The NCC's Crown Collection of the official residences brings together all the outstanding pieces of fine and decorative art used to furnish and adorn the interiors of Canada's official residences. It consists of about 4,000 artifacts, which our experts select from to decorate the interiors of Canada's official residences.
The Crown Collection showcases our British, French and Indigenous origins. It also reflects our comtemporary multicultural society.
Conserving the Crown Collection for future generations
History of the Crown Collection
The story of the Crown Collection starts in the 1860s, when Montréal and Toronto cabinetmakers designed furniture for Rideau Hall.
The Collection has evolved since that time, through :
- Government of Canada purchases and transfers
- Donations from occupants
- Donations through the Canadiana Fund
An impressive inventory
The artifacts that make up the Crown Collection include :
- early and contemporary furniture and furnishings
- artwork by famous Canadian artists
- decorative art objects
- service items (silver, china and glassware)
- commemorative objects
- books, photographs and print material
- portraits of former governors general and prime ministers
The Crown Collection features fine examples of early furniture making from Upper and Lower Canada. Some pieces date as far back as the 18th century. There are pieces by 19th century furniture makers, such as Thomas Nisbet, and formal furniture pieces from the early 1800s. There are also items from former prime ministers, including Macdonald, Laurier, Meighen and Pearson.
The Crown Collection consists primarily of interior pieces. However, some exterior objects are also captured in the Crown Collection if they are movable and of historic or cultural significance, and if they need to be preserved for future generations. These may include outdoor sculptures, furniture and furnishings, commemorative elements, decorative objects, or artistic ornaments.