Since Queen Victoria selected Bytown as Canada’s capital in 1858, the Parliamentary and Judicial Precincts facing Wellington Street have become the symbolic—and physical—heart of the country. This presentation examines the history of the area, the key principles of its layout, and the pivotal role of a long term master plan to accommodate its evolving needs. How is the district planned to reflect our democratic institutions and practices? What development pressures has the area confronted in the past? What are the current issues and opportunities facing the Parliamentary and Judicial Precincts?