Rideau Hall

Ottawa Magazine - - THIS CITY - —Matt Har­ri­son

Af­ter the gov­ern­ment pur­chased the land in 1868, the for­mer MacKay fam­ily home (built in 1838 by stone­ma­son Thomas MacKay) was added to ex­ten­sively, cre­at­ing a patchwork of styles, but none so un­usual as the Tent Room. Re­sem­bling a candy cane or a pop­corn box, it was cre­ated by the Earl of Duf­ferin (Canada’s third gover­nor gen­eral) to host in­door par­ties rem­i­nis­cent of out­door events held in Eng­land’s more ac­com­mo­dat­ing weather. The room also dou­bled as a ten­nis court. Later, por­traits of key fig­ures in Canada’s sports his­tory re­placed ten­nis rac­quets and balls: Lord Stan­ley, who do­nated “the cup,” and Earl Grey, who do­nated the other (CFL) “cup.” Else­where, Glenn Gould’s prac­tice pi­ano oc­cu­pies a corner of the Long Gallery, while the Ball­room be­daz­zles guests with its one-tonne chan­de­lier (boast­ing 12,000 crys­tals) given to Canada by Eng­land for its aid in the Sec­ond World War.

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