada’s Currency Museum.
The museum’s exhibition spaces – as well as a conference centre for Museum and Bank events – will occupy 17,000 square feet underneath the plaza.
Admission will be free of charge. For more information, including updates on travelling exhibitions, visit the Bank of Canada Museum website.
Bank of Canada Plaza
The plaza on the corner of Bank and Wellington streets has been redesigned as a vibrant space for local residents, visitors and Bank employees to gather and enjoy the outdoors.
The most notable structure, now under construction, is a large glass pyramid that will serve as the main entrance to the Bank of Canada Museum, a short walk from the Parliament buildings.
The Museum pyramid, along with two smaller pyramids, will also serve as an outdoor presentation space, landscaped with seating and greenery. Two glass pillars will add visual interest to the plaza design.
The structures and plaza are scheduled for completion in late 2016.
A Renewed Bank
234 Wellington Street is known for its unique architectural elements, representing a balance between modern and classical architecture.
The original grey granite building was constructed in a traditional style, emphasizing the solidity, tradition and stability valued during the Depression years in the 1930s.
The glass atrium and towers added in the 1970s by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson reference the transparency and openness appropriate for a central bank today.
The renewed facility has been designed to respect our history and architectural traditions. Erickson’s key design features have been maintained or restored, including the open office concept, the glass facades and waffle ceilings.
Some interior spaces have been reimagined to meet our practical business needs. The former tropical garden on the main level has been scaled back to a size that is more in line with our current operating and budget priorities, and access to the building will be controlled for security reasons.
The Bank consulted with the NCC’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty and other members of Canada’s architectural and landscape community on the designs for the building and plaza.
Canada’s central bank was founded in 1934. Since then, the Bank of Canada Act has been amended many times, but the preamble to the Act has not changed. The Bank still exists "to regulate credit and currency in the best interests of the economic life of the nation."
Find out more about the Bank’s past, how it has worked and who shaped it in the history section.