Description of Historic Place
Located immediately near the main entrance to Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General in Ottawa, the attractive Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge is a two-storey, off-white octagonal building with projecting, one-storey sections. An eight-sided conical roof with a central chimney shaft caps the building. Clad in brick that replicates rusticated stone courses and radiating voussoirs, its walls on the ground storey feature round-arched windows, all with prominent keystones, some of which are decorated with masks. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge is historically significant for its security role at the Rideau Hall Complex. The Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge had, for centuries, been regarded as an important part of the country estate, serving a functional purpose. As the only built element of the estate visible from a public road, the lodge is symbolic of the prominence of the estate owner. As a lodge, the structure provided accommodation for the gate keeper. Additions were built as it became both a gate lodge and a guardhouse with RCMP guards on duty.
The Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge is valued for its very good aesthetic design, which provides a dignified, harmonious and handsomely detailed entrance to the vice-regal estate of the Governor General. Its visual attributes which act as a counterpoint to its protective function, are significant to the composition. Designed by Frederick Preston Rubidge, and a very good example of his work, the octagonal shape of the Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge established a building form echoed in successive estate outbuildings. The very good quality of the workmanship is demonstrated in the brick cladding and decorative brickwork, including arched windows and doors and keystone sculptures.
The Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge maintains an unchanged relationship to its site at the Rideau Hall Complex and reinforces the picturesque character of its vice-regal estate setting. A well-known landmark in the community, the image of the entrance, including the Gate Lodge, is shared with each dignitary, passer-by and public visitor.
Robert Hunter, Rideau Hall Outbuildings and Grounds, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 86-024; Gate Lodge (Gatekeeper’s Lodge), Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 86-024.
The character-defining elements of the Rideau Hall: Gate Lodge should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic design, good functional design and very good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the two-storey massing, which consists of an octagonal structure with projecting, one- storey pedimented sections and modest, one-storey, flat-roofed additions at its rear;
-the eight-sided conical roof with a central chimney shaft;
-the brick cladding simulating rusticated string courses and radiating voussoirs;
-the building’s unifying paint scheme;
-the round arched windows and doors;
-the keystone sculptures.
The manner in which the Gate Lodge maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the picturesque character of its vice-regal estate setting and is a well-known landmark within the community, as evidenced by:
-its ongoing relationship with the estate grounds and the public area outside the main gate;
-its scale, octagonal form and attractively detailed design, which contributes to the image of the main entrance and harmonizes with the picturesque, vice-regal estate setting;
-its prominence at the main entrance to the Rideau Hall Complex, and as the only visible building to the public from outside of the grounds, it is a landmark to visitors of the complex and to those who frequent Sussex Drive.