Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural BuildingsGovernment Buildings
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Rideau Hall is a national historic site is set in an idyllic, 79-acre urban oasis located only a few minutes from downtown Ottawa and Gatineau. You are welcome to visit the residence and workplace of the governor general and the grounds year-round.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Dubes13
    Peterborough, United Kingdom114 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place to visit, take the tour!
    You can wander the grounds of Rideau Hall, which has some interesting sculptures and a beautiful rose garden. We took one of the free tours which run in French and English throughout the day and were lucky enough to be the only ones on our tour so we had a private tour! Understandably, you have to go through a security / bag check then into the house. Our guide, Jordy, was fabulous, really knowledgeable and welcoming and answered lots of questions, as well as explaining to us as foreigners, about the reconciliation process with indigenous peoples. The hall is really interesting with lots of history and we got to see one of the Governor General's private rooms as she and her husband were away on holiday. We also saw the room where the Governor Geneal meets with the Prime Minister. There is no parking, but you can park for 3 hours for free on nearby streets. Or the hop on hop off bus tour stops nearby. There are washrooms and a small gift shop. Definitely put this on your to do list if you are in Ottawa!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 July 2023
  • S J
    Vancouver, Canada10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful experience for visiting Rideau hall on last Friday noon
    Last Friday, I went to Rideau Hall by myself, I was lucky to wait 5 Mins by myself tour to visit inside Hall. My guide’s name is Dave, who is a university student. I never thought about he could know all governor general of canada, and their families members, their interests, what they did for Canada, why Canada has two official Languages. He was handsome, friendly, intelligent, integrity. From him, I saw the future of Canada, and wish he could become one of Governor in Canada.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 31 July 2023
  • hairybear007
    Tipton, United Kingdom4,570 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great thing to do.
    We walked from the city centre on a lovely sunny day, unfortunately the hall was closed as president Zelenskyy was in town,but you can book a free tour on line. The hall is set in a lovely are with beautiful gardens and it was great to find trees planted by our late Queen and her mother. The park was very quiet with hardly anyone around ,easily to do on your own as opposed to a paid tour/visit. We caught the bus back into town ,a frequent service.
    Visited September 2023
    Written 1 October 2023
  • Nico Samneil Sy Salado
    Newport, Vermont1,914 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gov gen’s residence
    2024: winter time. Tour by appointment only. 2022: The young summer guides where energetic and knows their country’s history well. Symbolizing that patriotism is strong. It feels like you are at bridgerton(netflix series) when you are inside. It is free entrance but one has to go under security before going in. Not as strict as the senate security.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 April 2024
  • runningwild32
    337 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely residence and grounds
    We struck lucky as we could not book on line to do the Governor General's Residence and were happy just to have a walk around the grounds. However, upon arrival we found there were spaces on a tour in English going in a few minutes. We were shown around by a lovely guide who was doing her first tour. She was very knowledgeable, not only about the building, the artefacts and the Governors themselves, which gave an enhanced perspective of what we were looking at. Going midweek, the grounds which contained many trees, was very quiet so we could walk about freely in peace, looking at numerous plaques where trees had been planted by many heads of state over the years. The tours are free but be prepared to have your bags searched before entry.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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futtock21
London, UK16,480 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
This stately home in Ottawa’s Beechwood district has been the home of Canada’s Governor General since 1867 although it was originally a private villa for Thomas MacKay the immigrant Irish stonemason who built it and after whom the road running past is now named. Much extended it now houses 165 rooms having more the quality of a hotel both for the Queen herself whenever she visits Canada, otherwise as a home to the Governor General and the setting for the appointments and resignations of Prime Ministers. Guided tours are available but we chose to visit after 3pm when a number of State rooms are available for self-tours although there are helpful and informative guides in each room to answer questions. One showed us photographs of all the previous incarnations of the Long Gallery concluding its current furnishings resemble those of an upmarket hotel. Particularly impressive are the chandeliered Ballroom and the Tent Room where official meetings between Governor General and Prime Minister take place beneath and are overshadowed by a huge abstract work by Jean-Paul Riopelle. Another room exhibits all the medals associated with Canadian honours and gives an account of their history. Rideau Hall is set in an 88-acre park featuring a native people’s totem pole, sculptures and trees planted by visiting statesmen and Nelson Mandela. Outside is an equestrian statue of Queen Elizabeth II moved from a former downtown site.
Written 31 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel1207
Grand Isle, VT217 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
First time visit to this wonderful site. The guide (Cassandra) was fluently bilingual English/French, and well versed in the history of the building. This historical gem should be visited, for a better insight into the role of the Crown in Canadian history and how it is still valid today.
Take the time to visit the78 acre grounds - they are amazing.
Written 7 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dubes13
Peterborough, UK114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
You can wander the grounds of Rideau Hall, which has some interesting sculptures and a beautiful rose garden.

We took one of the free tours which run in French and English throughout the day and were lucky enough to be the only ones on our tour so we had a private tour!

