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Rideau Hall

Official Residence of the

Governor General of Canada

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rideau hall

Rideau Hall

stained glass

Stained glass window

stained glass

Stained glass window

Rideau Hall is located on Sussex Dr. In 1864 it was leased by the government of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada as a temporary Viceregal residence. At that time a two-storey wing was added on the east side. Rideau Hall was purchased by the government of the newly created Confederation of Canada in 1868. The ballroom and tennis court were added by the Earl of Dufferin in 1872. In the early years of the new century the Countess of Minto extended the east wing. The front entrance, built in an "adaptive Florentine style" was added in 1913.

The bright and airey Front Foyer is graced by two stained-glass windows, a marble staircase, and portraits of the first two Canadian governors general, Vincent Massey and Georges Vanier. The portraits face each other from the ends of the room. At the top of the steps, the hardwood floor is covered by a rose coloured Tabriz carpet. The room has retained its original Edwardian features including Marble wainscotting and a coffered ceiling.

reception room

Reception Room

ballroom entrance

Ballroom entrance

ballroom

Ballroom

The Reception Room is through the arched doorway. This is one of the few remaining original parts of the house. On the walls one can see portraits of other Canadian governors general, including Jeanne Sauve, by Cleeve Horne, and Jules and Gabrielle Leger (shown in the photo).

To the left is the entrance to the Great Ballroom. Although Balls are rare today, many formal dinners for visiting heads of state are held here. As well, investitures into the Order of Canad and Bravery Awards are also held in the Ballroom. This is, next to the House of Commons, the most photographed and televised room in Canada.

The neo-classical chandelier, made of 12,000 pieces of Waterford crystal and containing 80 light bulbs, weighs one imperial ton. The painting at the far end of the room by Jean-Paul Lemieux, La Reine et le Duc d'Edinburgh (1979), portrays the Queen and Prince Phillip with the Parliament Buildings in the background.

tent room

Tent Room

tent room

Tent Room

tent room

Tent Room

To the right of the Reception Room is the Tent Room. This room was built as an indoor tennis court in 1876 and inaugurated by Lord Dufferin. The unsightly wooden walls and ceiling were covered with striped canvas when the room was used for social events, making it look like a large tent, and giving it the modern name.

In the 1970s, Gabrielle Leger turned the room into a portrait gallery of the British governors general. Today the Tent Room is used to host many important dinners and lunches. It can seat 170 people at 17 or 18 tables of eight to ten.

Tours of the public rooms are offered year round. The grounds of Rideau Hall are also well worth visiting at any season, and are,except in times of heightened security, open to the public.

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Patti

This page was updated on 26 November 2007.

Contact me at: patti.primeau@sympatico.ca

This site was updated using Nvu and Style Master.

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