***LIMIT OF 2 PER HOUSEHOLD***
Built in the Gothic Revival style of the 19th century, the Library of Parliament is one of Canada’s shining architectural jewels and has been described as our most beautiful room. Inside the circular building, ornate woodwork and a breathtaking dome speak of its artistic merit, its cultural importance, and its historic heritage as the only remaining link to the first Centre Block of Parliament, which was destroyed by fire in 1916.
The reverse design boasts an astonishing level of dimension and depth through the use of the coin’s concave shape, which lends itself beautifully to recreating the Library of Parliament’s lavish interior and domed ceiling. A unique viewing perspective from the base of the marble statue of Queen Victoria immerses the viewer in the artwork, conveying the reading room’s soaring height and spaciousness while creating the impression that they are on-site, looking upward at the ceiling. The intricately carved pine bookshelves that encircle the reading room are replicated on the reverse along the rim, further contributing to the 360-degree viewing experience. Finally, the application of a timeless antique finish to the ultra high relief engraving showcases the meticulous precision and masterful artistry that makes this coin a numismatic masterpiece. Beneath the statue, a banner features the engraved commemorative dates “1876-2016” of the opening of the library; but 2016 also commemorates the 100th year of when the library survived the 1916 fire at the Parliament.
Completed in 1876, this magnificent structure benefited from the vision of its first librarian, Alpheus Todd, who stressed the importance of a spacious feeling. Todd also suggested the Library be separate from Centre Block yet linked by a corridor, and insisted upon fireproof iron doors. Both decisions proved to be pivotal on the fateful evening of February 3, 1916, when a small fire in House of Commons Reading Room suddenly became a fast-moving blaze. Fortunately, a quick-thinking clerk named Michael MacCormac smelled the smoke and ordered the iron doors shut in time to save the Library. His actions, along with those of the first responders who battled the blaze, saved thousands of irreplaceable books and priceless carvings.
This coin marks the 140th anniversary of the library building which opened February 28th 1876 and is still serving Parliament, is outstandingly beautiful and survived the 1916 fire that occurred 100 years ago.