- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
Need help reserving your tickets?
Please call the Tour Reservations Office at 613-996-0896 for assistance.
Bag restrictions for visitors
Only one small bag is permitted per visitor.
Guided tours of the Senate are located at the Senate of Canada Building, one block away from Parliament Hill.
November 15, 2023
Parliament: the immersive experience tickets — english.
- 09:00 AM ‐ 34 available
- 10:00 AM ‐ 34 available
- 10:30 AM ‐ 22 available
- 11:30 AM ‐ 22 available
- 12:00 PM ‐ 33 available
- 01:00 PM ‐ 31 available
- 01:30 PM ‐ 26 available
- 02:30 PM ‐ 32 available
- 03:00 PM ‐ 35 available
Parliament: The Immersive Experience Tickets — French
- 09:30 AM ‐ 34 available
- 11:00 AM ‐ 34 available
- 12:30 PM ‐ 33 available
- 02:00 PM ‐ 34 available
- 03:30 PM ‐ 34 available
- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
Parliament: The Virtual Experience
- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
Visit the Senate of Canada
- Senate Tours
- House of Commons Tours
- East Block Tours
- Immersive Experience
Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana
- Travel Destinations
Visiting The Parliament Of Canada, Ottawa
Published: September 24, 2023
by Blake Lansing
Welcome to the Parliament of Canada, located in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. The Parliament is not only the seat of Canada’s federal government but also a symbol of the country’s democracy and political system. It is a place where important decisions are made, laws are debated and enacted, and the voices of Canadians are represented.
The Parliament of Canada consists of two houses: the House of Commons and the Senate. Members of Parliament (MPs) elected by the public serve in the House of Commons, while Senators are appointed by the Governor General. Together, they form the legislative body responsible for governing the country. The Parliament buildings are not only functional spaces but also architectural masterpieces that showcase Canada’s rich history, culture, and national identity.
Visiting the Parliament offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into how Canada’s government operates and to witness its democratic processes in action. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a political buff, or just curious about Canadian governance, a visit to the Parliament of Canada promises an engaging and enlightening experience.
In this article, we will explore the history of the Parliament of Canada, its location, visiting hours, security procedures, and the various highlights you can expect to see during your visit. Whether you are planning a solo trip, a family outing, or an educational field trip, this guide will provide you with the essential information to make the most of your visit to the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa.
History of the Parliament of Canada
The history of the Parliament of Canada dates back to the incorporation of Canada as a self-governing Dominion within the British Empire in 1867. Prior to this, Canada was a collection of separate British colonies. The creation of a federal system and the establishment of a national government required a central meeting place for elected representatives.
The original Parliament building, now known as the Centre Block, was completed in 1866 and has undergone significant expansions and renovations over the years. It is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture, designed by renowned architects Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones. The building features stunning architectural details, including the iconic Peace Tower, which was completed in 1927 and serves as a national symbol of peace and remembrance.
Tragically, in 1916, a fire destroyed the original Centre Block. However, the determination to rebuild was unwavering, and construction began immediately. The new Centre Block, completed in 1922, incorporated elements of the original design while introducing modern features and technological advancements.
Today, the Parliament of Canada consists of three main buildings: the Centre Block, the East Block, and the West Block. Each building houses different government functions and serves as a testament to Canada’s rich and evolving democratic history.
The Parliament of Canada is not only a physical structure but also a symbol of the country’s political evolution and commitment to democracy. Over the years, it has played a crucial role in shaping Canadian society, addressing significant issues, and enacting important legislation that affects the lives of Canadians. It serves as the central hub for public discourse, where elected representatives gather to debate and vote on matters of national importance.
The history of the Parliament of Canada reflects the country’s evolution as a nation, from the early days of confederation to the present. Exploring the historic halls, chambers, and corridors of the Parliament buildings provides a unique opportunity to connect with Canada’s past and gain a deeper understanding of its democratic journey.
Location and Address
The Parliament of Canada is located in the heart of Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. Specifically, it is situated on Parliament Hill, overlooking the scenic Ottawa River and surrounded by stunning views of the city.
The address of the Parliament of Canada is:
111 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4, Canada
Getting to Parliament Hill is convenient, as it is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. If you are visiting Ottawa, you can use public transportation, such as buses or the O-Train, to reach the Parliament. There are also ample parking facilities available nearby if you prefer to drive.
Once you arrive at Parliament Hill, you will be greeted by the majestic buildings that make up the Parliament of Canada complex. The Centre Block, which houses the iconic Peace Tower, is the most recognizable structure. The East Block and the West Block are adjacent to the Centre Block, completing the ensemble.
Exploring the grounds of Parliament Hill is a delightful experience. In addition to the Parliament buildings, you will find beautifully maintained gardens, statues representing important historical figures, and memorial structures that pay tribute to Canada’s diverse heritage.
The location of the Parliament of Canada on Parliament Hill not only adds to its grandeur but also offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding cityscape. It is a perfect place to capture memorable photographs, enjoy a leisurely stroll, or simply take in the beauty and significance of this historic site.
As you plan your visit to the Parliament of Canada, keep in mind the central location of Parliament Hill and the address provided above. It is a destination that should not be missed, offering a captivating blend of architectural splendor, natural beauty, and political history.
The Parliament of Canada welcomes visitors throughout the year, allowing them to experience the historical significance and democratic processes of Canadian governance. To make the most of your visit, it is important to be aware of the Parliament’s visiting hours.
The general visiting hours of the Parliament of Canada are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. This provides ample opportunities for individuals and groups to explore the grounds, visit the various chambers, and take part in guided tours.
It is worth noting that the Parliament is a working legislative institution, and its schedule may be subject to change due to parliamentary business, special events, or security considerations. Therefore, it is advisable to check the official website or contact the Visitor Services team beforehand to confirm the visiting hours on your desired day of visit.
Furthermore, certain areas and attractions within the Parliament have specific visiting hours or limited access. For instance, the Centre Block and the Peace Tower may have restricted access during parliamentary sessions or major events. It is recommended to plan your visit accordingly and be aware of any temporary closures or restrictions.
During the summer months, visitors have the added benefit of extended hours. From early July to early September, the Parliament offers extended visiting hours, allowing visitors to explore and learn about the institution into the evening. This is particularly popular as it provides an opportunity to witness the spectacular light and sound show projected onto the Parliament’s façade.
