Shunning the overly obvious Centre Block and Peace Tower, this shot of Parliament Hill - taken from a courtyard on Sparks Street - comprises three distinct ages of local building styles: The ornately Gothic 1866 West Block, the sharply commercial Beaux-Arts 1927 Wellington Building (originally built as the Ottawa offices of the Met Life Co.), and the modernist 1972 Bank of Canada office tower. Words can't describe how much I loathe the last one by comparison; it's just so soulless - especially compared to the stolid neoclassical maturity of the neoclassical original wing of the building, around the corner on the north face. (Though I do approve of how the two have been connected - the newer tower actually envelops the older building on the south side, putting what used to be the south portico inside the main lobby.) This plaza is also a reasonably recent re-addition to the Bank Street landscape; it was hidden by construction barriers for several years. It adds a bit more life to the area, but it still doesn't really help - Sparks Street gets more and more tenuous as a credible pedestrian mall, the further west of Bank it gets.