Understandably, you have to go through a security / bag check then into the house.

Our guide, Jordy, was fabulous, really knowledgeable and welcoming and answered lots of questions, as well as explaining to us as foreigners, about the reconciliation process with indigenous peoples.

The hall is really interesting with lots of history and we got to see one of the Governor General's private rooms as she and her husband were away on holiday. We also saw the room where the Governor Geneal meets with the Prime Minister.

There is no parking, but you can park for 3 hours for free on nearby streets. Or the hop on hop off bus tour stops nearby. There are washrooms and a small gift shop.

Definitely put this on your to do list if you are in Ottawa!
Written 22 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lee
Derby, UK17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
We happened upon the hall when walking through Rideau park. There were some guides outside who offered us to join the tour. We joined Roxann’s tour and were really impressed with her knowledge and how easily approached she was. The tour was really informative and interesting. The hall was stunning and gave us a lot more background that we were keen to know about as tourists visiting Ottawa. I was really impressed by the acknowledgement to First Nations communities and how the Governor general was so keen to have this represented, including in the artwork of the hall. It really was fascinating, and on reflection, one of the things we enjoyed the most in Ottawa when we reflected upon it after. Considering the tour was free of charge and it wasn’t something we knew about or planned to do, and just happened on it, Roxann was fantastic!
Written 15 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

runningwild32
united kingdom337 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
We struck lucky as we could not book on line to do the Governor General's Residence and were happy just to have a walk around the grounds. However, upon arrival we found there were spaces on a tour in English going in a few minutes.

We were shown around by a lovely guide who was doing her first tour. She was very knowledgeable, not only about the building, the artefacts and the Governors themselves, which gave an enhanced perspective of what we were looking at.

Going midweek, the grounds which contained many trees, was very quiet so we could walk about freely in peace, looking at numerous plaques where trees had been planted by many heads of state over the years.

The tours are free but be prepared to have your bags searched before entry.
Written 23 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Geminican
San Jose, CA2,102 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Had no concept of Governor General's role in Canada before visiting this place.
Put this place as "optional."
When approaching its compound, saw a statute of the late Queen Elizabeth II riding on a horse at the front entrance, and securities guards in all gates.
It's near the residence of the Canadian Prime Minister.

Decided to visit this place before leaving Ottawa and very glad to have done it. Otherwise, it would be a big "miss." Through this visit, I learned that:

* Governor General represents the British Monarch, in Canada.
* This is the place where Governor General officially appoints the Canadian Prime Minister on behalf of the British Monarch.
* Rideau Hall is like the White House in the United States or Buckingham Palace in UK.
* This is the official residence of the Canadian Governor General

Still unsure if there are public visitor parking inside the compound. There is street parking along MacKay St. You will walk through a huge park-like area before reaching the Rideau Hall. You will go through the security check.

There is at least one staff in each room, and they will provide commentaries about the rooms. Emmalyn, Gabriel, Emy, and Ryan were knowledgeable and able to answer most questions.

Rideau Hall itself has rich history other than its significance in representing the British Monarch in Canada.

Unlike long wait time (at least three months in advance) and tight security (background check required) for visiting the White House in the United States, there is no advanced reservation required and the visit is free for Rideau Hall.

After the visit, I would change this place from "optional" to "must see."
Written 30 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KAG870
Toronto, Canada47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Rideau Hall was one of the highlights of our visit to Ottawa. You do require reservations but there is no charge. Our tour guide, a university student, was excellent and clearly had been well trained on the history of the building. The rooms are varied in their purpose and decor. The tent room is an incredibly unique room. The grounds are very large and you are free to wander them on your own. At one of the entry point there is a little cottage which now has displays of some of the Canadian honours available (ie Order of Canada) and information about some of the Governor Generals who have used this as an official residence. No parking on site but free parking in the neighbourhood.
Written 2 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

achan512
Mississauga, Canada1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Visited today with Family and we’re lucky to get a tour right away.
Our guide Jacob was fantastic and enthusiastic about the tour, Very knowledgeable about the various historical aspects.

We could not visit inside due to COVID but got a tour of the facilities from outside,

Worth visiting this gem in Ottawa.
Written 5 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amitabh C
Mississauga, Canada88 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We went there last minute on the recommendation from the Visitor center and were lucky to get a tour at the same time. Our tour guide Jacob was very friendly and knowledgeable. He had an air of excitement when he showed us the various monuments inside the campus. We loved the conversations with him.
Highly recommend this visit to understand more about our history and culture.

PS - They are not allowing visits inside the house due to COVID.

Will visit again in our next visit.
Written 9 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoanneJohn2005
Calgary, Canada204 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Rideau Hall the official residence of the Governor General of Canada. Such beautiful grounds, worth a visit to see Rideau Hall as well as the grounds. The grounds have many trees that have been gifted to Canada from many countries around the world. Due to Covid no building tours are available but still worth seeing. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch in the shade of the trees.
Written 15 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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