Canadian Roots in the Heart of London
From the 18th-century traders who met in Garraway’s coffee shop, to the poutine shops of Shoreditch, to the Governor of the Bank of England, and the CEO of the Royal Mail, Canadians have always been present in London. Likewise, the city has been at the heart of Canada’s relationship with the UK. Canada House in Trafalgar Square represents the longstanding camaraderie between the two nations.
Over the decades, Canada House has seen many adaptations, both in its architecture and its use. During World War II, hundreds of thousands of Canadians found a home away from home in ‘little Canada’, in a Canada House that became canteens and quarters for servicemen and women on leave.
In that spirit, this renovation is intended to celebrate and represent Canada today with spaces that welcome Canadians and their guests.
Of course, with as impressive a location as Trafalgar Square, some of the building’s focus must be shared with its illustrious setting. The Macdonald Room on the first floor has a 20ft high ceiling with intricate plaster decoration, the building’s largest and oldest crystal chandelier, and three large windows overlooking the Square.
On the top floor, a new boardroom and formal dining space has been created featuring windows on three sides. Named the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Room, this is now a grand space with views over the Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the National Gallery, Big Ben and the London Eye. A new garden terrace has been created with a planted green roof and wall, and a bee hotel.
From the building materials to the fixtures and fittings, every element of Canada House tells a proud story of its provenance and is featured in one of the most iconic locations in London. It’s a wholly appropriate tribute to what makes Canada a great nation and to its shared history and continuing relationship with the UK.