Canada's diplomatic home in the United Kingdom, the revitalised Canada House serves as a showcase for the very best of Canadian art and design in the 21C.
Sir Robert Smirke,
Septimus Warwick & H Austin Hall,
Embassy/high commission, Online
Canada House was built between 1824 and 1827 by the leading architect of the time, Sir Robert Smirke, who also designed the British Museum.
The bold neo-hellenic lines of Canada House were the precursor for the new architectural style adopted in Trafalgar Square, and were a complete transformation from the Regency style of the time.
It was designed originally as two buildings behind a common façade, the Union Club to the south, and the Royal College of Physicians to the north.
In 1923, Canadian High Commissioner, the Honourable Peter Larkin led the purchase of the Union Club on behalf of the Canadian government. The plan was to secure diplomatic premises in the heart of an area known at the time as 'Little Canada'. Architect Septimus Warwick was engaged to refurbish the building, which involved major remodelling of the interior and reconstruction of the south façade. King George V officially opened Canada House in June 1925.
During World War II, Canada House became fondly known as a home away from home for Canadians serving in the Allied Forces.
In 1964 the High Commission acquired the lease to the Royal College of Physicians. In the process of incorporating two buildings into one, a number of features were covered up or removed. Many of these aspects were rediscovered during more recent refurbishment work.
21st Century Showcase
In 2014, Canada House underwent a large scale revitalisation that included linking the heritage building to the former Sun Life Assurance of Canada building on Cockspur Street.
Together, the buildings now represent the new Canada House and are home to all of Canada’s diplomatic activities in the United Kingdom.
The project ensured that Canada House serves as a true showcase of the country in the 21st century. From design elements, to interiors, furnishing and almost 300 pieces of Canadian art, Canada House today brings the best of the nation to the very heart of London.