Residence

The original stone villa was built in 1838 by Thomas MacKay as a home for his family. MacKay, a stonemason, was one of the general contractors of the Rideau Canal entrance locks and the mills at Rideau Falls, the landmark after which Rideau Hall was named. It has been home to every governor general since Confederation.

Over the years, various changes have been made to the stately old building to meet the demands of modern times. The grounds, the main residence and its interiors have also evolved to better reflect and reinforce Rideau Hall’s identity as one of Canada’s official residences.

Tour Experience

Dare to Dream

At the start of the guided tour, walk through Dare to Dream, an exhibition of  breathtaking photographs of Canada taken from space and an exclusive display of objects, gear and keepsakes from Governor General Payette’s personal collection.  This new exhibition is an opportunity to learn more about her career as an astronaut and how she continues to proudly represent her country as governor general, inspiring people to dare to dream!

Visit the State Rooms

Accompanied by a guide, walk through the State rooms where the governor general fulfills official duties, welcomes dignitaries and honours Canadians. The residence is home to a fine collection of Canadian art and furniture. On display are the works of such renowned Canadian artists as Jean Paul Lemieux, Emily Carr and Allen Sapp. A special exhibition on Canadian honours is also included in the tour.

Guided tours are free of charge. Each tour lasts 45 minutes. You can also visit the grounds

Tour Schedule

  • October 28 to December 20, 2019
    Daily (reservation required) - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • January 2 to May 1, 2020
    Daily (reservation required) - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • May 2 to June 26, 2020
    Weekdays (reservation required) - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Weekends (without reservation) - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • June 27 to September 7, 2020
    Daily (without reservation) - 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.*
    *In July and August, you can visit the residence at your own pace from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Guides are posted in each room to answer your questions.

  • September 8 to October 25, 2020
    Weekdays (reservation required) - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Weekends (without reservation) - Noon to 4 p.m.

  • October 26 to December 18, 2020
    Daily (reservation required) - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Schedule for Groups (10 or more)

Group visits for 10 or more people are offered year-round. Reservations are required 48 hours in advance. We can then book your reservation depending on the availability of the residence and the official events schedule.  Find more information at Plan Your Visit.

  • September to April
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • May and June
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • July and August
    Guided tours at 9 a.m.
    Self-guided tours (without reservation) - 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rideau Hall is a working residence and scheduling for tours is subject to change due to official events.
Guided tours are offered on statutory holidays from May to October.
Guided tours are not offered on Remembrance Day, throughout the holiday season, or over the Easter long weekend.