Whether you are a local resident or a tourist visiting Ottawa, it is recommended to arrive early in the day to maximize your time at the Parliament of Canada. This way, you can make the most of the available visiting hours and avoid potential crowds.
With the knowledge of the Parliament’s visiting hours, you can plan your visit accordingly and ensure that you have adequate time to explore and immerse yourself in the rich political and historical environment that the Parliament of Canada offers.
Due to the important nature of the Parliament of Canada as a federal institution, security measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all visitors. It is essential to be aware of and follow the security procedures when visiting the Parliament.
Upon arrival, you will notice visible security personnel and screening checkpoints. Before entering the buildings, you will need to pass through a security screening process, similar to airport security. This involves placing personal belongings, such as bags, purses, and electronic devices, into X-ray machines for inspection. Additionally, you may be required to walk through metal detectors for further screening purposes.
To ensure a smooth and efficient security check, it is best to limit the number of personal items you bring with you. Avoid carrying unnecessary items that may delay the screening process or trigger security alerts. It is also important to remember that certain items are prohibited within the Parliament buildings, including weapons, sharp objects, and flammable materials.
When planning your visit, it is advisable to arrive with ample time to accommodate the security screening process, especially during peak visiting hours or when parliamentary sessions are in progress. It is also recommended to dress appropriately and respectfully during your visit, as certain areas, such as the Chambers of the House of Commons and the Senate, have dress codes that visitors are expected to adhere to.
Please be aware that security procedures may be subject to change without prior notice. It is advisable to check the official Parliament of Canada website or contact the Visitor Services team for the most up-to-date information regarding security procedures before your visit. Familiarizing yourself with the guidelines and cooperating with security personnel will ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to the Parliament of Canada.
By following the prescribed security procedures, visitors can rest assured that their visit to the Parliament of Canada is both protected and secure. Remember, the measures in place are essential for the integrity and functioning of this important democratic institution.
Exploring the Parliament of Canada through a guided tour is a fantastic way to fully immerse yourself in the rich history, architectural beauty, and democratic processes of this iconic institution. Guided tours provide valuable insights and ensure that visitors don’t miss out on any of the significant highlights within the Parliament buildings.
The guided tours at the Parliament of Canada are informative, engaging, and led by knowledgeable tour guides who provide fascinating commentary along the way. These guides share captivating stories and historical anecdotes, making the tour both educational and enjoyable.
There are several types of guided tours available, catering to different interests and preferences. The most popular tour options include:
1. Parliament Hill Tour: This tour takes you through the main areas of Parliament Hill, including the historic Centre Block, the beautiful Library of Parliament, and the stunning Peace Tower. You will also learn about the architectural features, the political system of Canada, and the country’s parliamentary traditions.
2. Guided Tours of the Chambers: These tours provide an up-close and personal view of the Chambers of the House of Commons and the Senate, where important debates and legislative decisions take place. Visitors can witness the grandeur of these chambers and gain a deeper understanding of the democratic processes that shape Canada’s governance.
3. Specialty Tours: The Parliament also offers specialty tours that focus on specific themes or aspects of Canadian history and politics. These specialized tours include topics such as women in Canadian politics, Indigenous perspectives, and constitutional history. They provide a more in-depth exploration and offer a unique perspective on Canada’s parliamentary system.
It is recommended to book your guided tour in advance, especially during peak visiting times or if you have a specific tour or time preference. Reservations can be made online through the official Parliament of Canada website or by contacting the Visitor Services team.
Please note that guided tours may have specific time slots and duration. It is advisable to arrive at the designated meeting point a few minutes before the scheduled tour time to ensure you don’t miss out on the tour.
Exploring the Parliament of Canada through a guided tour is an invaluable experience, allowing you to delve deeper into the history, architecture, and political significance of this iconic institution. It is a must-do activity for visitors seeking a comprehensive and enriching understanding of Canada’s democratic processes.
Chamber of the House of Commons
The Chamber of the House of Commons is a key component of the Parliament of Canada and serves as the meeting place for the elected Members of Parliament (MPs). It is a space where lively debates, discussions, and decision-making processes shape the legislative agenda of the country.
Located in the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings, the Chamber of the House of Commons is a striking and historic space. Designed to reflect Canada’s democratic principles, it features a horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement, with rows of desks facing the Speaker’s chair at the front.
During a visit to the Chamber of the House of Commons, you will have the opportunity to witness democracy in action. Typically, the chamber is filled with MPs representing various political parties, engaging in debates on a wide range of issues. It is a captivating experience to witness the passionate discussions, lively exchanges, and the democratic process at work.
The Chamber is adorned with meaningful symbols and significant features. The Speaker’s chair is located at the front of the Chamber, elevated above the rest of the seating, symbolizing the impartiality and authority of the Speaker. The background is decorated with the Canadian coat of arms, and the walls are adorned with historical artworks and portraits of past Prime Ministers.
Visitors can observe the proceedings from the public galleries, which are located above and behind the main seating area. From these vantage points, you can witness the debate, listen to speeches, and gain a firsthand understanding of how laws are discussed, challenged, and ultimately passed.
It is important to note that the Chamber of the House of Commons is a working space, and visitors are expected to respect certain rules and protocols. Mobile phones must be turned off or put on silent, and photography or recording is not allowed during parliamentary sessions. Additionally, visitors are expected to remain quiet and avoid any disruptive behaviors while observing the proceedings.
A visit to the Chamber of the House of Commons provides a unique opportunity to witness the democratic process and gain a deeper understanding of Canada’s political landscape. It offers a glimpse into the diverse opinions, debates, and decision-making that shape the nation’s policies and direction.
Make sure to include a visit to the Chamber of the House of Commons as part of your Parliament experience for an immersive insight into the workings of Canadian democracy.
Chamber of the Senate
The Chamber of the Senate is an integral part of the Parliament of Canada and serves as the meeting place for Senators who are appointed to represent the provinces and territories of Canada. It embodies the principles of sober second thought and provides a platform for thoughtful and comprehensive discussions on legislation and public policy.
Located in the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings, the Chamber of the Senate is a grand and elegant space. The design is inspired by the British House of Lords, featuring red upholstered seats arranged in a semicircular fashion facing the Speaker’s chair.
