The Tower of Victory in Ottawa is the most notable symbol in Canada. It is Gothic, in imitation of English design, and yet it belongs wholly to Canada, speaking to Canadians of many things darkly hidden from the stranger, beyond the power of speech.
It grows out of the earth of Canada, and the earth of Canada has made the Tower its own. How grimly it soars up, how cleanly it cuts the sky! The height of our mountains is there and the hardness of our plains and, in many a fretted carving, the richness of our forest growth. More than that. The character of Canada is held in the Tower for all to see. Here is the solid sense of the English, the lean face of the Scotsman, the whimsy of the Irish in wild sculpture, the laughter of the French in delicate tracery of stone.
The Canadian walks up to Parliament Hill and sees the green copper point of the Tower piercing the maple trees or, in winter, rimed with frost and dripping with great icicles among the naked tree branches. He comes closer and finds the Tower growing in size until, as he approaches, it leaves him on the ground no larger than an ant.
He sees its delicate, strong arches, the images of bird and beast hewn into its sides, the grinning shape of gargoyles, the white moon face of the clock, the final upward thrust -- all obedient to the first principle of the men who invented this architecture, that you may ornament construction but must not construct ornament. No orament is constructed here. All construction is lavishly ornamented with careful planning of every sun shadow against carved rock, but with no impairment of