Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa

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Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa
Papal Nuncio, Ottawa.JPG
The gate house of the nunciature with the manor in the distance
Coordinates 45°27′21″N 75°40′59″W / 45.455710°N 75.683119°W / 45.455710; -75.683119Coordinates: 45°27′21″N 75°40′59″W / 45.455710°N 75.683119°W / 45.455710; -75.683119
Location Ottawa
Address Rockcliffe Park
Apostolic Nuncio Luigi Bonazzi

The Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa is the residence and office of the Papal Nuncio (Ambassador of the Holy See) to Canada. Also known as Rockcliffe Manor House, it is one of Ottawa's most expensive homes, appraised at $16,790,500 in 2014. The building sits atop a cliff looking down to the Ottawa River.

History of the building[edit]

The first home on the property, built by Duncan Reynier MacNab in 1838–39, was named "Rockcliff House" because of its location. This name eventually was applied to the entire neighbourhood of Rockcliffe Park where the Nunciature is located. In 1868 the property was purchased by Thomas Coltrin Keefer, son-in-law of Thomas McKay, after he had sold Rideau Hall to the government to house the Governor General. Keefer rebuilt the house and extensively enlarged it. The house remained in the Keefer family for several generations until in 1929 when it was purchased by Senator Cairine Wilson, the first Canadian woman to be named to the Senate and her husband Norman. In 1929 the building was renovated in the style of Directoire Manor Houses of France.[1]

It was sold to the Holy See in 1962 as the Embassy of the Holy See in Canada. The Holy See had previously been based in a building on Queen Elizabeth Driveway. The manor is located on two hectares of grounds and has a large gate house, that was originally the stables and coach house, separating it from the street and several other out buildings.

The house was included amongst other architecturally interesting and historically significant buildings in Doors Open Ottawa, held June 2 and 3, 2012.[2]

History of Canada-Vatican relations[edit]

Although the Roman Catholic Church has been territorially established in Canada since the founding of New France in the early 17th century, relations with the Holy See were only officially established under the papacy of Paul VI in the 1960s.

Nuncios to Canada since 1959[edit]


  1. ^ "Nunciature". nuntiatura.ca. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://ottawa.ca/doorsopen Doors Open Ottawa
  3. ^ "Nunciature to Canada". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  • Cook, Maria. "Papal Envoy's Magnificent Hideaway." Ottawa Citizen. May 20, 2003. pg. B.3