Canada House, Greek Revival Building London, Project, Photo, Architecture, Property
Canada House London, England
Trafalgar Square Structure in London, England, UK – design by Sir Robert Smirke, architect
post updated 15 Mar 2020
Canada House in London
Location: Trafalgar Square
Dates built: 1824-27
Design: Sir Robert Smirke Architect
High Commission of Canada in London – cultural and consular sections – since 1923.
Formerly the Union Club and the Royal College of Physicians.
The building was officially opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1925.
Location: west side of Trafalgar Square
Style: Greek Revival building
Heritage status: Grade II* Listed building, since 1970.
Canada House is used for special events, hosting conferences, receptions, lectures and lunches.
The building which would later become known as Canada House was built between 1824 and 1827 to designs by Sir Robert Smirke, the architect of the British Museum. It was originally two buildings used by the Union Club and the Royal College of Physicians. Renovations were supervised by the architect Septimus Warwick, who moved the main entrance from Trafalgar Square to Cockspur Street. The designers imported Canadian furniture, carpets and maple and birch flooring. The exterior was reclad in Portland stone to match the facade of the Royal College of Physicians.
In the 1960s Canada greatly increased its presence, acquiring the future Macdonald House in 1961.
In 1993 the property was closed by the Canadian government as a cost-cutting measure with the intention of selling it. A change of government in Canada saw this decision reversed and renovations were planned instead, beginning in 1997. The building was officially reopened by Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada in May 1998.
The building was closed again in 2010 and re-opened in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee. It was used as Canada Olympic House during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The main work of the High Commission, including consular, public affairs, political, trade and administrative functions is carried out from Macdonald House in Mayfair. However, in November 2013 Macdonald House was sold off and it is planned that the main diplomatic functions be transferred back into this property the next year.
Location: Trafalgar Square, London, England, UK
Architecture in London
Contemporary Architecture in London
London Architecture Links – chronological list
Key London building also by Robert Smirke:
photo © Nick Weall
St Paul’s Cathedral
photo © Nick Weall
Comments / photos for the Canada House London High Commission – Trafalgar Square Architecture page welcome