Ottawa: Historic Rideau Hall
Hello from Ottawa again! My little granddaughter Erika is the reason why I enjoy traveling to Ottawa. But once I am there, I like to discover something new, with the help of my son Marek and his wife Chandra. This time it will be Rideau Hall and the historical neighbourhood around the Hall. But first my sweet little Erika:
Very happy in the arms of her grandfather:
All year long, we are invited to explore and enjoy the historic grounds of Rideau Hall. In addition to being the home and workplace of every governor general since Confederation in 1867, Rideau Hall is a home away from home for visiting dignitaries and a place of welcome for all Canadians and visitors from around the world.
Could this be the biggest pumpkin in Canada this year?
Rideau Hall was built in 1838 by Thomas MacKay, a wealthy Scottish stonemason and entrepreneur who helped build the Rideau Canal. Known at the time as “MacKay Castle,” the 11-room mansion was regarded as one of the finest in the region.
Following the Confederation, Rideau Hall was purchased by the Canadian government as a permanent viceregal residence and home fro the nation’s first governor general, Lord Monck.
Did you know that…..?
Of the fifty-three or so countries that comprise the Commonwealth, the queen is head of state in sixteen of them, including Canada. She is the world’s only international monarch.
Subsequently, governors general expanded and improved the original building to carry out their increasing official duties.
The Governor General represents the Queen in Canada and exercises the responsibilities of head of State on behalf of Her Majesty.
Here is a small garden next to the Hall with the names of the last governors general:
The grounds of Rideau Hall-32 hectares of rolling lawns, winding paths, forests and gardens – were originally modelled on the style of an English country estate. The grounds reflect in their evolution a very Canadian environment. I would like to show two uniquely Canadian landscaping elements. First, the totem pole from British Columbia, presented to Sir Harold Rupert Leofric in July, 1946:
Second, the inuksuk:
They can be seen in many places in the Arctic. My son Marek sent me two pictures from Nunavut, showing Inuksuk still being used today:
When you exit the Rideau Hall grounds, across the street, at 24 Sussex Dr. is the residence of the Prime Minister of Canada.
The street is beautifully decorated:
Next time you are in Ottawa come to see Rideau Hall, go for a walk along the Sussex Dr. and discover many beautiful places like this one:
Thank you for visiting Ottawa with me!
Source: Rideau Hall official brochure for a self-guided tour.
Christopher Walters, London Eh to Zed, 101 Discoveries for Canadian Visitors to London.