The Chamber of the Senate exudes an air of tradition and reverence, with its richly appointed decor and symbolic elements. The Speaker’s chair, adorned with a canopy, is positioned at the front of the Chamber, overseeing the proceedings. The backdrop showcases the Royal Coat of Arms and historical portraits of past Governors General.
During a visit to the Chamber of the Senate, you will have the opportunity to witness the deliberative process and observe Senators engaging in debates and discussions on a wide range of issues. The atmosphere is characterized by a more formal and measured tone, as Senators provide a thorough examination and analysis of proposed legislation.
The public galleries are available for visitors to observe the Senate proceedings. From these vantage points, you can witness the speeches, exchange of ideas, and votes on important matters affecting the country.
While in the Chamber of the Senate, it is important to respect the dignity and decorum of the space. Visitors are expected to maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor. Mobile phones must be turned off or set to silent, and photography or recording is not permitted during parliamentary sessions.
Visiting the Chamber of the Senate offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into the role of the upper chamber and understand the importance of independent review and analysis in the legislative process. It provides a firsthand experience of how Senators contribute to shaping public policy and legislation that impacts the lives of Canadians.
Include a visit to the Chamber of the Senate as part of your Parliament experience to appreciate the thoughtful, measured approach to governance and gain a deeper understanding of Canada’s parliamentary system.
Library of Parliament
The Library of Parliament is not only a valuable resource for Members of Parliament and Senators but also a stunning architectural gem within the Parliament of Canada complex. Located in the Centre Block, it serves as a hub of knowledge and research, housing a vast collection of books, documents, and historical artifacts.
Designed in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, the Library of Parliament is renowned for its impressive architecture and meticulous attention to detail. The entrance features intricately carved wooden doors and a beautiful vaulted ceiling adorned with exquisite stained glass windows. The library’s iconic circular shape and towering octagonal roof make it a distinct landmark on Parliament Hill.
Visitors to the Library of Parliament are greeted with a sense of grandeur as they step into the Reading Room. The room is surrounded by two stories of polished wood bookshelves, containing collections on a wide range of subjects, including Canadian history, law, and political science. The ornate domed ceiling, gold accents, and natural light filtering through the stained glass windows create an atmosphere of intellectual inspiration.
While access to the main reading room is reserved for Members of Parliament and Senators, visitors can still appreciate the beauty and elegance of the Library from designated viewing areas. These areas provide glimpses of the remarkable architecture and allow visitors to marvel at the rich history and vast collection housed within.
The Library of Parliament is more than just a repository of knowledge; it also serves as a research hub for parliamentarians. It provides extensive resources, research services, and specialized databases to support their legislative work, policy development, and inquiries.
Visiting the Library of Parliament offers a chance to appreciate the rich literary and historical heritage of Canada. It provides a glimpse into the important role of research and knowledge in shaping public policy and governance. Whether you are a bibliophile, a history enthusiast, or simply appreciative of stunning architecture, a visit to the Library is sure to be a highlight of your Parliament experience.
Take the time to explore this architectural masterpiece and immerse yourself in the world of knowledge at the Library of Parliament. It is both a testament to Canada’s intellectual heritage and a symbol of the power of information in a democratic society.
The Peace Tower is one of the most iconic and recognizable features of the Parliament of Canada. Standing tall in the Centre Block, it serves as a symbol of peace, remembrance, and national unity. The tower is not only an architectural wonder but also holds great significance in Canada’s history and cultural heritage.
Rising 92 meters above Parliament Hill, the Peace Tower offers breathtaking panoramic views of Ottawa and the surrounding area. Its distinctive design combines Gothic and Beaux-Arts styles, featuring intricate stone carvings, stained glass windows, and a prominent clock face. At the top of the tower, a majestic observation deck provides visitors with an unparalleled view of the cityscape.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Peace Tower holds a deeper meaning for Canadians. Within the tower is housed the Memorial Chamber, dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of Canadians in times of war. The chamber contains the Books of Remembrance, which list the names of Canadian service members who lost their lives in conflicts around the world. It serves as a solemn reminder of the price paid for peace and the resilience of the Canadian spirit.
The Peace Tower also plays a significant role in Canada’s cultural life. Its Carillon, an impressive musical instrument consisting of 53 bells, fills the air with beautiful melodies throughout the day. The resonating tones carry a sense of harmony and symbolize the unity and diversity of the Canadian people.
Visitors to the Parliament of Canada can appreciate the Peace Tower from the outside, admiring its grandeur and taking in the intricate architectural details. Additionally, guided tours of the Parliament often include a visit to the Memorial Chamber within the Peace Tower, providing an opportunity to pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The Peace Tower stands as a beacon of hope, unity, and peace in the heart of Canada’s capital. It serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and strength of the nation, while offering visitors a chance to reflect on the importance of peace and remembrance. A visit to the Parliament of Canada would not be complete without experiencing the awe-inspiring presence of the Peace Tower.
The Centennial Flame is a beloved and symbolic feature located on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. It was created in 1967 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. The flame represents the unity, diversity, and shared values of the Canadian people.
The Centennial Flame sits in a circular pool of water, surrounded by beautiful bronze plaques representing each province and territory of Canada. The flames emanate from a central column, symbolizing the eternal flame of Canada’s spirit and the enduring strength of the nation.
What makes the Centennial Flame even more special is that it represents more than just a beautiful monument. It has a functional purpose as well. The flame burns natural gas and is continuously lit, serving as a symbol of the ongoing commitment to the ideals of Confederation.
The plaques surrounding the flame bear various symbols and important historical images that represent the character and contributions of each province and territory. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the diverse cultural heritage and regional identities that make up Canada.
The Centennial Flame is not only a significant symbol but also a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. It offers a peaceful and picturesque setting to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings of Parliament Hill. Many visitors gather around the flame, capturing photographs or simply reflecting on the significance of the monument.
Visiting the Centennial Flame is a wonderful way to celebrate Canada’s history, diversity, and unity. It serves as a reminder of the progress made since Confederation and the ongoing journey towards a prosperous and inclusive future.
As you explore Parliament Hill and the surrounding area, make sure to take a moment to appreciate the Centennial Flame and reflect on the remarkable story of Canada’s past, present, and future that it represents.
