Canada House: 7 Surprising Facts Revealed!

The Canada House is sure to be up for discussion for its enormous history and fascinating architectural features if you’re talking about the amazing countries in the world and their beautiful, quaint heritage sites.

Not just that, it is a home away from home to the Canadian High Commission in London.

They say, Architecture is a visual art and that the Buildings speak for themselves, so is the case of The Canada House.

This great architectural beauty houses precise design details and a couple of facts that you may or may not have heard of.

7 Facts About The Canada House You Probably Didn’t Know

Without wasting much of our time, let’s dive right in and discover the unknown.

FACT 1: The Construction of Canada House

canada house
Photo by Tolu Olubode on Unsplash

Built between 1824 and 1827, this architectural treasure is based on the designs suggested by Sir Robert Smirke, a highly acknowledged Architect of the British Museum.

Located in London’s ever-swarming Trafalgar Square, also known as “The Heart of London,” The Canada House is a distinctive symbol of Canadian Interests in Britain and officially opened in 1925.

Originally The Canada House was built into two different buildings: The Union Club and The Royal College of Physicians.

It took him a year to find the right site, but in 1923, High Commissioner Peter Charles Larkin settled over The Union Club on the Western Side of the Trafalgar Square for a whooping £223,000.

High Commissioner Peter Charles Larkin envisioned the possibility of unifying 200 Canadian Employees under a single building, who were scattered in several offices on Victoria Street.

It was a tedious task but a greater accomplishment in benefitting the Canadians residing in London.

Extremely high-priced and exquisite materials were used for renovations, including imported Artistic Canadian Furniture.

The main entrance was moved from Trafalgar Square to Cockspur Street, summing up to a renovation cost of $1.3 million CDN.

It was officially opened by King George V in 1925. A bunch of High dukes, Kings, and, other dignitaries attended this lavish opening ceremony.

Years followed, and The Canada House witnessed The Depression, A Trade Boom, and A World War, and time kept flying away, making the bond Between UK and Canada will blossom. They fought the wars shoulder to shoulder and got past difficult times together.

In remembrance of all the support and active participation of Canada in the affairs of The United Kingdom, its presence there became more imminent.

It led to the expansion of Canada into The United Kingdom, and the unification of The Royal College of Physicians and the Union Club took place.

Now that the Canada House is almost close to its 100th Birthday celebration in The United Kingdom, there’s more to what advancements may be made shortly.

FACT 2: The Blitz & The House of Canada

London Blitz
Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

During The Blitz of London (A German Bombing Campaign), which was planned against The United Kingdom, when the attacks took place in London, a bomb fell near The Canada House just 20 yards (18 m) with the Future Prime Minister Lester B Pearson.

Pearson was serving as the secretary to the High Commissioner at the time there.

The Canada House suffered no sort of casualties, but, In 1933, The Canadian Government decided to shut the Canada House as a cost-cutting measure and intended to sell it. But a Change in the Government was made, and the decision got reversed anyway.

Renovations were planned again and were put into action around the year 1997. Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was called for and mounted by The Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the re-opening.

QUICK FACT: To dig deeper into the London Blitz and the casualties that occurred at the time in detail, tap on the link specified” The Blitz.”

FACT 3: Re-opening of Canada House for the Diamond Jubilee

After being shut down in 2010, The Canada House was re-opened again in 2012 for The Diamond Jubilee and served as The Olympic House for The 2012 Olympics in London, which proved to be a huge international event that bought back the glory of the building.

From 2013 till today, a major part of The Canada House still serves as the Headquarters of the Department of Culture Media & Sport.

QUICK Reality: London’s 2012 Summer Olympics was hosted and was planned around the Olympic Park in East London. Visit the website to know more about the Olympics, its events, and the winners in detail!

After giving over all of their diplomatic activities to The Canada House in 2014, The High Commission decided to officially carry out the re-opening of The Canada House yet again by the hands of The honorable Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh, his highness on 19 February 2015.

FACT 4: The Current Functions of the Canada House

canada house
James F., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As mentioned above, The Canada House is home in London to the High Commission of Canada in The United Kingdom.

The diplomatic tasks running here include the renewal of passport, application for emergency assistance, application for a visitor’s visa, application for a study permit, application of a work permit, immigration processing services, a military office, trade center, political centers, public affairs department and much more, and all for the benefit of the Canadians living in the United Kingdom.

The Canada House is also free for other social purposes like special events, hosting international conferences, receptions, lectures, and lunches. We can conclude that The Canada House is a lot more than just an architectural artifact with all that valuable information.

