Justin Trudeau will move into Rideau Cottage, not 24 Sussex Drive

Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau will be moving into Rideau Cottage, part of the Rideau Hall grounds in the National Capital Region, not 24 Sussex Drive.

PM's official residence in need of millions of dollars in repairs

Justin Trudeau's new family home

8 years ago
Duration 0:33
Trudeau is moving into Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall while repairs to 24 Sussex are considered

Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau and his family will not be moving into 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the prime minister, any time soon.

Instead, the family will take up residence at the Rideau Cottage, a 22-room historic home located just up the street "until further notice."

"Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, and their three children will be immediately relocating to Rideau Cottage, part of the Rideau Hall grounds in the National Capital Region," reads a statement from the Liberal Party.

Annabelle Cloutier, a spokeswoman for Rideau Hall, said this will be the first time in Canadian history that a prime minister has lived on the grounds of the Governor General's residence.

Justin Trudeau is not moving into 24 Sussex yet

8 years ago
Duration 1:28
Trudeau is moving into Rideau Cottage, Rideau Hall spokesperson Annabelle Cloutier describes the house to the CBC's Julie Van Dusen

"It's a big estate so there is enough space for him to be living here and have his own private space with his family," she said.

The residence is located on an area of the 88-acre Rideau Hall grounds that is not normally open to the public, but extra security will be provided around the home's perimeter. The other areas of Rideau Hall that are normally open to the public will remain so.

The location of Rideau Cottage, Justin Trudeau's new residence, in relation to Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General, David Johnston, and 24 Sussex Drive. (CBC)

"The grounds are open to the public, yes, because it's the front of the residence of Rideau Hall that is open to the public and that remains the same," said Cloutier.

The cottage was last renovated in 2013 by the National Capital Commission.

A child's plastic scooter was sitting in the circular driveway outside Rideau Cottage, the only evidence the Trudeaus have begun to move in. A number of pumpkins were placed on each side of the front stairs, and a Canadian flag flies off the front porch.

"This residence, Rideau Cottage, was built in 1867, it was part of the Rideau Hall estate," said Cloutier. "Ever since, there were secretaries to governors general who have lived in that residence."

The Queen stays in Rideau Hall proper when she comes to visit, and dignitaries are not housed at Rideau Cottage.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his family have lived at 24 Sussex Drive since 2006, despite a report from the auditor general's office in 2008 that said the residence was in need of major repairs.

It outlined a number of problems, including cracked windows and caulking; noisy air-conditioning and problems with plumbing and electrical systems, and estimated the cost of renovating the building at $10 million.

Inside renos at Rideau Cottage, Justin Trudeau's new residence

8 years ago
Duration 0:35
Justin Trudeau and family will forego 24 Sussex Dr. for now and move into Rideau Cottage, which was renovated 15 years ago at a cost of $400K.

Trudeau and his family have been renting a home for the last two years in the tony Rockcliffe Park area.

The Liberal Party notice said the prime minister-designate will make decisions about 24 Sussex Drive after he has been "fully briefed" by officials.

 Rideau Cottage was constructed in 1867 and is designated as a "recognized" heritage building by the Federal Heritage Building Review Office. The house is nestled in a private area with no public access.

Measuring 932 square metres, it has traditionally served as the residence of the secretary to the Governor General. The man in that role, Stephen Wallace, moved out over the weekend and the Trudeau family is now in the process of moving in.

The National Capital Commission completed major renovations to the building in 2013, fixing cracked and rotting foundation, and repairing the roof and ceiling.

The $400,000 rehabilitation also included major upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems and interior finishes.