High Commission of Canada to the United Kingdom
|High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom|
|Address||1 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 4AB|
|High Commissioner||Gordon Campbell|
The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom in London is the diplomatic mission of Canada in the United Kingdom. It is housed in two separate buildings in central London - Canada House on Trafalgar Square and Macdonald House in Mayfair. Additionally the Government of Quebec maintains a representative office on Pall Mall.
The Canadian High Commission in London is Canada's oldest diplomatic posting, having been established in 1880. Canada House, in Trafalgar Square, became the site of the mission 1923. In 1962, Canada also acquired the former American Embassy at 1, Grosvenor Square in London's Mayfair district and was renamed Macdonald House. Since then the High Commissioner has based himself in Macdonald House.
Canada's presence in London goes back to 1869 when Sir John Rose, 1st Baronet was appointed as Canada's informal representative in Britain. This was the first Canadian diplomatic posting and the first from any British colony to the motherland. Since Canada did not have a foreign ministry, Rose acted as the personal representative of Canada's prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald. Rose's position was retained despite a change of government in Canada and his position was given the title "Financial Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada". When Macdonald returned to power in 1878 he wanted to elevate the office to "resident minister" but this was disallowed by Britain, who offered the title of high commissioner instead; this was the origin of the practice whereby members of the Commonwealth send high commissioners rather than ambassadors to each other, which continues to this day.
The first high commissioner was Alexander Tilloch Galt, appointed in 1880. The office remained the most important in Canadian diplomacy and was always filled by political appointees rather than career diplomats even after Canada created a Ministry of External Affairs in 1921.
As the high commission's role grew it needed to expand its facilities, and on 29 June 1925, King George V and Queen Mary officiated at the dedication of Canada House on Trafalgar Square. The mission's needs continued to expand, however, and Canada acquired the former American embassy on Grosvenor Square and renamed it Macdonald House, in honour of Canada's first prime minister. Macdonald House opened on Canada Day, (1 July), 1961.
Canada House was refurbished in 1997-98.
List of Canadian High Commissioners in the United Kingdom
|High Commissioner||Start of term||End of term|
|Hon. Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt||1880||1883|
|Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper||1883||1896|
|Rt. Hon. Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal||1896||1914|
|Rt. Hon. Sir George Perley||1914||1922|
|Hon. Peter C. Larkin||1922||1930|
|Lucien Turcotte Pacaud (acting)||1930||1930|
|Hon. Howard Ferguson||1930||1935|
|Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey||1935||1946|
|L. Dana Wilgress||1949||1952|
|Norman Robertson (second time)||1952||1957|
|Hon. George Drew||1957||1964|
|Hon. Lionel Chevrier||1964||1967|
|Rt. Hon. Paul Joseph James Martin||1974||1979|
|Jean Casselman Wadds||1980||1983|
|Hon. Donald Jamieson||1983||1985|
|Hon. Donald Stovel Macdonald||1988||1991|
|Fredrik S. Eaton||1991||1994|
|Hon. Royce Frith||1994||1996|
|Hon. Roy MacLaren||1996||2000|
|James R. Wright||2006||2011|
- "Canadian Heads of Posts Abroad from 1880". Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.