Prime Minister Mackenzie King throws a
commemorative dime into the molten bell metal.
Croydon, England. November, 1926.
The Peace Tower Carillon was inaugurated on July 1,
1927, the 60th anniversary of Confederation. It was
commissioned and installed by order of Parliament to
commemorate the Armistice of 1918 and the sacrifice
made by Canada during the First World War. The
inauguration ceremony was a major event and also marked
the first live coast-to-coast radio broadcast in
Canada. It is estimated that several million people
heard the inaugural concert both in Canada and
Between 1925 and 1927, the world famous bell foundry of
Gillett and Johnston in Croydon, England cast and tuned
the bells. The carillon is comprised of 53 bells,
ranging in size from the bourdon, which weighs over 10
tonnes, to the smallest bell, which weighs only 4.5
kilos. Each bell is tuned to produce a specific note of
the musical scale. The bells are stationary, and are
rung by the movement of their internal clappers. Each
clapper is connected through a series of direct
mechanical linkages to the carillon keyboard. A
carillon's mechanical playing action, like that of a
piano, allows the carillonneur to vary the sound by
changing the way he or she strikes the keys.
Carillon bells arrive at the CPR's
Union Station by railway flatcar
from Montreal, 1927.
Unloading bells on Parliament Hill,