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"Rideau Hall" Rideau Hall Tip by Blatherwick

Rideau Hall, Ottawa: 14 reviews and 48 photos

  Rideau Hall
by Blatherwick

Rideau Hall is the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, and is the place of residence of the Monarch of Canada when visiting Ottawa. Tours are generally offered of the place on Saturdays and Sundays between 12 and 4. During the summer hours are between 10am - 1pm. Keep in mind that official events take precidence over you.

The residence was built in 1838 to house Scottish stone mason, Thomas MacKay and his family, who occupied the residence until 1855. After Queen Victoria chose Ottawa in 1858 as the new capital of the Province of Canada, in 1864 Rideau Hall became the residence of the governor general of British North America, Lord Monck. In 1867 Lord Monck became the first governor general of the Dominion of Canada, and Rideau Hall has continued as the residence of his successors.

The main entrance, completed in 1913, contains all the heraldic shields of the governors of Canada, beginning with Samuel de Champlain, the first governor of New France. There are portraits of the British governors general in the Tent Room and portraits of the Canadian-born governors general (beginning with Vincent Massey) in the Reception Room. Portraits of the spouses of the governors general are found in the Drawing Room.

Today, the residence is used to officially receive foreign heads of state and both incoming and outgoing ambassadors to Canada. It is also the site of presentation for many Canadian awards, including the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, and the Decorations for Bravery, customarily presented in the ballroom. It is also where the official ceremonies swearing in a newly chosen prime minister and his or her ministers take place, as well as the place where the writ of an election is dropped.

Every time a Head of State or Head of Government comes to Rideau Hall on an official visit, they are asked to plant a tree. As such, the grounds of Rideau Hall are filled with trees that have small plaques at their bases listing the name and position of the planter.

Address: 1 Sussex Dr
Directions: 3.5km East of Parliament Hill on Sussex Drive.
Phone: 1-866 842-4422

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  • Written Sep 4, 2005
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