Staying with Rideau Hall, this look outside is from the room I left off with yesterday. This space is beyond the public areas.
The next room in the tour took us into what comprises the original manor. At the heart of the room is a model of Rideau Hall as it exists today.
Guides show how much the building has changed by removing segments that have been added on over time. The guide had her hand on the section we were standing in- Thomas McKay's original manor. He and his family lived in this space (though obviously there would have been walls separating the family back then). It has been radically expanded over time. When the guide is finished, each section goes back in place so that the next guide can do this demonstration for their group.
The last major room in the tour is the most dramatic. The Ballroom is used for formal occasions like state dinners, the greeting of ambassadors, and the swearing in of new cabinet ministers. It is dominated by a portrait of Queen Elizabeth. At present, paintings by First Nations artists are on the wall near the visitor, part of the art collection in the building.
This is something I had not seen before, but was aware of it. Rideau Hall has a skating rink over the winter, and each weekend, members of the public can come to skate. Several skaters were on the ice that afternoon. Some of the buildings you see beyond it are in the part of the property beyond public access. That would include Rideau Cottage, currently the residence of the Prime Minister and his family. It might be called a cottage, but realistically speaking it's a mansion.
I started to take my leave, first photographing the front façade of the manor.
On my way out I passed by this tree. Many of the trees on the property were planted by visiting dignitaries, a tradition going back more than a century. This would be one of them, but its identification plaque was beneath the snowpack when I was here.
Heading back down the driveway, I took another shot of the manor at a distance.
Near the end of the driveway, an inukshuk (alternatively spelled inuksuk) is off to the side. Beyond it in the background is the frozen Ottawa River, visible this time of year.