Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Paying A Visit In Autumn To Rideau Hall

I went to New Edinburgh and Rideau Hall on Thanksgiving Day in October to take in some of the fall colours. I happened to arrive in time to join a tour inside the Hall, which is home and working space for Canada's Governor-General. Usually the tour begins through the front door, but with the work going on there, the tours were being started at an alternate entrance, through one of the working corridors of the building.

The tour properly began in what's called the Tent Room. This is a large reception space with paintings of Queen Victoria and numerous governor-generals of British origin adorning the walls. The concept of the governor-general goes all the way back to the New France era, in which governors were appointed to oversee French holdings in North America. After the Seven Years War ended with the British taking full control of those territories, the idea of the governor continued on in the form of a governor-general. These days it's a largely ceremonial position, a representative of the Queen, who continues to be monarch of Canada. 

As for why it's called the Tent Room, British representatives in the 19th century had a fondness for tent garden parties. This space was created with that in mind- an interior space as opposed to an outdoor space, since winters in Ottawa don't make for ideal conditions for outdoor entertaining. It was also used as an indoor tennis court. 

In an adjoining room, the space is given over to an explanation of various Canadian honours- including the Order Of Canada, of which this is an example.


  1. that tent room is cute for about a minute. then i'd be tired of it. :)

  2. What an amazing space. Wouldn't you like to have a room like that?


  3. It's a regal and elegant space William, and much appreciated when cold and rainy I'm sure 😊

  4. Fabulous - and a neat idea; I'm sure I've heard something of the tent room before. I don't imagine it's used for tennis now - what a mess a few speeding balls would make in there.

  5. I've never heard of the tent room. It sounds like a weird combination of art , sports and history. That was a nice tour.

  6. It's all very beautiful and most interesting. Can't imagine playing tennis in that hall, though.

  7. @Summer: it is.

    @Tex: I can see that effect.

    @Bill: and more to come.

    @Janis: it would be colourful!

    @Grace: definitely.

    @Linda: especially the art.

    @Mike: I did a tour through here two years ago. I figured some of the readers hadn't seen it.

    @Red: and more to come.

    @Sharon: I think it is.

    @Lowell: not these days!

  8. That is a beautiful room! Glad I don't have to clean those floors!! lol

  9. I have grown fond of President Obama's penchant for having State Dinners in a tent on the White House lawn. And I really like the Tent Room in your photos. In the first photo it reminded me of an ice cream parlor! I hope that doesn't insult anyone in Ottawa.

  10. i enjoy all the stripes. nice lovely decor. ( ;
    spiffy even.

  11. I'd love to have a room like that! ;-)

  12. O salão tenda é bastante original e muito bonito
    Um abraço

  13. It's not really the way I would like to decorate our livingroom, but I love your photo of the floor with that great reflection.

  14. @Pamela: it must be a good deal of work!

    @Catalyst: I think that does apply here.

    @Beth: it's quite a room.

    @RedPat: not quite my colour!

    @Gracita: thank you.

    @Jan: the floor caught my eye too.

  15. The autumn colors are special and that candy-striped wall covering looks unusual. Nice tour. Thank you!

  16. These tours are always such fun!

  17. I can't decide which photo I like best!

  18. That tent room is highly unusual and quite memorable.

  19. @Lauren: more to come!

    @Halcyon: this one is well worth making the visit. I just can't believe I'd lived here for years on end and didn't visit the place before two years ago.

    @Norma: thank you!

    @Revrunner: it certainly is. I can imagine what it must be like when they have receptions in here.

    @Lois: and the ball room is even more so.

    @Kate: it's a nice legacy of the past, and a good way to kick off a tour. When the tour is regularly done, this is the second room the public comes into.

  20. That is quite a room, but I would think a tennis ball traveling at a high speed in the wrong direction could be a danger to some of the paintings. Then again it is probably far larger than what pictures are telling my eyes.

  21. This is one of the most amazing spaces! I think you've shown it before and it's remarkable each time. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. Nice as it is, I expect this is as close as I'll ever be to the Order of Canada.

  22. ohhh i love that striped room! it reminds me of the greenbrier hotel near here...i've posted photos before, you can search for them and i think the decorating is similar!

  23. I think the sense of entitlement started a long time ago!

  24. The red and white striped walls are wonderful.

  25. @Mari: oh, these days it would!

    @Kay: I have shown it from time to time.

    @Tanya: thanks!

    @Jennifer: true!

    @Orvokki: I like them.