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Governor General of Canada / Gouverneur général du Canadaa


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Summer at Rideau Hall

In summer, Rideau Hall is bursting with activities. We invite you to tour the residence or the spectacular gardens. If you are interested in gardening, our horticultural tour is for you. Our art tours will allow you to admire the magnificent collection of Canadian art and antique furniture. When strolling the grounds, the Ceremonial Guard will surely fascinate you. We also thought of your children, who will enjoy following the Tell-a-Tale Trail, a fun and educational treasure hunt designed for the whole family. Our Visitor Centre welcomes you every day and we offer special activities throughout the summer.

Don’t miss Rideau Hall next time you visit Ottawa. Contact us now to plan your visit: phone (613) 991-4422 or toll-free number 1 866 842-4422, fax (613) 993-1656 or e-mail at guide@gg.ca. If you more than 10 people, you may see our group tour section.

Tours of the Residence

Image: The BallroomWalk through Canada’s history at Rideau Hall, historic residence and workplace of the Governor General. Visit the ceremonial rooms where Canadians are honoured and dignitaries welcomed. Guided tours are free and last 45 minutes.

This summer the front façade of Rideau Hall will be under construction to ensure the long term preservation of this historical building. The work will be conducted by the National Capital Commission, the custodian of Rideau Hall. The residence will remain open to the public throughout this construction period.

DIALOGUES: the changing face of contemporary Canadian art

Image: DIALOGUESFeatured as a part of the residence tour, this exhibition showcases recent works of art acquired by the Canada Art Bank. The works of 18 Canadian artists on display provide a rare glimpse of the changing face of contemporary Canadian art. The exhibition explores the themes of home, environment and identity and the selection of works are intended to enhance the dialogue of inclusiveness.

The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General would like to thank the Canada Council Art Bank for its collaboration in making this exhibition possible.


On display now until October 9, 2006.

Hours 2006:

  • May 6 to June 30: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • July 1 to September 4: Daily, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (self-guided tours) and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (guided tours).
  • September 5 to October 29: Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
  • The rest of the year 2006, by reservation only.

Tours are offered on statutory holidays from May to October.

For groups of 10 people or more, please see our group tour section.

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Art Tours

Rideau Hall is home to a magnificent collection of Canadian art and antique furniture. The works of renowned Canadian artists, such as Kittie Bruneau, Alex Colville, William Kurelek, Jean Paul Lemieux, David Milne, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Tom Thomson, etc are on display here. Visitors can also admire the portraits of former Governors General, some of Canada’s best stained glass and unique temporary exhibitions. Rideau Hall holds many surprises guaranteed to capture the eye of the art lover.

Hours 2006:

  • From July 1 to September 4: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, at 3:30 p.m. (English) and 1:30 p.m. (French)
  • The rest of the year 2006: By reservation only.

Gardens Tours

Rideau Hall is surrounded by remarkable outdoor gardens. Well-kept by an expert staff, the vibrant displays of flowers, shrubs and rockeries are part of Rideau Hall's proudest traditions and highlight Canadian flora. Whether you are an accomplished gardener or an amateur, our garden tour will surely fascinate you.


  • From July 6 to July 11: from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • From July 15 to July 25: from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • From August 7 to August 25: from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Horticultural Tours

Image: Horticultural ToursDo you have a passion for gardens? Do you want to learn some secrets about their history? Our horticultural tours allow you to thoroughly explore the gardens and grounds of Rideau Hall. Dig up some tips on landscapes, perennials and organic gardening. Learn about plants and how they grow, and get some inspirations for your garden at home.

Hours 2006:

  • Every Sunday from July 2 to September 4
    At 10 a.m. (English) and at 1 p.m. (French)
    By reservation only.

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Family Activities

Meet at the Visitor Centre to participate in outdoor activities.

Image: Family ActivitiesFollow the Tell-a-Tale Trail
This treasure hunt is designed to challenge young and old with a quest for secret words along the trail. Fun and educational for the whole family.

Schedule 2006

  • May 6 to June 30: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. 4 p.m.
  • July 1 to September 4: Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • September 5 to October 29: Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Children can build an inuksuk and learn about the origin of the impressive stone markers that the Inuit have erected for generations in the Arctic regions of our country.

Time-out for art
Discover heraldic art from yesterday and today. Imagine yourselves back in the days of knighthood and create your own coats of arms with symbols from your family heritage or your hometown.

Become an artist and create your own work of art! Children can illustrate their own postcard, taking inspiration from the magnificent views of the grounds or from our summer exhibition Dialogues: the Changing Face of Contemporary Canadian art. Bring your creativity and imagination!

Schedule 2006

  • July 1 to September 4: daily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Ceremonial Guard

Image: Ceremonial GuardColour, pageantry and precision, the Ceremonial Guard is one of the most popular summer attractions at Rideau Hall. Don’t miss the Relief of the Sentries as Guards, accompanied by a bagpiper, march to their posts at the Main Gate and in front of the residence. The Relief of the Sentries is a favourite Rideau Hall tradition and an experience you and your family won’t soon forget!

Hours 2006 for Relief of the Sentries:

  • June 24 to late August 27: Daily, on the hour, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Visitor Centre

Image: Visitor CentreNear Sussex Gate, you will find our Visitor Centre, the heart of family activities. Here you can learn about the role of the Governor General through interactive displays that visitors of all ages will enjoy. You can also find out what scheduled activities you might be interested in.

Browse through the gift shop for a special Canadian souvenir or let your children enjoy the play structure. In the summer, you will also find a refreshment stand in the nearby tent.

Hours 2006:

  • May 6 to September 4: Daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • September 5 to October 29: Daily, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rideau Hall is a working residence and official events may require unforeseen changes to your visit.

Updated: 2019-03-28
Important Notices
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