Welcome to Canada House
Canada House has been the centre of Canada’s presence in the UK from the time it was first envisioned by High Commissioner Peter Larkin almost 100 years ago. It is an important part of our history here, with a place in the memories of thousands of Canadians.
Today, for the first time in over 50 years, all of the Canadian High Commission’s activities in the United Kingdom are united at Canada House on Trafalgar Square.
Here you will find Canadian materials and furnishings, the work of talented Canadian designers, artists and craftspeople, surrounded by Canadian wood, granite and marble.
The new design of Canada House respects, preserves and, in some cases, restores the building’s heritage. The space that originally housed the two-storey library of the Royal College of Physicians has been reinstated and is now the home of Canada’s trade representatives at the High Commission.
In tandem with the effort to preserve and respect the building’s heritage, the new Canada House highlights Canada in the 21st century and incorporates natural light and fresh air — essential components of a healthy workplace.
The sale of Macdonald House at Grosvenor Square, and the subsequent consolidation of the High Commission’s activities in one location, generated revenue, created operating efficiencies and allows us to better serve our clients. Together, these initiatives represent a significant return for the Canadian taxpayer. But hopefully, this endeavour accomplishes more.
Four large meeting rooms bear the names of great Canadian Prime Ministers all of whom strengthened Canada’s bonds with the UK: Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime Minister; Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister during World War I, when Canadians were the first on the front with their British comrades; and William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister and Prime Minister during World War II. Mackenzie King was the Prime Minister responsible for the creation of Canada House in 1925.
Meeting rooms representing the ten provinces, three territories and three oceans display provincial products, furnishings and artworks, while at the same time, providing professional and versatile meeting spaces.
Canada is the world’s largest exporter of wood and so it follows that this is a unifying building material in the new Canada House. From the Canadian red oak floors and Canadian hemlock-clad atrium to the naturally-enhanced pine in the Pacific Room, and the many wonderful furnishings — one can admire nature’s most environmentally friendly building material throughout.
Canadian marble and granite complement the heritage marble from the 1820s that still creates the elegant floor patterns in the Trafalgar Square lobby. Meanwhile Canadian artists show their imagination, creativity and unique ways of seeing the world throughout the building. There is the painting by Gordon Smith at the Cockspur Street entrance, the striking Riopelle lithograph in the Quebec Room, and Gathie Falk’s Arsenal of snowballs in the Trafalgar lobby and High Commissioner’s office. There are photographs by Scott McFarland and Ned Pratt, and a tapestry by Anna Torma in the New Brunswick Room. Carpets designed by Canadian artists in each provincial, territorial and ocean room add colour, warmth and life.
This is Canada in the 21st century: a vast country, rich in natural resources and talented people, touched by three oceans, ready to shape our future — and building on the traditions and friendships of the past.