7 Rideau Gate
|7 Rideau Gate|
Main façade of 7 Rideau Gate
|Architectural style||Queen Anne, Mid-century modern|
|Town or city||7 Rideau Gate
|Current tenants||Visiting heads of state|
|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 state and high-level government officials. 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 Châtelaine of Rideau Hall during her father-in-law Vincent Massey's term as Governor General of Canada.
Edgewood was obtained by the Crown in 1966. The home 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 Lambert family.
7 Rideau Gate is employed as a guest house for heads of state and other foreign high level officials visiting Canada in an official capacity. The hospitality offered by the Crown comes via the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development.
- "Girl Who Grew Up Around Corner Rideau 'First Lady'". Toronto Star, May 10, 1952.