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Discover Earnscliffe during Doors Open Ottawa

Experience the culture and history of the High Commissioner's residence on Saturday 6 June.

Guests visit Earnscliffe during Open Doors Ottawa
Guests visit Earnscliffe during Open Doors Ottawa

Following last year’s strong turnout, British High Commissioner Howard Drake and his wife Gill Drake have announced they will once again open the doors of their residence, Earnscliffe, during Doors Open Ottawa. The historic property will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 6 June.

Home to British High Commissioners in Ottawa since 1930, the Victorian house is well known as the personal home of Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A Macdonald from 1883 until his death in 1891.

Built in 1855, the home’s grey stone facade and Gothic Revival design stand out along the south bank of the Ottawa River off Sussex Drive. A major restoration of the property was completed in late 2013 by the UK government.

During last year’s Doors Open Ottawa more than 1,800 guests explored the home and its grounds, including the stately Dining Room, which overlooks the Ottawa River, and the eloquent Drawing Room, completed by Thomas Reynolds in 1874. The Sir John A Macdonald suite, the second floor bedroom where the former prime minister passed away, was also a popular stop on last year’s tour.

“As Gill and I have discovered during our time in Ottawa, Canadians have a tremendous amount of interest in Earnscliffe,” said High Commissioner Howard Drake. “Doors Open Ottawa is an excellent opportunity for the public to discover the home’s history and learn more about the UK government’s current work with Canada.”

Enhanced security measures will be in place during Doors Open Ottawa. They include:

  • the screening of all guests prior to entry
  • the use of a hand-held metal detector for secondary inspection
  • the full visual inspection of carried personal items

In order to keep wait times at security to a minimum we strongly recommend that you leave any unnecessary personal items in your vehicle or at home. Backpacks, large bags, and items such as pocket knives will not be allowed and we are not responsible for any items left outside the gate.

The house is also unable to accommodate large strollers and photography is only permitted on the exterior grounds only. Smoking is not allowed on the property.

Further information

Follow the British High Commission on twitter @UKinCanada

Follow the British High Commissioner on twitter @HDrakeUK

Follow UKTI Canada on twitter @UKTI_Canada

Follow the British High Commission on facebook

Published 29 May 2015