Rideau Hall has been the official home and workplace of every Governor General since Confederation in 1867. The historic residence, set amidst 79 acres of landscaped grounds, is located just minutes from downtown Ottawa and is open to the public year-round. Accompanied by a guide, visitors can visit the residence's state rooms where the governor general welcomes dignitaries, receives ambassadors and heads of State and presents our country’s highest honours. In the summer, visitors may start their visit at the Visitor Centre and its exhibition or witness the Ceremonial Guard Relief of the Sentries. Everyone will enjoy the peaceful calm of this landscaped urban park, with its lush green lawns, winding paths, wooded areas, gardens and perennial flower beds. Visitors can stroll the grounds at their leisure, bring a picnic, run or bike ride, or simply take advantage of the playground or the interpretive path. You can even watch a cricket game in the summer or come skate in the winter! All tours and activities are free of charge. The grounds are open to the public all year from 8 a.m. to one hour before sunset.