Ottawa’s Rideau Hall

Well hello! Sorry for such a long absence. I had a crazy few weeks of trying to finish packing, moving – which included a day of cleaning (NO thanks to the former tenants who apparently didn’t believe in cleaning, EVER), 2 days of painting (former tenants had WILD tastes in paint colours), and 2 trips back and forth from London to Ottawa with a fully loaded pick up and 12 foot trailer both times – then back to work for one last week before returning to Ottawa to face the pile of boxes. I made a good dent in the pile but then came down with bronchitis last weekend! So you can see why I’ve been away so long.

The day before bronchitis set in, I took a break from unpacking to explore my new neighbourhood. A short bike ride away I stumbled upon Rideau Hall, and much to my delight, they were offering free access that day. You can take guided tours that allow access to a few more spaces, but I was quite happy with what I saw.

Rideau Hall is home to Canada’s Governor General, though according to this sign, was not the original intention.

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The surrounding grounds make for a lovely stroll (or the day I was there, wedding photos). I’ll have to go back when the roses are in bloom.

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Me and my fascination with doors! (If you don’t believe me, check this out.)

As one would expect, there is a lovely, grand entrance, though visitors enter through a side, basement entrance in order to go through security.

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Guests are treated to historic photos and some lovely Canadian art work on the way up to the main floor.

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First stop was the Tent Room. It used to serve multiple purposes, including sporting activities, so the tent fabric was useful to hide and change things up. This look is permanent though, in what we were told is non-partisan pink.

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And the chandelier! But I’m going to blow your mind in a minute if you like chandeliers – this is nothing!

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We were told it sometimes gets crowded in the tent room during receptions, so there is a room next door where guests can relax in smaller groups, even play the piano.

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Next was a space used as a waiting room when there are formal ceremonies, for example, to give out medals. Some of these medals were on display when we first came in.

There were also military and academic medals (not pictured).

Back to the waiting room!

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Door detail

And the best was saved for last! This is where you get to hang out with some famous people if you win a medal or other similar honour. Back in the day it was used for events like plays and balls.

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And what did I tell you about that chandelier? Stunning, isn’t it? It was apparently a gift from the British government to thank Canada for its military contributions. More history on the ball room.

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And finally, the lobby.

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I’m glad that my visit to Rideau Hall was such a pleasant surprise, as the rest of my Labour Day weekend was spent sick in bed 😦  I’m still dealing with bronchitis and have more unpacking to do once I feel better. I’m looking forward to getting organized and settling into a routine!

I think I have mentioned this before, but my reason for moving to Ottawa is to start a PhD program at Carleton. I have observed and learned enough from my time in the Faculty of Education at Western that the first two terms of most doctoral programs are pretty intense. As such, please forgive me if going forward, my posts become a bit more sporadic than in the past. I’ll do my best, but appreciate your understanding 🙂

All images by me; copyright Tina Beynen, 2017.

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