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Timeline: 1939–2015

1923

The Union Club is acquired to create for the first time, Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

The grand opening, 1925

1925

The grand opening of Canada House by His Royal Highness King George V accompanied by Queen Mary, on 29 June.

1927

The cornerstone of 2-4 Cockspur Street is laid by Thomas Bassett Macaulay of Sun Life Assurance of Canada.

1939

The Canadian military headquarters in London is located in 2–4 Cockspur Street, adjacent to Canada House. For the first time, a connection between the two buildings is created.

Canadian Women's Army Corps operating the telephone switchboard at Canadian Military Headquarters, London, World War II (courtesy Galt Museum & Archives), 1945

1939

During World War II, High Commissioner Vincent Massey, Canada’s first Canadian-born Governor General, opens a pub in the basement for Canadian service personnel. It becomes fondly known as a home away from home for Canadians in Europe; most of Canada’s service personnel pass through. Saturday night parties are held for troops going to or coming from the front lines.

1960

Canada focuses on trade with Britain and the rest of an emerging Europe and begins to greatly increase its presence in London. Canada House becomes the primary base for trade missions.

Macdonald Room, 1960
Macdonald Room, 1960

1961

1 July, Canada Day: Macdonald House (named in honour of Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald) is opened as the Canadian High Commission, having served as the American Embassy from 1938 to 1960.

1964

Canada acquires the lease to the Royal College of Physicians and begins work to unify that building with Canada House. Together they occupy the entire western side of Trafalgar Square.

1993

Canada House is closed by the Canadian government as a cost-cutting measure. A plan to sell the building is reconsidered when High Commissioner Royce Frith takes up the cause of this exceptional location. His efforts are successful and renovations begin in 1997. Both Canada House on Trafalgar Square and Macdonald House on Grosvenor Square are in need of significant investment.

1998

The building is officially reopened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

2010

Canada House is closed again, this time in preparation for the events of 2012: Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. It is temporarily named Canada Olympic House for the duration of London’s 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Canada Olympic House, 2010
Canada Olympic House, 2010

2012

The government of Canada agrees to acquire the former Sun Life of Canada Building adjacent to Canada House and to restore the connections between the two sites. All of Canada’s activities will once again be under one roof at Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

2015

Her Majesty The Queen of Canada officially opens the revitalized Canada House.

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