Ottawa Tourism

Rideau Hall

Stroll through the largest official residence in the capital. Rideau Hall, home to the Governor General of Canada, keeps its doors open to the public, creating a rare opportunity for visitors to step inside this beautiful mansion. Explore the fabulous heritage gardens, find shade under one of the 10,000 trees on its grounds, and have your camera ready when you come upon the inukshuk, totem pole, and arc of roses in the garden. Bring your skates during the winter, as the on-site outdoor skating rink is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. A truly Canadian experience while in the capital!

Fast Facts

  • Rideau Hall was built in 1838 by early Ottawa lumber baron Thomas MacKay; it became the permanent residence of the Governor General’s in 1867.
  • Rideau Hall has welcomed countless foreign dignitaries to Canada’s Capital – many of whom have planted a tree on the grounds marking their visit.
  • Summertime activities include residence tours, art tours, garden tours and free outdoor concerts.
  • Winter activities include skating on the outdoor rink and tours of the residence, by reservation. All activities are free of charge.
  • The grounds of Rideau Hall were designated as a cultural landscape of national historic significance in 1998, and are viewed as an outstanding example of the Picturesque style of landscape design.
  • The gates of Rideau Hall are guarded by members of the red-coated Governor General’s Footguard every summer – see if you can make one smile!
  • Rideau Hall is located across the street from 24 Sussex Drive, home of Canada’s Prime Minister.