The Changing of the Guard Ceremony

June 23, 2019

August 24, 2019


Parliament Hill, Wellington Street, Ottawa



Events Description

The ceremony is among Ottawa’s most recognized military traditions, and is a summer attraction which has welcomed thousands of visitors to Parliament Hill for more than 55 years. Soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard come from many Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) units across the country, with the Guard continuing the individual traditions of Canada’s two Foot Guards regiments — The Governor General’s Foot Guards (GGFG) and the Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG).

The Changing of the Guard is a parade representing the changing of the guards posted at Rideau Hall, the official residence the Governor General. A full company of two platoons is employed in daily public duties, with both divisions of one platoon parading as the ‘new guard’ – those to take over duties at Rideau Hall – and the other platoon of the company split, one division parading as ‘old guard’, and the other performing sentry duties at Rideau Hall for the day.

Sentry duties commenced – on June 23rd and will continue until August 24th. The Ceremonial Guard also provides training and oversight to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces performing sentry duties at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which lies in Front of the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa. A changing of the sentries is scheduled every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rideau Hall and at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

  • All the members of the Ceremonial Guard are fully-trained members of the Canadian Armed Forces, many with overseas experience on international operations.
  • Canadian Armed Forces members from over 86 Canadian Army regiments, six Royal Canadian Navy Ships, and six Air Force squadrons make up the 2017 Ceremonial Guard.
  • The first Guard Mount took place 58 years ago on Parliament Hill, on July 2nd, 1959. It was carried out by the Regiment of Canadian Guards, a Regular Force regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • The Public Duties Detachment was later manned by the two Reserve Guards Regiments, the Governor General’s Foot Guards, from Ottawa, and the Canadian Grenadier Guards, from Montreal. Today the Ceremonial Guard is comprised of soldiers from units across Canada who adopt the customs and traditions of these two Guards Regiments.
  • When required, the Ceremonial Guard mounts Guards of Honour for visiting dignitaries outside of public duties. Also the Band of the Ceremonial Guard performs in public concerts, at military functions and other ceremonies throughout the National Capital Region.

Who is it for?

All ages – Family



Changing of Guard Schedule:

June 23 to 24 and July 3 to August 24, 2019 | 10:00 AM @ Parliament East Lawn

The parade begins at the Cartier Square Drill Hall. Turning North onto Queen Elizabeth Dr., the parade continues underneath the Laurier Ave. bridge and then turns left onto the ramp leading onto Laurier Avenue. The parade then continues with a right turn onto Elgin St, then ‘wheels’ onto Wellington before the parade arrives on Parliament Hill precisely at 10:00 AM.

The Change of Guard Ceremony commences at 10:00 AM as the parade marches onto the east lawn of Parliament.

Run time: Plan for ~ 45 minutes

Arrive by 9:45 AM

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