7 Rideau Gate
|7 Rideau Gate|
Main façade of 7 Rideau Gate in 2004
|Architectural style||Georgian Revival|
|Address||7 Rideau Gate|
|Town or city||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Current tenants||Visiting dignitaries|
|Client||Henry Osgoode Burritt (1862), The Crown in Right of Canada (1966, 1989)|
|Owner||The Queen in Right of Canada|
|Landlord||National Capital Commission|
|Design and construction|
7 Rideau Gate is the Canadian government's official guest house for distinguished visitors, such as heads of government and high-level officials of foreign governments. The house is located in Ottawa, Ontario, near other official residences such as Rideau Hall and 24 Sussex Drive.
Designed by architect Alan Keefer, the house was built in 1862 by Henry Osgoode Burritt, an Ottawa woollen mill owner. Burritt sold the house in 1873, for the sum of $10,000, to Philemon Wetherall Wright, who named the house Edgewood, in acknowledgement of its location then at the edge of the town. The Wrights departed Edgewood three years later, leaving it vacant until, in 1884, it was purchased by Octavius Henry Lambart, a son the Earl of Cavan. The Lambarts remained in the house until 1934, it passing to Octavius' son, Frederick Howard John Lambart.
Commodore Percy W. Nelles, Chief of Staff of the Royal Canadian Navy, became the occupant of 7 Rideau Gate in 1947. He renovated the house to remove its verandas and gut its Victorian interiors. The last private owner was Thomas Franklin Ahearn (son of the inventor Thomas Ahearn), who further altered the structure by removing the roof walk and adding exterior shutters, a sunroom on the east side of the original building, and a wing on the west side. Ahearn's daughter Lilias, who grew up in the house, would later become the châtelaine of Rideau Hall during her father-in-law Vincent Massey's term as Governor General of Canada.
The property was acquired by the Crown in 1966. The house was, with the assistance of the Canadiana Fund, restored and renovated in 1989 to reinstate historical features, as well as to upgrade the guest facilities. Art and furniture from the National Capital Commission's (NCC) Official Residences Crown Collection is used throughout, as are pieces donated by the Lambart family.
7 Rideau Gate is employed as a guest house for heads of state and other high-level foreign officials visiting Canada in an official capacity. The hospitality offered by the Crown comes via Global Affairs Canada.