Gift Shop and Cafeteria
Located within the Parliament of Canada complex, the gift shop and cafeteria offer visitors the opportunity to indulge in culinary delights and find unique souvenirs to commemorate their visit.
The gift shop, also known as the Parliamentary Boutique, is a treasure trove of Canadian-themed merchandise. From maple syrup and Canadian chocolates to clothing, accessories, and artwork, you’ll find a wide array of high-quality products that showcase Canadian culture, history, and craftsmanship. Whether you’re looking for a memento to remember your visit or searching for a thoughtful gift for someone back home, the gift shop has something for everyone.
Aside from traditional souvenirs, the gift shop also features specialty books and publications, including works by Canadian authors and titles that delve into the country’s political history. It’s the perfect place to find educational resources or dive deeper into the fascinating world of Canadian politics.
After exploring the Parliament buildings and immersing yourself in Canadian history, you may find yourself in need of refreshments. The cafeteria, conveniently located within the Parliament complex, offers a variety of dining options to suit different preferences and dietary requirements.
From delicious sandwiches, salads, and hot meals to freshly brewed coffee and a selection of baked goods, the cafeteria provides a tasty respite during your visit to Parliament. You can sit down and enjoy your meal while basking in the historic ambiance of the surroundings.
It’s important to note that the gift shop and cafeteria may have specific operating hours that coincide with the visiting hours of the Parliament. It’s always a good idea to check the official website or contact the Visitor Services team for the most up-to-date information.
Whether you want to indulge in some retail therapy, find a unique Canadian souvenir, or simply refuel with a delicious meal, the gift shop and cafeteria at the Parliament of Canada have you covered. They provide a delightful and convenient experience that adds to the overall enjoyment of your visit.
A visit to the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa is a captivating and enriching experience that offers a glimpse into the country’s history, democracy, and national identity. From the awe-inspiring architecture to the lively debates in the chambers, every aspect of the Parliament reflects the spirit of Canada’s vibrant democracy.
Exploring the Parliament allows you to witness the democratic processes in action, observe the dedicated work of elected representatives, and gain a deeper understanding of Canadian governance. From the Chamber of the House of Commons to the Chamber of the Senate, these spaces are not only visually stunning but also significant in the decision-making that shapes the nation.
The Library of Parliament, with its wealth of knowledge and resources, showcases the importance of research and understanding in the legislative process. The Peace Tower stands tall as a symbol of peace, remembrance, and unity, while the Centennial Flame represents the strength and diversity of the Canadian people.
As you journey through the Parliament, taking in the grandeur of the buildings and learning about Canadian history and politics, don’t forget to visit the gift shop to find unique souvenirs and the cafeteria to enjoy a delicious meal.
Whether you are a history enthusiast, a political buff, or simply curious about Canadian governance, a visit to the Parliament of Canada is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s rich heritage and witness the democratic processes that shape its future.
Plan your visit, be aware of the visiting hours, observe the necessary security procedures, and consider taking a guided tour for a more comprehensive experience. By doing so, you can make the most of your time and leave with a deeper appreciation for Canada’s political system and the significance of its Parliamentary heritage.
Visiting the Parliament of Canada is not just a tourist attraction; it’s an opportunity to connect with the heart and soul of the country. So, come and explore this historic institution, be inspired by its architecture, and witness democracy in action.
Experience the Parliament of Canada, where the past, present, and future of Canada’s vibrant democracy converge, leaving you with a lasting impression of the nation’s political significance and the enduring values that define it.
- Privacy Overview
- Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
In the House
- Agenda and Publications
- Committee Meetings
A vote is in progress. Go to the Live Vote web page to follow the results live.
- Projected Order of Business Tentative working agenda listing items of business expected to be taken up on a particular sitting.
- Latest Order Paper and Notice Paper Official agenda, listing all items that may be taken up on a particular sitting.
- Latest Debates (Hansard) Full-length record of what is said in the House.
- Latest Journals Official record of the decisions and other transactions of the House.
Tentative working agenda listing items of business expected to be taken up on a particular sitting.
Official agenda, listing all items that may be taken up on a particular sitting.
Full-length record of what is said in the House.
Official record of the decisions and other transactions of the House.
- Earlier (0)
- Ongoing (1)
- Later (1)
Natural Resources (RNNR)
- Committee Business
- Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2024 Budget
- All Upcoming Meetings
- List of Committees and Overview
Most Discussed Topics in the House
- Cost of living
- Full website
Find a Member
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Northwest Territories
- Prince Edward Island
- Bloc Québécois Caucus
- Conservative Caucus
- Green Party Caucus
- Liberal Caucus
- New Democratic Party Caucus
Find a bill
Find a topic, find a petition, search the website, business calendar.
Select a date to view past or scheduled Parliamentary Business.
This calendar goes as far back as December 3, 2015. Previous business can be consulted by selecting relevant links on this page.
- House Sitting Days
- House Publications
- Parliamentary Diplomacy Events
Information and Events
Guided tour of west block and the senate of canada building.
Looking for something to do in Ottawa? Why not come for a guided tour of West Block and of the Senate of Canada Building ?
Reserve your tickets online .
You might be interested in ....
- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
Parliament is the heart of Canadian democracy. Explore this resource to learn how it works, the people who are part of it, and how it fits into Canada's system of government.
How Parliament Works
Parliament passes laws that affect all Canadians. In this section, you will learn more about the Senate, the House of Commons, and how bills become laws.
People in Parliament
Canada’s system of government.
Parliament is composed of the Governor General, the Senate and the House of Commons. Discover the work of Canada’s parliamentarians, as well as the people who support them in important political and non-political roles.
Parliament is only one part of Canada’s system of government. In this section, you will find out more about the people and institutions that contribute to governance across the country.
Canada's Incredible FREE Attractions Everyone Can Visit
Posted: November 10, 2023 | Last updated: November 10, 2023
Traveling can be expensive. Even if you find great deals on flights and hotels, sticking to a budget while exploring a new place can be difficult with restaurant and attraction prices skyrocketing. And while there are plenty of great ways to spend your money in Canada, there are also plenty of free parks, museums and activities spread throughout the country, from coast to coast.
From Alberta's magnificent hoodoos to the grandeur of Canada's parliament, click through this gallery to discover amazing Canadian attractions you can enjoy without spending a cent...
Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is full of luscious urban green spaces, but none are as famous or widely-visited as Stanley Park. Comprising a thousand acres of verdant rainforest, the park has it all: beaches, trails, totem poles, tennis courts, a wading pool and plenty of picnic spots. Walking or biking along the park’s six-mile seawall is one of the best ways to take in the classic Vancouver skyline. Bringing your own bike keeps the experience zero cost, but rentals are also available nearby.
Spadina Museum, Toronto, Ontario
This gleaming mansion-turned-museum overlooking the city of Toronto is completely free of charge – visitors can even take a complimentary guided tour to get the full scoop on the history of the luxurious home. The museum tells the story of the affluent Austin family who lived in the house during the early 1900s. In addition to enjoying the home’s lavish decor, tourists can walk through the estate’s well-tended gardens.
Love this? Follow us on Facebook for travel inspiration and more
Old Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its European-style buildings and narrow cobblestone streets, the historic district of Old Quebec famously feels like a living history museum. Plenty of money can be spent in the area's many shops and restaurants, but it’s the rustic, laid-back atmosphere of the city that's the real attraction. It won't cost you a thing to stroll among the mostly 19th-century buildings, take in the views, explore old churches and poke your head into the famous Chateau Frontenac hotel.
Signal Hill National Historic Site, St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Accessing the Signal Hill Visitor Centre comes with a small fee, but visitors can make their way up the hill and roam the grounds for free. The hill, which offers a great view of St John’s Harbour, served as a military lookout right the way from the 1640s up to the Second World War, and also played a crucial role in the development of wireless communications. In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first ever transatlantic signal at the hill – sent from Cornwall, England – and in 1920 a tower on the hill transmitted a human voice across the Atlantic for the first time. Today, visitors tend to hike around the area, enjoying the views and basking in its deep historic aura.
Avonlea Village, New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island
This attraction is a tribute to the fictional village of Avonlea from Canadian author LM Montgomery’s much beloved Anne of Green Gables novels (which spawned the popular Anne With An E television series). The makeshift town features the original schoolhouse Montgomery once taught in, as well as a smattering of other historic buildings and newer replicas. It's free to enter the village, though money can easily be spent at the site’s restaurants and gift shops.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta
Southern Alberta’s Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park features stunning natural rock formations, but the real draw here is cultural. The area is sacred to the Blackfoot people, whose ancestors have been visiting here for millennia. For generations, Indigenous inhabitants etched invaluable pieces of writing and art into the rock formations, most of which can still be viewed by visitors wandering the park’s many hiking trails.
These are the most incredible archaeological discoveries from across Canada
Brockville Railway Tunnel, Brockville, Ontario
This historic attraction in Brockville, near the northeast corner of Lake Ontario, became the first train tunnel in Canada when it opened for business in 1860. Decommissioned in 1970, visitors are now free to walk through the tunnel, which spans a third of a mile right under the city, starting at the Brockville waterfront. The tunnel is fitted with music and colorful lights (recently updated), which makes for an intriguing experience fit for both families and history buffs.
Hatley Castle Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia
Hatley Castle – a grand Victoria mansion originally built in 1908 – charges guests for guided tours and takes donations for entrance to its museum, but its gorgeous and extensive gardens can be enjoyed completely for free. The castle sits on a 650-acre estate home to a forest of heritage trees, including giant 250-year-old Douglas firs, as well as meticulously maintained formal rose, Italian and Japanese gardens that were installed as far back as 1910. Look for the classically Japanese stone lanterns and humped bridge.
Roadside attractions, various locations
Have you ever wanted to see the world’s largest nickel? Well, there’s a 30-foot replica in Sudbury, Ontario. How about a 25-foot non-edible pyrogy? That’s in Glendon, Alberta. Elsewhere in Canada you might stumble across the world’s largest curling rock (Arborg, Manitoba), a 17-foot-tall Cheeto complete with finger dust (Cheadle, Alberta), and the world’s second largest Easter Egg (Vegreville, Alberta), all free to be enjoyed by anyone lucky enough to be driving by.
St Joseph Oratory, Montreal, Quebec
You don’t have to be Catholic, or indeed religious at all, to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of this enormous church on the summit of Montreal’s Mount Royal mountain. Packed with history and topped with one of the world's biggest domes, it is the largest sanctuary in the world dedicated to St Joseph and the largest church in Canada. St Andre of Montreal, the monk who took charge of building the oratory in the early 20th century, is entombed in a special crypt inside. Visitors can also enjoy an outdoor sculpture garden.
West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta
Once the largest shopping mall in the world, the massive West Edmonton Mall is still a sight to behold. Obviously there are plenty of great ways to spend money here: alongside the more than 800 shops there's also a giant waterpark, a bowling alley, a karting track, an underground aquarium, an escape room, two mini-golf courses, a skating rink and an amusement park. But you can walk around, window shop and take in the over-the-top sights – including an indoor lake complete with a pirate ship – without spending a dime.
Kettle Valley Rail Trail, British Columbia
Get off the main road and explore the interior of British Columbia via this decommissioned train line originally built in 1915. The Kettle Valley Rail Trail snakes along a 400-mile route from Hope to Castlegar, serving up stellar views to cyclists and hikers as they move through the forest. One of the most popular sections is at Myra Canyon near Kelowna, known for its series of scenic trestles and relatively flat terrain.
Take a tour of Canada's eeriest abandoned places
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, Niagara Falls, Ontario
While any trip to Niagara should include a visit to the Falls (which you can also see for free from the city of Niagara Falls), visitors should also stop at the nearby Botanical Gardens, which operate both as a tourist attraction and an educational facility. The 40-hectare site is meticulously cultivated and maintained by students of the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, and there are new blooms there every season. You’ll find more than 80,000 annual plants, as well as fountains and pathways.
Parliament buildings, Ottawa, Ontario
The magnificent buildings on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill are iconic symbols of Canada – and they’re completely free to visit. Parliament’s main Centre Block building is closed for major renovations until at least 2030, but visitors can tour the House of Commons in the West Block, the heritage rooms in the East Block and the temporary home of the Canadian Senate in Ottawa's former train station. There’s even an immersive multimedia experience that allows users inside the Centre Block while it’s under construction.
