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Canada House on Trafalgar Square.
|Former names||Union Club, Royal College of Physicians|
|Type||Office building, Cultural centre|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|Location||Trafalgar Square, London|
|Current tenants||High Commission of Canada in London|
|Design and construction|
|Owner||Government of Canada|
|Other designers||Septimus Warwick|
Canada House (French: Maison du Canada) is a Greek Revival building on Trafalgar Square in London that is part of the High Commission of Canada in London. Canada House hosts the cultural and consular sections of the High Commission, while the political, trade and administrative functions are carried out from Macdonald House in Mayfair.
On December 20, 2010 the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade announced that Canada House, the High Commission's diplomatic, public and educational space in London, would close to undergo necessary renovations and would re-open in the summer of 2012. During this period, all consular services previously provided at Canada House will be based from Macdonald House, 1 Grosvenor Square.
The building which would later become known as Canada House was built between 1824 and 1827 to designs by Sir Robert Smirke, the architect of the British Museum. It was originally used by the Union Club and the Royal College of Physicians. The Canadian government acquired the building in 1923. Renovations were supervised by Septimus Warwick. The building was officially opened on June 29, 1925 by King George V and Queen Mary along with several British prime ministers, past and present, and other dignitaries.
During the London Blitz a bomb fell near the building, only 20 yards (18 m) away from future Canadian prime minister Lester B. Pearson who was the secretary to the high commissioner at the time. Also during the war Canada House became a popular hangout for Canadian troops in London, as it was home of the "Beaver Club", famous for its doughnuts.
In 1960s Canada greatly increased its presence, acquiring the future Macdonald House in 1961 and expanding Canada House in 1963.
In 1993 Canada House was closed by the Canadian government as a cost-cutting measure with the intention of selling it. A change of government in Canada saw this decision reversed and renovations were planned instead, beginning in 1997. The building was officially reopened by Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada in May 1998. To commemorate the reopening, a detachment from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry came to London and mounted the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Current functions 
Canada House is very much a public building. It contains the High Commissioner's office, and hosts conferences, receptions, lectures, lunches and "vernissages" where Canadians and Britons can meet, and has facilities for film, video and television screenings.
The Canada House Gallery stages temporary exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and artefacts. There is also an information centre, where visitors can sample Canada and Canadians via computer terminals, a reference library and reading room, and music-listening posts featuring the works of Canadian singers, songwriters and musicians.
It is also the epicentre of the annual Canada Day (1 July) street party in Trafalgar Square.
See also 
- "Canada House at 80". Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
- High Commission of Canada to the United Kingdom in London
- Canada House, circa 1941, after the London Blitz