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Fire and Stone

Photograph of the Library of Parliament after 1885

Photograph of the Library of Parliament after 1885
Source

 

Title page of book, ON THE POSITION OF A CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNOR UNDER RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT, by Alpheus Todd, published in 1878

Title page of On the Position of a Constitutional Governor under Responsible Government, by Alpheus Todd, 1878
Source

In this section:

When the competition to design the Parliament Buildings was announced in 1859, Alpheus Todd (1821-1884), the librarian of the Legislative Assembly, drafted a memorandum in which he described the circular, domed Library of Parliament that stands today. The richly ornamented library testifies to the skill of the many individuals who participated in its construction, but it was the librarian's advice that enabled the building to survive the fire that destroyed the adjoining Centre Block in 1916:

“The Library Building should be isolated from the main Parliament Buildings, and yet connected by corridors to the Legislative Halls of both Houses, in as close proximity as would be consistent with safety. The Building should be fire-proof, walls, floors and roof should be exclusively formed of brick, stone, iron or some other non-combustible material.” (LAC, RG 11, A1(a), Vol. 37, 40997½)

Orders-in-council record the diverse work involved in creating the library's physical and literary content.