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.
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.
Public tours and in-person events at Rideau Hall are postponed until further notice.
Guided tours are free of charge. Each tour lasts 45 minutes. You can also visit the grounds.