Reversing Falls Rapids, St John, New Brunswick
The Bay of Fundy is known for its incredibly strong tidal waters (it has the highest tides in the world), which result in some dramatic natural phenomena. The Reversing Falls Rapids occur where the tidal waters of the bay collide with water emptying from the St John River, causing a 'natural tug-of-war' between the two bodies that can cause the river to seemingly flow in reverse. Visitors can view the whole thing from a bridge in Fallsview Park, or a lookout at nearby Wolastoq Park.
Inglis Grain Elevators, Inglis, Manitoba
Tall wooden buildings known as grain elevators – used to store wheat and other grains – were once a common sight on the Canadian prairies, but these days they've mostly been replaced with concrete towers. One of the best places to see old grain elevators is the Inglis Grain Elevators National Historic Site, with five intact wooden elevators still standing neatly in a row. Admission is charged for tours, but it is free to simply take in the grandeur of these towering historic structures.
Lynn Canyon Park, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Open as a public park since 1912, Lynn Canyon Park has for decades been a beloved spot for hikers, forest bathers and anyone in need of a quick nature hit. The popular Baden Powell Trail cuts through the park, crossing Lynn Canyon with the help of the majestic Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, a swaying structure that stretches 160 feet over the rocky cliffs and rushing waterfalls below, and through a thick canopy of lush forest.
From bears to beavers: the best wildlife-watching experiences across Canada
St Thomas Elevated Park, St Thomas, Ontario
St Thomas is the first elevated park in Canada – but what exactly is an elevated park? In this case, it’s a public green space built on an 850-foot-long decommissioned train bridge perched 95 feet above the road below. Similar to attractions like the High Line in New York, there are benches to sit on, and stunning views of the Kettle Creek Valley. The park is open daily free of charge, and dogs on leads are also welcome to visit.
Waterfront, Halifax, Nova Scotia
One of the most bustling parts of the city, Halifax’s boardwalk-lined waterfront is always full of life and the scent of sea air. With two-and-a-half miles to explore, there's plenty to see and do without having to reach for your wallet. Watch boats go by, pose for photos in front of public art pieces, relax in one of the signature orange hammocks on the boardwalk or enjoy the panoramic views of the Halifax skyline.
Central Library, Calgary, Alberta
Most Canadian cities have public libraries that double as meeting spaces, but the new Central Library in Calgary is truly special. The four-story building is a work of art both inside and out, winning plaudits in Architectural Digest and The New York Times for its sleek aesthetic and attention to detail. The library is worth visiting just to see the building, but once inside visitors can read books, stream films and documentaries or kill time in the central open plaza.
Igloo church, Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Located well north of the Arctic Circle, it makes sense that the local Catholic church in Inuvik is designed to mimic the shape and look of a snow-covered igloo. Officially known as Our Lady of Victory, the striking exterior of Inuvik’s unique 'igloo church' offers one of the best photo opportunities in this northern community. Tours of the interior are also available during the summer months.
Battlefields Park, Quebec City, Quebec
Encompassing Des Braves Park and the famous Plains of Abraham, Quebec City’s answer to Central Park is the site of some of the most significant military engagements in Canada’s history, including a pivotal battle between the British and the French during the Seven Years' War. You can pay a fee to visit the Plains of Abraham Museum or simply enjoy the park's wide open spaces while looking out over the magnificent St Lawrence River. Activities are also programmed in the park throughout the year.
Northern Lights, various locations
Canada’s natural beauty is one of the main reasons people visit, and few things anywhere are as beautiful as the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Caused by solar particles interacting with gases in the atmosphere near Earth's magnetic poles, this all-natural lightshow can appear across the country, but you’re most likely to see it in the far-north during the darkest parts of winter.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
One of the most familiar sights in Canada, the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is a national icon. Visitors to this small East Coast community can walk up to the lighthouse and watch the waves dramatically crash on the rocks without paying a cent. There’s more to see than the lighthouse though – be sure to poke around the adjacent village filled with fishing boats and old lobster traps for a postcard-perfect slice of maritime charm.
Canada in crisis: discover the desperate damage climate change is doing to the country
Jean Talon Market, Montreal, Quebec
Montreal is famous for its vibrant markets and Jean Talon is perhaps the best-known of the bunch. Even if you have no intention of spending money, experiencing the buzzing atmosphere of this open-air market, one of the largest in North America, is a must. Despite the chilly Montreal winter, the market is open year-round, with walls going up around the exterior in cold weather. Enjoy the sights and smells of the vendors’ wares and look out for special events throughout the year.
St Martins Sea Caves, St Martins, New Brunswick
Another natural attraction created by the Bay of Fundy's powerful tides, these sandstone caves are submerged during high tide. They can only be approached by boat during that time, but at low tide you can explore them on foot – walking to the entrances across the ocean floor. Visitors can wonder at the natural rock formations, enjoy chowder at the nearby restaurant or do a spot of birdwatching across the bay. Be sure to consult local tide tables ahead of time if you’re planning to check out the cave interiors.
Hoodoo Trail, Drumheller, Alberta
Drumheller is in the heart of Alberta’s dinosaur country, and no natural feature is more connected with the province’s prehistoric geography than the otherworldly rock formations known as hoodoos. Formed over the course of millions of years, a number of these flat-topped sandstone pillars are grouped together on this easy walking trail just outside Drumheller. For more of a challenge, there are a host of other more testing Badlands hiking routes nearby.
Fort Amherst Lighthouse, St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Technically part of Signal Hill, Fort Amherst is worth seeing in and of itself, as it was once the location of a fortification originally built in 1777. That fort no longer exists, but visitors still flock to the site to view the Fort Amherst Lighthouse, a traditional red and white tapered lighthouse that was built in 1951 to replace a dilapidated predecessor. It’s free to walk up to the lighthouse and take pictures overlooking the Narrows leading into St John’s Harbour.
Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario
An eclectic neighborhood and shopping district in the center of the city, strolling the vibrantly colorful streets of Kensington Market is a quintessential Toronto experience. There are plenty of shops and places to eat, but merely window shopping at the many vintage clothing stores, taking in the smells and sounds of the open-air food stalls and people-watching are enough to keep most visitors engaged and entertained for hours.
The Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in the heart of urban Winnipeg, the area now known as The Forks has been a traditional gathering place for over 6,000 years. The area is now home to a market, world-class museums including the Children's Museum and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and ample outdoor space for wandering and enjoying the wide range of public art. During the cold Winnipeg winter, the area turns into an icy wonderland with space to skate, ski and snowshoe.
