Former Governors General

October 2, 2017 to January 22, 2021

The Right Honourable Julie Payette

October 1, 2010 to October 2, 2017

The Right Honourable David Johnston

September 27, 2005 to September 30, 2010

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean

October 7, 1999 to September 27, 2005

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

February 8, 1995 to October 7, 1999

The Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc

January 29, 1990 to February 8, 1995

The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn

May 14, 1984 to January 28, 1990

The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé

January 22, 1979 to May 14, 1984

The Right Honourable Edward Richard Schreyer

January 14, 1974 to January 22, 1979

The Right Honourable Jules Léger

April 17, 1967 to January 14, 1974

The Right Honourable Roland Michener

September 15, 1959 to March 5, 1967

General The Right Honourable Georges Philias Vanier

February 28, 1952 to September 15, 1959

The Right Honourable Vincent Massey

April 12, 1946 to January 28, 1952

Lord Alexander

June 21, 1940 to April 12, 1946

Lord Athlone

November 2, 1935 to February 11, 1940

Lord Tweedsmuir

April 4, 1931 to November 2, 1935

Lord Bessborough

August 5, 1926 to April 4, 1931

Lord Willingdon

August 2, 1921 to August 5, 1926

Lord Byng

November 11, 1916 to August 2, 1921

Duke of Devonshire

October 13, 1911 to November 11, 1916

H.R.H The Duke of Connaught

December 10, 1904 to October 13, 1911

Lord Grey

November 12, 1898 to December 10, 1904

Lord Minto

September 18, 1893 to November 12, 1898

Lord Aberdeen

June 11, 1888 to September 18, 1893

Lord Stanley

October 23, 1883 to June 11, 1888

The Marquess of Lansdowne

November 25, 1878 to October 23, 1883

Lord Lorne

June 25, 1872 to November 25, 1878

Lord Dufferin

February 2, 1869 to June 25, 1872

Lord Lisgar

July 1, 1867 to November 14, 1868

Lord Monck

Until 1931, Canada’s governor general was chosen by the Sovereign. This changed when the Canadian government began to make recommendations for the position. In 1952, the Prime Minister of Canada recommended, for the first time, a Canadian-born citizen for governor general. His name was Vincent Massey, and his nomination marked an important evolution in the office and Canadian history, reflecting the country’s new sense of autonomy and identity in the post-war era. Since then, all of Canada’s governors general have been Canadian citizens. 

Having worked in fields as diverse as education, journalism, law, diplomacy and politics, governors general come to the position with a range of perspectives, experiences and expertise. What unites them is a shared desire to serve Canada in a non-partisan manner.