Laurier House Canada, Ottawa

Laurier House

Laurier House is a National Historic Site in Ottawa, Ontario, located at 335 Laurier Avenue East (in the Sandy Hill district). It was formerly the residence of two Canadian prime ministers: Sir Wilfrid Laurier (for whom the house is named) and William Lyon Mackenzie King. The house was built in 1878, but had significant later alterations. It now exhibits elements of the Italianate manner as well as traces of Second Empire style.

Laurier lived there from 1897 until his death in 1919. His wife, Zoé Laurier, willed the house to Mackenzie King upon her death in 1921. King then lived there from 1923 until his death in 1950 and he willed the house to the Canadian Crown. The Cabinet then briefly considered designating Laurier House as the permanent official residence of the prime minister. However, the Prime Minister at the time, Louis St. Laurent, opposed designating it as such. Instead, 24 Sussex Drive—a property the Crown had acquired a few years earlier through expropriation—was selected and designated as the prime minister's official residence in 1951.

Many distinguished Canadian guests were received at this house, such as King George VI, as well as foreign guests like Sir Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and others.

Under the terms of the Laurier House Act 1951, the house and its grounds were entrusted to the National Capital Commission (NCC), the Department of Public Works, and Library and Archives Canada. Since 1988, the house has been administered by Parks Canada as part of the national park system, operating it as a public museum. However, the NCC continues to maintain the grounds and the national archives retains ownership of all archival materials in the house. Laurier House is open to the public for guided tours from Victoria Day in May until Thanksgiving in October.