Justin Trudeau is considering a plan that would gift 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, the official residence of the Canadian Prime Minister, to the Assembly of First Nations, with the intention that building be used as a permanent national headquarters for the organization. In recent years, the building has been called ‘dilapidated’ and an ’embarrassment’ when compared with the official residences of other G20 nations, and the Trudeau government has been considering the construction of a new official residence elsewhere in Ottawa.
Only minor renovations would be required of 24 Sussex to repurpose the 34-room, 12,000 square foot mansion. It’s thought that first floor would function as the office of the National Chief, with formal dinning and living spaces repurposed as a reception space, shared office spaces for support staff, and a conference room. Bedrooms on the second and third floors would be used as offices to for senior policy and communications staffers.
Trudeau has refused to reside at the residence since his election in 2015, complaining about its condition and preferring to reside instead at Rideau Cottage (which was initially constructed to house the Governor General) on the grounds of Rideau Palace. Trudeau and the Governor General each have second homes at Lake Harrington, the federal retreat outside of the Capitol.
It’s unclear where in Ottawa that the Trudeau government plans to construct a new official residence, though it is widely believed that the home will be similar to the size of the White House, though it will embrace a more Canadian style of architecture. The Trudeau government is considering several waterfront sites near Rockcliffe Park.
For the Assembly of First Nations, the property would mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings on the rent expense that the organization incurs annually to maintain its Ottawa offices.