Doors Open Ontario

Rideau Hall (Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada) Doors Open Ottawa

Rideau Hall (Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada)

Rideau Hall has been the official residence of every governor general of Canada since 1867, and their workplace since 1940. It is a National Historic Site with nearly two centuries of history and has become an important gathering place and site of official activities. The villa, which forms the main part of Rideau Hall, was built in 1838 by Thomas MacKay as a home for his family. In 1868, the year following Confederation, the Government of Canada purchased the house and grounds and declared it the official residence of Canada’s governors general. During the mandate of Canada’s third governor general, Lord Dufferin (1872-78), the ballroom and the tent room were built as wings on either side of the front entrance. The tent room was originally designed as both an indoor tennis court and reception room. It is now used for official and ceremonial functions. In 1913, during the tenure of the Duke of Connaught (1911-16), work was completed on the interior entrance hall and the current front entrance. The front entrance features the massive Royal Arms, visible from the driveway and said to be among the largest in the world. Also in 1913, the long gallery was added and the dining room enlarged. Over the years, the grounds, the building and its interiors have evolved to better reflect and reinforce Rideau Hall’s identity as a national symbol. As part of Digital Doors Open, take part in their online interactive tour experience to learn more about Rideau Hall’s main attractions. The tours are offered free of charge, but registration is required. Visit their website for more information.

Tell us your story about this site

  • Digital Doors Open
  • Virtual tour
  • French services available
  • Kid-friendly
  • National Historic Site (Canada)

Contact info

1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario


Architect: Thomas McKay
Building type: Government building, Historical landmark, Historical house
Landscape: Garden

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Rideau Hall (Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada) 1 Sussex Drive