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Rideau Hall has been the official residence and workplace of every governor general since 1867. This national historic site is set on a 79-acre urban oasis, just a few minutes from downtown Ottawa. Each year, thousands of guests and visitors come to Rideau Hall for official events or to enjoy year-round activities and free tours.
Come and visit Rideau Hall. Explore the beautiful grounds, take a guided tour of the residence or enjoy one of the many activities.
In summer you can witness the pageantry, precision and colour of the Governor General’s annual Inspection of the Ceremonial Guard, at the end of June, or watch the ever popular Relief of the Sentries, where sentries are led by a piper to their posts, from the end of June until the end of August, daily, on the hour.
In winter, on weekends, go for a skate on the outdoor rink which is refrigerated. Lace up your skates and leave your bags in the Winter Pavilion, a stunning heritage building, located next to the rink. Don’t miss its small exhibit about the history of winter sports at Rideau Hall.
Visit the State rooms where the governor general fulfills official duties, welcomes dignitaries and honours Canadians. The residence is home to a magnificent collection of Canadian art and furniture. On display are the works of such renowned Canadian artists as Jean Paul Lemieux, Emily Carr and Allen Sapp. A special exhibition on Canadian honours is also included in the tour.
Guided tours are free of charge. Each tour lasts 45 minutes.
The historic grounds of Rideau Hall recall unique stories of this country’s past. Its evolution and design reflect a distinctly Canadian environment. More than 10,000 trees provide summer shade and year-round charm. Many of the trees have been specially planted by a visiting head of State, a member of the Royal family, or other dignitaries to mark an important event or anniversary. Discover the inuksuk and the totem pole, admire the sweeping arc of roses in the Canadian Heritage Gardens, enjoy a picnic on the grounds or take in a cricket match—there’s so much to do!
Pick up a self-guided tour brochure at either entrance (the Thomas Gate, off Sussex Drive; or the Mackay Gate, off Mackay Street), and explore the grounds at your leisure, following the interpretive panels along the paths.
For information about Rideau Hall’s summer activities or guided tours, call 613-991-4422 or 1-866-842-4422 or visit www.gg.ca/RideauHall.
- Hours of Operation : Guided tours are free and last 45 minutes. They are offered year-round.In July & August tours are offered daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.The schedule varies during the balance of the year. Visit us online for details.
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- Wheelchair Accessible : Yes