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Colonial Building Name Consultations - Online Questionniare

Colonial Building was the permanent seat of the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature from 1850 to 1959. The building was designated a Provincial Historic Site in 1974.

When the Colony of Newfoundland was granted representative government in 1832 there were no public buildings in St. John’s suitable for use as a permanent legislature. In April 1836, the Assembly passed a resolution that, “…the vacant ground… should be secured for the purpose of erecting thereon a colonial building, to serve as well for the accommodation of the legislature…”. This is the first mention of the term “colonial building” in the Assembly records.

While commonly known as Colonial Building in living memory, there is evidence other names may have been used historically. “House of Parliament” was used in a 1905 tourism brochure and on a 1920s postage stamp. Written documents from 1863 and 1934 refer to the building as “Parliament House”. The terminology of a parliament building is consistent with the function intended for the building when it was constructed.

No other British North American colony adopted the title “Colonial Building” for its legislature.