Read on to discover Canada's coolest neighborhoods everyone should visit
More for You
The Best Christmas Towns in America You Should Visit at Least Once
Which Fast Food Chain Has The Best Burger?
Three potential landing spots for Patriots HC Bill Belichick
Winter Storm Warning Snow Totals Depend On Where You Live
A new COVID variant, HV.1, is now dominant. These are its most common symptoms
Congress just found the dumbest way to avoid a government shutdown
It's Official: This Map Shows America's Top Thanksgiving Pies in Every State
Hundreds ordered out of flats immediately because building's at risk of collapse
Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Vaccine Skeptics
Blondie by Dean Young and John Marshall
IRS Increases Gift and Estate Tax Exempt Limits — Here’s How Much You Can Give Without Paying
Time for US to counter the bully at 30,000 feet
I was a bartender for almost a decade. Here are the techniques I used to land bigger tips — and the people I tried to avoid serving.
Why a Blue-Leaning Swing State Is Getting Redder
Female pool player Lynne Pinches refuses to play transgender opponent and walks off
'Panicked' Russia Pulls Warships From Crimea: Report
40 of the Most Beautiful Places in the World at Christmastime
Hagar the Horrible by Chris Browne
The Georgia district attorney who charged Trump expects his trial to be underway over Election Day
The Most Powerful Muscle Car of Each Decade
- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
Many distinguished visitors have made an address to joint sessions of Parliament throughout the years. Although most Heads of State address joint sessions of Parliament, there are exceptions. For example, on May 7, 1941, the Right Honorable R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia, addressed the House of Commons (House of Commons Debates, May 7, 1941, pp. 2629-2632) and on August 25, 1943, Mr. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States, addressed Members of the Senate, the House of Commons and the general public outside the Chambers (House of Commons Debates, January 25, 1944, pp. 5436-5438).
- © Library of Parliament
- PARLINFO Site Map
- Français fr
Media advisory – Announcement of Government of Canada support for Cintech agroalimentaire and three Montérégie tourism organizations
From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
Annie Koutrakis, Member of Parliament for Vimy and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for CED, will visit the Montérégie region to announce CED financial assistance for Cintech agroalimentaire, an innovative organization in the food product processing sector. She will also take the opportunity during her time in the region to visit the Chouette à voir! site of the Union québécoise de réhabilitation des oiseaux de proie (UQROP) and announce CED contributions for three Montérégie tourism organizations: UQROP, the Regroupement indépendant pour la relance économique de la région de Sorel‑Tracy - Statera expérience and La Rabouillère. Ms. Koutrakis will be available to answer the media’s questions after the tour.
Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, November 15, 2023 – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
Annie Koutrakis, Member of Parliament for Vimy and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for CED, will visit the Montérégie region to announce CED financial assistance for Cintech agroalimentaire, an innovative organization in the food product processing sector.
She will also take the opportunity during her time in the region to visit the Chouette à voir! site of the Union québécoise de réhabilitation des oiseaux de proie (UQROP) and announce CED contributions for three Montérégie tourism organizations: UQROP, the Regroupement indépendant pour la relance économique de la région de Sorel‑Tracy - Statera expérience and La Rabouillère. Ms. Koutrakis will be available to answer the media’s questions after the tour.
Schedule of public activities
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2023
First activity: Announcement and tour of Cintech agroalimentaire
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Cintech agroalimentaire 3000 Avenue José-Maria-Rosel Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec J2S 0J9
Second activity: Tour of UQROP (Chouette à voir!) as part of the announcement of CED support for three tourism organizations
Time: 1:10 p.m.
Location: Chouette à voir! 875 Rang Salvail Sud Saint-Jude, Quebec J0H 1P0
We ask any journalists interested in participating in these activities to confirm their presence by writing to the following email address by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, specifying which activity: conferences@dec‑ced.gc.ca .
CED will use the email addresses received to send out the news releases the day of the announcements.
Follow CED on social media Consult CED’s news
Media Relations Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions [email protected]
Marie-Justine Torres Press Secretary Office of the Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions Cell: 613-327-5918 [email protected]
Israel-Gaza latest: Images emerge 'from inside Gaza's Al Shifa hospital' amid Israeli military raid
Israel has entered al Shifa hospital, saying Hamas targets are inside - something the militant group denies. A doctor has described shooting inside what is Gaza's biggest hospital.
Wednesday 15 November 2023 12:56, UK
- Israel-Hamas war
Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
- Israeli troops enter al Shifa hospital
- Images emerge 'from inside hospital' - as Hamas-run health ministry and IDF release photos
- WHO loses contact with hospital staff - as UN chief 'appalled' at reports of Israeli raid
- 'Shooting within hospital' - doctor
- Gaza to enter communication blackout in 'coming hours' as telecoms operations forced to shut down due to fuel blockade
- Dominic Waghorn analysis : Examining the claims about Hamas using this hospital
- Sky News investigation: How the Kibbutz Be'eri attack unfolded
- The war explained: How reliable are the death figures? | What do ordinary Gazans think of Hamas? | A short history of this conflict
- Updates from Mark Stone and Dominic Waghorn in Israel, and John Sparks in Lebanon
- Live reporting by Jess Sharp
Qatari mediators have set out the framework for a deal between Israel and Hamas that could see a three-day ceasefire and the release of 50 hostages, an official briefed on the negotiations has told Reuters.
Other conditions in the proposed agreement, according to the official, include:
- The release of some Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails
- An increase in the amount of humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza
- Hamas handing over a complete list of remaining living civilian hostages held in Gaza
If agreed by both sides, it would mark the largest number of hostages released by Hamas since the conflict began on 7 October.
More than 200 people, including women and children, are being held by the militant group in Gaza.
Hamas has agreed to the general outlines of the deal, but Israel has not and is still negotiating the details, the official said.
The scope of the Qatari-led negotiations has changed significantly in recent weeks.
But, the fact the talks are now focused on the release of 50 hostages in exchange for a three-day truce and Hamas has agreed to the outline has not been reported before.
The wealthy Gulf state of Qatar has a direct line of communication with Hamas and Israel, and has previously helped mediate truces between the two.
By Sean Bell , military analyst
The Israeli military response to the Hamas attack on 7 October was swift, intense and highly kinetic.
