Guided tours of the residence (Ottawa)

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, Mary Pratt, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Meryl McMaster. 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. Find more information in the Plan Your Visit section.

Schedule for public tours

We ask that you make your reservation at least 72 hours in advance as we cannot guarantee a response to your request before then.

Date Time Reservation required Details
January 8 to April 30, 2024 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Daily
Yes Guided tours are available by reservation only. Please fill out the request form. We ask that you make your reservation at least 72 hours in advance as we cannot guarantee a response to your request before then.
May 1 to June 30, 2024 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday to Friday
Yes Guided tours are available by reservation only. Please fill out the request form. We ask that you make your reservation at least 72 hours in advance as we cannot guarantee a response to your request before then.
May 1 to June 30, 2024 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
No Guided tours are available throughout the day depending on demand, on a first come, first served basis.
July 1 to September 2, 2024 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Daily
No Guided tours are available throughout the day depending on demand, on a first come, first served basis.

Schedule for group tours (10 to 100 people)

Group visits for 10 or more people must reserve 72 hours in advance. Your reservation will be booked depending on the availability of the residence and the official events schedule. 

Date Reservation required Details
January 8 to December 31, 2024 Yes Please contact guide@gg.ca to reserve.

Security measures

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.


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