FACT 5: The Secret Art Collection, Canada House

canada house
CHC2015, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is a fair chance that you’ve walked past this enormous beauty and failed to notice it. So here’s a glimpse of the same.

A subtle touch of maple leaves fluttering from their flanks and a gorgeous backdrop with the Canada House in it sure does make for a breathtaking sight.

But The Canada House is more than what it looks like. It is the epitome of art inside and out. Canada House is the House for The High Commission of Canada in the UK that also has a vast collection of secret art pieces stashed within, and the best part is, you can visit for free.

This Collection comprises at least 300 art pieces by at least 270 artists and artisans, and what’s more fascinating is that out of those 300 pieces, around 298 are from Canada. If you’re a Canadian citizen reading this, you know you belong to a proud Artistic Country.

Art is everywhere. Talk of the walls, the ceilings, or even the floor, everything around there holds an artistic touch, making it even more happening.

What is more palpable than the Artwork itself is the amount of effort and hard work put into each room and how it has a life of its own.

This small corner of Canadian Culture is just as mesmerizing as The National Gallery, and every Art Lover living in or around London should not miss the opportunity of seeing it.

Canada House
Whispers & Grey Flannel by Laura Harris
The Canada House.
Streets With Stories By Sarah Martin.

FACT 6: The Queen Elizabeth Atrium of The Canada House

The Atrium is built so gorgeously that it acts as a beacon of light to the heart of the building, making it an apt visual meeting area for the High Commission. The Cascading Staircase brings this design together, allows daylight, and gives a clear view of the people above.

To honor Her Majesty for her tireless efforts to restore this Gorgeous beauty and protect the Canadian Heritage, this place is named after her “The Queen Elizabeth Atrium.” Not just this specific part of the building, but The Canada House is home to 230 High Commission Staff.

With a ton of social, aristocratic, and historical events frequently taking place in The Canada House, Canadian culture & heritage is preserved. The economic and social value of London Architecture elevated, which kept both countries at a profit.

If you are looking for more on travel situations during the pandemic in Canada, visit The Government of Canada’s official outbreak page.

You can also view reviews from other people on their visits at What you need to know before going to the Canada House.

FACT 7: The Little Canada Neighborhood

1. The Trafalgar Square:

When you look at The Trafalgar Square or the Nelson Monument, the fountains there seem like they’ve been there forever.

For a fact, that isn’t true. These fountains were later included in the plan to break open public spaces when called for demonstrations or other large public gatherings.

These Fountains run on steam engines and are controlled at The National Gallery. The First Fountains to ever be used were taken up from a fund acquired by the National Art Collection and moved to Ottowa and Regina.

2. The Canada Club

The Canada Club was discovered in 1810 by a group of Canadian fur traders who hosted regular meetings, dinners, and debates annually at The Savoy Hotel every year except for World War II.

3. Canadian Pacific Building

Situated right across the corner from The Canada House is the Canadian Pacific Building which is one of the only two clocks that overlook Trafalgar square.

4. The Warwick House:

The Warwick House is a little ahead of the Pall Mall, where the Grand Turk Railway Building is situated. This railway network spreads as far as 32,000 km of track which includes 80 warehouses and distribution facilities.

5. Canada Gate:

As a memorial to Queen Victoria, the Canada Gate was presented in 1905 and is situated across Buckingham Palace. It is built-in iron between two Portland Stone Pillars.

6. Canada War Memorial:

The Canada War Memorial is situated in Green Park and was presented by the Queen in 1994 as a tribute to the Canadians who served and sacrificed their lives during World War II.

Final Ruling

The Canada House is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous architectural remnants created with tons of good art and is one of the exceptional creations in the city and is a must-visit destination for art lovers and architecture enthusiasts.

If you’re around the city and are planning on taking a visit, The Canada Gallery is hospitable to the general public from Monday-Saturday between 11:00 to 17:45. Taking the guided tour will allow you to access some of the most beautiful rooms on the building’s diplomatic side.

To take one of these tours, you must register individually through an external website. Since the tours are top-rated, bookings must be made well in advance to have a confirmed free spot. Thorough Security checks are organized at each phase to ensure swift and safe movement.

It is one of the most significant tourist hotspots; therefore, finding a hotel room to rent or a good restaurant to eat in is the least of an individual’s concerns. It is fun and exciting to witness history from a time we probably didn’t even exist.

In response to the Corona Virus Outbreak, The High Commission has ensured proper arrangements to guard the visitor’s health and welfare to ensure a memorable trip. Have a Good Time!

Last Updated on by Priyanshi Sharma


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