Managing official residences in Canada's Capital Region

The official residences are six important historic properties in Canada’s Capital Region.

The NCC is responsible for the long-term planning, capital works and ongoing maintenance of these residences.

Only Rideau Hall, the residence of the governor general of Canada, is open to public visitors.

24 Sussex Drive

24 Sussex Drive

The house at 24 Sussex Drive is the official residence of Canada’s prime minister. Part of the house is reserved for the use of the family. The other part is where the prime minister welcomes official guests for public functions. These...

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Stornoway

Stornoway

Stornoway is the official residence of Canada’s leader of the Opposition, and a recognized federal heritage building. Stornoway has been home to a number of historical figures, including the exiled Princess Juliana of the Netherlands,...

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7 Rideau Gate

7 Rideau Gate

The property at 7 Rideau Gate serves as a “home away from home” for visiting dignitaries, and provides them with an environment of elegance and comfort. Global Affairs Canada offers accommodation and hospitality at 7 Rideau Gate to heads...

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Harrington Lake

Harrington Lake

The residence at Harrington Lake (Lac Mousseau), located in Gatineau Park, is the country residence of the prime minister of Canada. It offers the head of the Canadian government a tranquil place to rest, reflect and confer in a secure,...

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Rideau Hall

Rideau Hall

Rideau Hall has been the official residence and workplace of every governor general of Canada since 1867. The governor general lives here, confers with the leader of Canada’s government, hosts foreign dignitaries and performs the...

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The Farm

The Farm

The Farm is the official residence of the speaker of the House of Commons. It has been used as an official residence since 1955. Located at Kingsmere, in the Gatineau Hills, this rural property consists of a renovated farmhouse and five...

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The NCC ensures that the six official residences in Canada’s Capital Region:

  • provide safe and appropriate accommodation for Canada’s official leaders;
  • are furnished, maintained and rehabilitated to preserve their national heritage; and
  • serve as inspiring properties and grounds for holding state events and ceremonies.
Crown Collection

Crown Collection

The Crown Collection brings together all the outstanding pieces of fine and decorative art used to furnish and adorn the interiors of Canada’s official residences.

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The NCC takes each property’s heritage, functionality and security needs into consideration, and consults with many related agencies, representatives and professionals on the official residences. The Canadiana Fund provides donated furnishings and artifacts to enhance state rooms in the official residences.

The occupants are responsible for household operations and activities within the residences.

The Canadiana Fund

The Canadiana Fund

Its purpose is to enhance the beauty and significance of state areas at official residences, through public donations of furnishings, paintings and objets d’art, or the funds to purchase them.

Donate to the Canadiana Fund

Advisory committees

The NCC receives advice and recommendations for the official residences from two advisory committees:

Discover the Official Residences

Discover the Official Residences

The official residences are six important historic properties in Canada's Capital Region.

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Management principles

The NCC has developed management principles to guide the development and maintenance of the residences. The principles address the following issues:

  • Planning
  • Security
  • Health and safety
  • Heritage protection
  • Functionality and serviceability
  • Universal accessibility
  • Environmentally friendly practices

The complete list of specific principles is presented in the following document: Management Principles for the Official Residences of Canada.

Challenges in maintaining the official residences

The official residences are heritage buildings, which were not designed to meet today’s needs and standards. There are a number of challenges involved in maintaining the official residences, and extending their physical life for the benefit of future generations. These challenges include the following:

  • Protecting the buildings’ heritage fabric
  • Complying with today’s standards and building codes
  • Integrating modern amenities
  • Supporting official needs (for example, formal reception areas)
  • Large-scale rehabilitation projects and costs, due to decades without investment (budget constraints)   
  • Conditions cannot always be confirmed until rehabilitation is under way, leading to increased scope or project delays (a common risk in managing heritage conservation projects).

The NCC continually works on overcoming these challenges and the backlog of repairs.