On the night of February 3, 1916, tragedy struck at the heart of a young nation when the Centre Block of Canada’s stately Parliament Buildings was suddenly engulfed in flames. By morning, the still-smouldering outer walls were all that remained of the original landmark—save for the magnificent Library of Parliament, whose unlikely preservation became an inspiring national symbol of resilience in the face of adversity. Mintage is limited to 1,500 coins.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Tony Bianco transports the viewer to the fateful night of February 3, 1916 as we bear witness to the tragic fire that has engulfed the Centre Block of Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario. As flames and smoke suddenly billow into the night sky, firefighters quickly rush onto the scene; near the western rear of the Centre Block, one firefighter stands ahead of a steamer as he douses the flames with water, while two more rush across the snow-covered landscape to join the fray. In the midst of all the chaos and tragedy, the towering spire of the Library of Parliament remains an inspiring sight as it seems to remain untouched by the blaze, thanks in part to the
This powerful snapshot of a national tragedy captures some of the heroic efforts to combat the raging, fast-moving blaze and prevent it from spreading to the Library on that fateful winter night.