The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
News & Events
  • Print Preview
  • Print: 
  •  Send to Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  •  Send to Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Send to E-mail (Opens in a new window)
  • Share: 


Summer at Rideau Hall

June 1, 2017

Summer Fun for the Whole Family at Rideau Hall!

OTTAWA—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston invite members of the public to discover Rideau Hall, the official residence and workplace of the governor general, in Ottawa. Open to the public year-round, Rideau Hall will feature free special events and activities throughout the summer.

Join us for popular annual events like the CHEO Teddy Bears’ Picnic on June 24 and the
Annual Inspection of the Ceremonial Guard and the launch of Storytime at Rideau Hall on June 25.

Our beautiful grounds are open daily and guided tours of the historic residence are offered every day (see schedule for more details.)

All activities are free of charge.


June 3 and 4 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, visit the ceremonial rooms of the residence, and learn about the history and the role of governors general. This year, Rideau Hall’s gardens and greenhouses will also be open to the public. 

June 24 – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A fun-filled day of family activities awaits you on the grounds of Rideau Hall during the 34th annual Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Teddy Bears’ Picnic. The day will feature stage entertainment, rides and games, as well as a celebrity pancake breakfast. The popular B*A*S*H Tent—Bear Ambulatory Surgical Hospital—will be open for children who wish to bring their teddy bears and other stuffed animals for minor repairs. For more information, please contact the CHEO Foundation at 613-737-2780 or visit

June 25 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Join the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada for the annual Inspection of the Ceremonial Guard and the launch of Storytime at Rideau Hall. 

During this morning of fun, witnessthe pageantry, precision and colour of the Ceremonial Guard, which includes members of regiments from across the country. Later, join the Governor General and special guests for stories and snacks as we kick off Storytime, an annual outdoor family activity that celebrates reading and literacy.

From June 26 to August 24 – Daily, on the hour, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
During this much-loved ceremony, sentries are led by a piper to their posts at Sussex Gate and in front of the residence. 

June 30 to August 26 – Every Friday and Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Over the summer months, this outdoor family activity will be hosted in collaboration with Frontier College, a Canadian charitable literacy organization. Volunteers will invite visitors to settle in under the Reading Tent to ­read books and participate in fun literacy activities. For more information on the organization, visit


Start your visit at the Visitor Centre to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of governors general, as well as the history of Rideau Hall.

  • Until September 4: Daily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Take a tour of the ceremonial rooms, where Canadians are honoured and dignitaries are welcomed. Guided tours are free of charge and are offered daily, including on statutory holidays.

  • Until June 28: Weekends, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (reservations required on weekdays)
  • June 29 to September 4: Daily, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Stroll through the grounds of Rideau Hall at your leisure and explore the paths along the flowerbeds and gardens of this urban oasis. Bring a picnic and enjoy the play structure with your children.

  • Year-round: Open from 8 a.m. until one hour before sunset

For more information about Rideau Hall’s activities and guided tours, please call 613‑991‑4422 or 1-866-842-4422 (toll-free); write to; or visit our website We recommend that members of the public with mobility restrictions contact the reservations office in advance to determine the best way to access the grounds and the residence.

Please note that Rideau Hall is a working residence; scheduling for all activities is subject to change without notice due to official events.


Media information:

Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-852-3248 (cell) 

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.