However, Israeli anger at the brutality of the attack probably precluded a measured and considered military response.
It is still not clear what had been identified as the desired end state - the military objective?
The IDF ground offensive has made progress into Gaza City, and a recent picture released by the IDF claims to show Israeli forces in the Gaza parliament building.
This is a highly symbolic image, as it implies the IDF now controls Gaza City - which was probably one of its objectives.
However, while the IDF might well have made significant progress above ground, it is unclear at this stage what progress has been made in clearing the labyrinth of tunnels under Gaza City - the infamous Gaza Metro.
Also, has the IDF action liberated Gaza City for the resident Palestinians, and has Hamas been destroyed?
Since Hamas appears to have survived the initial IDF onslaught, what has the IDF achieved?
The Hamas controlled Gaza health authority claims more than 11,000 Palestinians have lost their lives since the start of the IDF military action, and the humanitarian situation in Gaza appears critical.
Having committed to a ground offensive, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see "next steps" for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his military forces.
As IDF resources look at increasing risk of getting bogged down in a military quagmire, there is a growing chorus of international calls to address the escalating humanitarian crisis.
The Hamas-led health ministry in Gaza has released photos purporting to show damage inside al Shifa hospital following Israel's raid.
The Israel Defence Forces infiltrated the facility in the early hours of this morning, claiming it was carrying out a "precise and targeted" military operation.
It released images claiming to show its operation earlier today (see our 10.02 post) .
Earlier, a senior Israeli defence official said no fighting has taken place inside the hospital complex so far and forces were "present in one specific location" at the huge 22-acre compound.
The IDF has claimed the hospital - Gaza's biggest - has been used for military purposes by Hamas, but this has been denied by the militant group.
Instead, Hamas argues Israel is deliberately targeting civilians.
Sky News has not independently verified these images.
The president of Turkey has ramped up his criticism of Israel today, calling it a "terrorist state" intent on destroying Gaza.
In a fiery speech, Recep Tayyip Erodgan said his country would take steps to make sure Israel's leaders were brought to trial in international courts.
"Israel is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city and its people," he said.
"I say openly that Israel is a terrorist state."
He added that Turkey would work on the international stage to ensure that Israeli settlers are recognised as terrorists.
Mr Erdogan described Hamas militants as "resistance fighters" trying to protect their land and people.
Turkey recently normalised relations with Israel following a decade of tensions after Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish aid ship in 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists.
The vessel was trying to break Israel's blockade and deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza.
However, the Israel-Hamas conflict has again strained their ties.
Tens of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington DC last night in a "March for Israel".
They travelled from around the US to demonstrate support for Israel, show backing for hostages and their release, and standing against antisemitism.
During the demonstration, Noa Naftali told Sky News she was there for her cousin who was "shot in front of her children" - including three-year-old Abigail, who is now one of the more than 200 people being held hostage by Hamas.
"Abigail likes playing tag, she likes running after a soccer ball with her brother and sister, and she is alone. She is a three-year-old, alone, being held hostage in Gaza," she said.
"We are waiting for her and our thoughts are with her all the time."
A senior Israeli defence official has claimed weapons and "terror infrastructure" have been found during the raid at al Shifa hospital.
No fighting has taken place inside the hospital complex so far, the official added, saying forces were "present in one specific location" at the huge 22-acre compound.
While the official would not provide further details, they did claim troops had concrete evidence Hamas was using the facility as a "terror HQ".
Israel has consistently claimed the militant group is using al Shifa for military purposes, but Hamas has denied this.
The official did not say how long Israeli forces would be at the hospital, but said footage of the operation's findings would be released later today.
They said individuals at the complex had been interrogated - and claimed there was "no friction" between hospital staff, patients or injured civilians.
Gaza will enter a communication blackout in the "coming hours", the region's two main telecom companies have warned.
Paltel and Jawwal said their main data centres were "gradually shutting down" due to dwindling fuel supplies.
"This will lead to a complete telecom blackout in the coming hours," they warned in a joint statement.
Communication inside the region has already proven difficult in recent days, as telecom networks have largely collapsed, especially in the north of the region.
The first truck to deliver fuel to Gaza since Israel imposed a total siege on the region has started crossing from Egypt, according to reports.
Egypt's state-run al-Qahera TV station reported a fuel truck had crossed the Egyptian gate of the Rafah border crossing - the only entry into Gaza not controlled by Israel.
Wael Abu Omar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Crossings Authority, said a fuel truck arrived at the Gaza side this morning.
The delivery has been allowed to go ahead after Israel gave its approval for 24,000 litres (6,340 gallons) of fuel to be allowed into Gaza for use by UN aid distribution trucks, a humanitarian source said.
But, the fuel is not allowed to be used at hospitals, they added.
The initial delivery was intended to be carried out over two days, with 12,000 litres allocated for each day, an international source with knowledge of the operation told Reuters.
"This is not enough for anything - not for hospitals, not even for aid deliveries," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It's meant to be enough only to bring some of the aid that has been outside - and got rained on for example - indoors to the warehouses."
Witnesses said two other trucks were lined up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing and waiting to drive into Gaza, but it was unclear when they might enter.
Supplies were barred from entering the region after the Hamas launched its 7 October attack, with Israel saying the militant group would divert fuel for its own military use.
But aid agencies have pleaded for deliveries to restart, with hospitals already forced to close and humanitarian operations on the brink of collapse due to depleting supplies.
The Israel Defence Forces has raided Gaza's biggest hospital today in, what it calls, a "targeted and precise" operation.
The military said it has also delivered incubators, baby food and medical supplies to al Shifa.
Hospital staff have been trying to treat patients without an electricity supply and with dwindling resources.
Medical staff had previously reported babies were taken out of existing incubators because fuel had been cut off, rather than a shortage of incubators.
However, the IDF said the incubators being delivered would not need to be connected to a power source.
It released images purporting to show the deliveries, but these have not been verified by Sky News.
The IDF claims Hamas has been using the hospital for military purposes but this has been denied by the militant group.
Our international affairs editor Dominic Waghorn explains what we know about the situation at al Shifa so far...
Be the first to get Breaking News
Install the Sky News app for free
- Visit Parliament Visit
- Français FR
- Immersive Experience
- Senate Tours
- House of Commons Tours
- East Block Tours