Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard, Ottawa: Address, Changing of the Guard Reviews: 4.5/5

Changing of the Guard
4.5
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Formal ceremony taking place daily during the summer on Parliament Hill that shouldn't be missed.
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Neighborhood: Byward Market Area
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
432 reviews
Excellent
246
Very good
137
Average
39
Poor
8
Terrible
2

David L
Hudson, Canada191 contributions
Couples
My office looks over Elgin street so I get to see the Guard every day during the summer. They march by on their way to the Hill just before 10 and return about 1040 or so. At least once during the summer I take an extended coffee break and go over to the Hill to see the Guard do their ceremonial change. Makes me tear up every time. I guess I just like military band and pipe music and good marching. Worth the time to go and watch.
Written February 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

debrakgrose
Port Perry, Canada132 contributions
Catch the thrilling spectacle of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Come early (9:45 am) to learn about the symbolism, history and proceedings of this free ceremony.

Changing the Guard takes place on the East Lawn of Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Canada, every morning, beginning at 9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., from late June through late August, and provides a colourful spectacle of pomp, pageantry and music.

The parade begins at the Cartier Square Drill Hall with the drum major, followed by the band, and the two divisions of the 'new guard'. Turning north onto Queen Elizabeth Drive, the parade continues underneath the Laurier Avenue bridge and then turns left onto the ramp leading onto Laurier Avenue (Ottawa). then North onto Elgin Street.

While the New Guard is en route to Parliament Hill the Old Guard forms up behind the East Block with the colour. They set off at approximately 9:45 a.m. with the Pipes and Drums of the Ceremonial Guard leading. They march to the east lawn and move into position, then they await the New Guard arriving.

The New Guard marches north on Elgin Street up to the National War Memorial and onto Wellington Street before the parade arrives on Parliament Hill precisely at 10 a.m. At this time the band begins to play "The 10 Provinces March" by Howard Cable.

The parade marches onto the east lawn of Parliament, with the band centred at the northernmost edge of the lawn and facing south. The old guard is in position on the west side of the east lawn and faces the east block, while the new guard marches to the east side of the lawn and faces west towards the old guard.

After the old and new guards are formed from three ranks into two and independently dressed off for proper alignment, the two sergeants of the guard – commanders of the two divisions of new guard – advance to be inspected by the company sergeant-major. Following inspection, the number two division sergeant marches to his position while the number one division sergeant stands still.

The new guard is then given the order "Get on parade", at which point they advance to the tune of "The British Grenadiers" from the band, and form up dressed off the sergeants of the guard. The new guard's persons and weapons are inspected by the company commander, and they are stood at ease.

Following the inspection of the new guard, the old guard is inspected. After this inspection, the sergeants of the guard and division seconds-in-command are ordered to 'take post' – the sergeant of the guard marches from the right flank to directly behind the guard, while the second-in-command marches from the left flank to the right. The parade is then called to the present arms for the marching on of the regimental colours. With the colours marched on, the new guard advances at the slow march, ceremonially 'taking up the ground' from the old guard.

The old guard and new guard salute each other at present arms. Following this, the old guard commander presents the key to the Guard Room at Rideau Hall to the new guard commander.

The parade is then formed into three ranks and marched off at the slow march, transitioning into the quick march. The order of march differs only in that the old guard is now at the rear.

This large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. If you love pipes, drums, and full Regimental band then this is a must see event in the summer in Ottawa
Written August 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hdempsey
Washington DC1,282 contributions
We went to the changing of the guard ceremony both here and in Quebec, and I'd say this was better (and shorter). Even as an American I really enjoyed it. The precision of the ceremony and the marching band were both amazing. We also got the great tip to begin where they start at the drill hall and sort of walk with them all the way to parliament hill. Stay close behind them and you can get a great spot on the edge of the ring. You can also get some great photos very close to them while you work.
Written August 24, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brian R
Ottawa, Canada3 contributions
Family
Twice this year, we brought different visitors from out of town with very young children who had never seen he parade and ceremony downtown. As you can imagine, this involves getting the kids ready, leaving in time to find parking, paying for parking downtown and making your way to Wellington or Parliament Hill. Twice, the ceremony was cancelled, leaving kids and visitors disappointed and with a needless parking charge. The first time it was cancelled, there had been a thunderstorm much earlier in the morning and by 10, it was a beautiful sunny day. The second time it was cancelled, it rained a little in the morning and it had stopped by 9:30.

I get that security of all is paramount, safety first, and that lightning and rain can be dangerous for the troops and for visitors - that being said - COULT THERE NOT BE A SYSTEM IN PLACE TO INFORM PEOPLE?? If one is leaving the outskirts of the city or a neighbouring town, travelling several miles to attend and paying for parking, it it was be really useful to know ahead of time that it is cancelled. Government officials have the technology, via twitter, social media, a phone number, live information on the website - to have the courtesy to inform members of the public. Am I mistaken, is this information available somewhere and we just did not find it??
Written August 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bbcc1313
Almonte, Canada212 contributions
Solo
This show never gets old. We took relatives from Europe to see this and they were amazed at the show. As residents, we forget how much there is to do and see in our unique little town of Ottawa
Written March 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sachin K
Plainview, NY5,842 contributions
Family
Changing of the Guard can be viewed at the National War Memorial site as well, in addition to the grounds of the parliament. The one at the parliament starts at 10 AM, whereas the one at the National War Memorial occurs every hour. It is a typical British tradition that has been carried over and is interesting to watch. Certainly would very highly recommend witnessing the same.
Written November 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SurreyGirl27
Addlestone, UK1,119 contributions
Couples
As a UK resident I found this fascinaating and very patriotic to the Commonwealth. the soldiers are immaculate and with the \RCMP there as well it shows the differnce between the nations. Parkign locally is a nightmare so leave plenty of time for the 1000 daily ceremony.
Written June 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dextervhc
New York City, NY21 contributions
Couples
This really was an amazing experience. I actually liked it more than the one in London - not so crowded. Unfortunately there were people there who were making fun of the ceremony which was annoying and rude. We also saw the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was a reverent experience. Sadly though, people seemed to think that the ceremony was somehow there for their entertainment rather than to honour all the unknown soldiers who died for their country. People were laughing and mucking about and more concerned about getting their photos taken with the guards, than honouring the dead. It was offensive and disrespectful. I'm not against taking photos, but just do it in a respectful manner. Don't forget this is a tomb with a body inside it, not just some stone with people in fancy uniforms standing next to it.
Written July 6, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GunnaEastYorkshire
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK367 contributions
Coming from the UK I really wanted to see the changing of the guard. It was very good and reminded me of similar displays at home.

We watched them march to Parliament Hill by standing near the 'tomb of the unknown soldier' You can the follow them up to the Hill. The show is very impressive, it's obvious they have spent hours getting that level of perfection.

If you've got small children they may get bored part way through as its not a 10 minute show. It is very good and worth seeing
Written September 16, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Keep_Travelling
Plainsboro, New Jersey126 contributions
Family
be there by 9:30...
get your parliament tour tickets across the road... and then head straight to the lawns...
music band comes out at 9:45
it lasts till 10:30
and then you can go on your tour of parliament...
great to see soldiers march in unision...
Written July 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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