The fireplace that destroyed most of Canada’s parliament buildings on February 3, 1916 had a dramatic impression on the museum’s operations for 4 years. The fireplace is believed to have began from a smoldering cigar within the Home of Commons studying room, destroying the middle block and collapsing the tower.

Seven folks died within the catastrophe. (Learn extra in regards to the hearth)

The charred shell of the Middle Block on February 4, 1916, the morning after the fireplace. Musee Bytown Museum © Public area

Regardless of the devastation, Parliament needed to proceed its enterprise. Canada was in the midst of World Conflict I. One of the best answer for a short lived location was a mile south – in our Victoria Memorial Museum Constructing, which had simply opened in 1912 as Canada’s first nationwide museum.

The morning after the fireplace, the museum’s theater was transformed right into a makeshift commons chamber. It contained a gallery for guests and the press. That afternoon the Home of Commons sat collectively and performed its enterprise as normal. Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden expressed his condolences for the devastation attributable to the fireplace and the lack of seven lives.

Parliament remained within the museum for 4 years.

A museum is transferring out

To accommodate the enterprise of Canadian legislators, galleries had been closed to the general public and specimens and artifacts had been moved to facet partitions. Students and curators moved to places of work exterior the museum; some surviving places of work and laboratories within the basement of the museum. It was fairly an pleasure!

The Senate of Canada additionally moved into the mineral gallery on the primary flooring. That this room had previously housed the Gallery of Invertebrate Fossils was a supply of amusement on the time.

Black and white image of an ongoing session in the theater at the Victoria Memorial Museum.Opening of a session of the Home of Commons within the Museum’s theater in 1918. Prime Minister Robert Borden is seated on the desk to the left of the Speaker. Sir Wilfrid Laurier is seated on the desk on the correct. Library and Archives Canada PA22433 © Public area

Laws throughout the partitions of the museum

Borden’s ruling Conservatives mentioned many initiatives with the opposition Liberals, led by Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Vital legal guidelines had been handed within the museum over the 4 years. One such piece of laws was the Navy Service Act of 1917, which launched a wartime scheme for recruiting Canadian troopers.

Additionally in 1917, the Revenue Tax Act was handed, initially meant as a short lived wartime measure.

On Could 24, 1918, throughout the partitions of the museum, Parliament handed the Ladies’s Suffrage Act, which acknowledged Canadian girls’s proper to vote in nationwide elections.

A man stands in front of an audience.Sir Wilfrid Laurier addressing members of the Home of Commons within the Museum’s theater circa 1916. Library and Archives Canada C1973 © Public area.

Lauren dies

On February 17, 1919, Canada misplaced considered one of its most well-known politicians and orators, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Laurier was Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911. He had served as chief of the opposition from 1911 till his dying. The renewed parliament was nonetheless beneath building, so it was positioned within the museum’s theater.

An estimated 50,000 Canadians got here to pay their final respects.

Black and white image of men carrying coffin in front of museum.Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s funeral procession leaves the museum. Library and Archives Canada C7213 © Public area

The truth that the museum’s premises served as interim parliament for these 4 years provides considerably to the historic worth of the Victoria Memorial Museum constructing – one thing we could be pleased with.

A brand new house for Parliament

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Watch nice archival footage of the fateful occasion and the provisional seat of presidency on this video at Canada’s first nationwide museum.

Whats up, I am Laura on the Canadian Museum of Nature 100 years in the past, on February 3, 1916, this museum turned the scene of Canada’s legislature when a large hearth destroyed the Parliament buildings. Destruction was speedy, in just some hours the central block constructing was gutted and the tower had collapsed, World Conflict I devastated Europe.

Canadian troopers fought on the entrance traces, the nation’s authorities couldn’t be interrupted at 3:00 p.m. on February 4, the day after the Nice Hearth Parliament discovered a brand new house a mile south on the new Victoria Memorial Museum, Canada’s first nationwide museum constructing which was solely opened to the general public in 1912, turned the interim seat of Parliament for 4 years. I’m right here now within the museum rotunda which turned the Chamber of Commons the place all MPs had been housed meant exhibition rooms needed to be closed to the general public and many of the scientists had been moved off web site to this rotunda which on the time served as an auditorium. The partitions echoed with strident debates between Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s opposition Liberals and Conservative-led promoter Robert Borden.

Vital legal guidelines had been handed, together with the Navy Service Act, girls’s suffrage and the Non permanent Revenue Tax Act. The museum’s brief time as an interim parliament way back is honored with this particular commemorative plaque proper on the entrance of this constructing. This every day museum stays considered one of Canada’s most essential federal heritage buildings, a truth of which we’re very proud.


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