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See the revamped West Block, the new home of Canada’s House of Commons

Click to play video: 'The West Block’s Tom Clark takes a look at the West Block renovation' The West Block’s Tom Clark takes a look at the West Block renovation
The West Block of Canada’s parliament is in the midst of makeover. It’s only fitting that our host of The West Block, Tom Clark, gives you a tour – Sep 15, 2016

Starting in 2018, the Canadian House of Commons will have a new home.

That’s right — everything from the House itself to the associated committee rooms, offices and even the prime ministerial bathroom will be moving a few hundred metres to the west.

West Block will become the new centre of power for the country, while Ottawa’s old train station will house the Senate.

The iconic Centre Block, meanwhile, will shut down for a makeover that is expected to take a decade to complete.

For now, however, it’s West Block that’s getting the face-lift in preparation for the big move. On Thursday, the media was allowed to access the construction site for a full tour from the roof to the sub-sub-basement. Here’s some of what we saw and learned.

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Be sure to check out Tom Clark’s video tour above!

A view across the roof of Parliament Hill’s West Block as a crane delivers the next beam to be installed. The network of white steel beams will support a glass ceiling over the temporary House of Commons. Monique Muise/Global News
The Peace Tower is seen from the roof of Parliament Hill’s West Block. The entirety of Centre Block’s offices and meeting spaces will move to West Block in two years. Monique Muise/Global News
Mark Koppelaar of Walters Inc. provides details of the steel work being done on the West Block. The final beam for the ceiling over the new House of Commons will be put in place next week. Monique Muise/Global News
One of the interior corridors in West Block is shown under construction. Workers removed thousands of tonnes of asbestos from the walls and have rewired the building to be Internet-friendly. Monique Muise/Global NEws
A view looking down into what will become Canada’s temporary House of Commons. The room will include all the desks now sitting in Centre Block, and will be covered by a glass ceiling. Monique Muise/Global News
A look at the unfinished ceiling above the new House of Commons. Several other parliaments around the world have modernized their buildings in the same way. The shifting natural light may play a bit of havoc with television cameras in the room. Monique Muise/Global News
Architect Georges Drolet speaks to reporters about how an old courtyard will become the new House of Commons. The design team has tried to keep the physical layout of the chamber the same so that government business can go on as usual. Monique Muise/Global News
An artist’s rendering of the temporary House of Commons located in West Block. Around 500 workers are on the construction site each day. Handout
Senior director of the renovation program Rocque Gameiro steps into former prime minister Alexander Mackenzie’s office in West Block, which will become Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office in 2018. The country’s second PM installed a secret staircase (located behind Gameiro) to help him escape people in the hallways outside. It still exists today, as does a small circular bathroom off the main office. .THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Global News cameraman Michael Haslett takes a peek into what will become the prime ministerial washroom. For now, it’s just an empty, round space lined with stone. Monique Muise/Global News
Rocque Gameiro looks up from the depths of the sub-sub-basement. Workers blasted down into the bedrock under the heritage building to create new spaces for committee rooms, offices and delivery areas. Monique Muise/Global News
A stonemason concentrates as she works to shape a block of stone that will fit into the West Block’s facade. Masons from all over the world have come to Ottawa to work on the iconic building, and the emphasis has been on preserving as much of the original material and design as possible. About 80 per cent of the stone was re-used. Monique Muise/Global News

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