Guided Tours of the Residence (Ottawa)

The grounds of Rideau Hall are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset. In-person visits at Rideau Hall will resume on May 12th. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the residence and in designated waiting areas. Visit our COVID-19: Safety Measures page for more information.

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

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.

Schedule for Public Guided Tours

May 12 to June 30, 2022
Weekdays (reservation required) - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please fill out a request form here.
Weekends (reservation not required) - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guided tours are available every hour or every 30 minutes, depending on demand, on a first come, first served basis.

Find more information in the Plan Your Visit section.

Schedule for Groups (10 to 50 people)

Group visits for 10 or more people must be reserved 48 hours in advance. We can then book your preferred time depending on the availability of the residence and the official events schedule. Please contact guide@gg.ca to reserve.

  • May 12 to June 30, 2022
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     

Find more information in the Plan Your Visit section.

COVID-19 Health and Security Measures

  • Maximum number of visitors per guide: 15 people
  • Visitors are asked to follow all public health protocols.
  • Guests must self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 before they arrive on the day of the event and stay home if they are feeling unwell.
  • Proof of vaccination is not required.
  • Masks are required for all visitors aged 5 and over.
  • Masks are recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 5 when supervised and able to do so.
  • Masks are not required for children under the age of 2.
  • Visitors must maintain a 2-metre distance from staff at all times.
  • All visitors will be asked to go through a metal detector before entering the residence. In order to facilitate this process, it is recommended that visitors leave personal effects in their respective vehicles when possible. Backpacks, large bags and video recording devices are not permitted in the residence.
  • For more information, please visit https://www.gg.ca/en/covid-19-safety-measures
     

Rideau Hall is a working residence and scheduling for tours is subject to change due to official events.