Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Government of Canada

UnitedKingdom.gc.ca

Breadcrumb

  1. Home
  2. >
  3. Our Office
  4. >
  5. Calendar of Events

Canada House UpdateCanada House and Canada House leaf

Canada House revitalization project

To consolidate Canada’s diplomatic activity in the UK in a single, central location in historic Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

Watch this space for more updates on the progress of this exciting move.

Progress report

Collage - Canada House, Work on the High Commission’s new home

December, 2014

Over a very busy few days in December, all High Commission staff made the move to our new space in Canada House. The finishing touches are still very much underway but we are up and running and open for business. We are now looking ahead to an official opening in the coming months and to welcoming you at our front door on Trafalgar Square. Stay tuned for details of all that’s still to come in this wonderful newly-revitalized building.

We’ve moved to Canada House – How to find us

November, 2014

Luxury bee hotelWe’re all abuzz about the latest addition to Canada House. The High Commissioner has unveiled a luxury bee hotel that will grace the roof of our new office in Trafalgar Square, donated by the Savoy Hotel, a Fairmont property. We’re pleased to be able to offer London’s bees a safe haven in the middle of the city, and staff are lining up to learn all about maintaining a great environment for these important animals.

October, 2014

Work on the High Commission’s new home, Canada House, is going strong, with the installation of a staircase in the atrium of the former Sun Life building on Cockspur Street.

The High Commissioner has been showing staff around the site, ahead of our move at the end of the year.  Further ahead, there are exciting sponsorship opportunities related to the re-opening of Canada House. Please contact CanadaPlus@international.gc.ca for more details.

September, 2014

Our timeline on the blue hoardingsWhere some might simply see construction hoardings around a building site, we here at Canada Plus see an opportunity to tell the world the story of Trafalgar Square, how Canada House came to be and even sneak in a fair few tidbits of Canadian history. Our timeline on the blue hoardings is in place and tens of thousands of passersby have a chance to find out more about our country and our place in the most iconic of London locations. If you get a chance, do pop by and have a look – you might just find a nugget of Canadiana that you did not already know.

Behind the hoardings, work continues to transform the building into our new Canadian High Commission to the UK that will be open for business later this year.

August, 2014

Work continues apace as Canada House on Trafalgar Square is transformed. The passageways physically connecting the two buildings have been created and on the outside, banners announcing our new space have gone up to tell passersby what we’re up to.

July, 2014

It is all go at Canada House this month. The scaffold is up and the hoardings that will aim to share information about both Trafalgar Square and Canada’s own story in the square, in the UK and at home, will soon be added. Over the summer, we will be having some large-scale construction deliveries that will necessitate the closure of Pall Mall East on two separate weekends. Here are the dates for the planned closures:

  • First closure: July 19 and 20
  • Back up date in the event of high winds: July 26 and 27
  • Second closure: August 2 and 3
  • Back up dates in the event of high winds: August 9 and 10

Meanwhile, the insides are starting to take shape as the original Canada House building is joined together with 2-4 Cockspur Street. We are aiming to keep disruption to a minimum and we work towards transforming this space and showcasing Canada in the 21st century.

June, 2014

This month, a picture is worth a thousand Canada House Updates – yes, the scaffolding is underway as the project moves ever-closer to returning the Canadian High Commission to our historic home on Trafalgar Square.

May, 2014

As we prepare to celebrate the re-opening of Canada House we want to ensure we include as many memories as possible of the important role it has played in Canadian and British history. We are particularly looking for people who would like to share their special memories or old photos of Canada House in the past. Please get in touch at CanadaPlus@international.gc.ca

April 2, 2014

As you may have already noticed, our planned revitalisation of Canada’s longstanding diplomatic home here in London is underway.

We closed the building to the public at the end of February. Overbury, a well-known central London contractor, is carrying out the work to transform Canada House and connect it with the adjacent building at 2-4 Cockspur Street. Together the two buildings will become Canada’s permanent home for all High Commission activities here in the United Kingdom.

We anticipate scaffolding will be erected by the end of April and we intend to wrap it in a decorative cover. Hoardings will also go up around Canada House during the building works.  They will tell the story of our historic links to the United Kingdom. Work is expected to conclude by the end of November 2014.

If you have any questions about the Canada House revitalization work, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via email at CanadaPlus@international.gc.ca. We’ll do our very best to answer your questions.

Further ahead, there are exciting sponsorship opportunities related to the re-opening of Canada House. Contact Stephanie MacMillan for details at stephanie.macmillan@international.gc.ca.


 The Milestones

Canada Completes Sale of Grosvenor Square Property in London

March 27, 2014 - Gordon Campbell, Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, today announced the completion of the sale of Macdonald House, Canada’s property at One Grosvenor Square in London, England’s Mayfair District. The Government of Canada’s intention to sell the property was first announced in the House of Commons in November 2013. Contracts were exchanged on November 28, 2013, when the property was acquired by Lodha Group. The purchase price was £306 million, equivalent to C$564.5 today.

The completion of the sale is an important step in Canada’s plan to consolidate the Canadian high commission’s diplomatic activities in the United Kingdom at Canada House on Trafalgar Square in central London.

“A revitalized Canada House on Trafalgar Square is an ideal location from which to represent Canadian interests and provide our clients with easier access to our services,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “It will showcase Canada, building on our historic partnership with the United Kingdom, and will reflect Canada in the 21st century.

“The consolidation of our presence in Canada House demonstrates that Canada can have a world-class facility representing Canadians abroad and still offer huge savings to Canadian taxpayers.”

“I am pleased that the plans to consolidate our high commission in the United Kingdom into one location are progressing well,” said High Commissioner Campbell. “We are looking forward to moving to Canada House, Canada’s traditional home in the United Kingdom, at the end of this year.”

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Canadian High Commission
Tel: 0207 258 6362
Email: christie.tucker@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Tel: 613-995-1874
Email: media@international.gc.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada


Construction contractor named for revitalized Canada House

March 6, 2014 – The Canadian High Commission named Overbury as the construction contractor for the planned revitalization of Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

The project, expected to be completed by November 30, 2014, will renovate and refurbish Canada House and connect it to the adjacent building at 2-4 Cockspur Street, which will also be upgraded.

The linked buildings will consolidate all Canadian High Commission activities in the United Kingdom in one location and will become the new Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

Overbury was selected through a competitive tendering process in line with Government of Canada requirements.

First acquired by the Government of Canada in 1923, Canada House on Trafalgar Square is Canada’s historic diplomatic home in the United Kingdom and will be joined with 2-4 Cockspur, which was constructed between 1926-29 by a Canadian firm and recently acquired by the Government of Canada.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Canadian High Commission Media Relations Office
Christie Tucker
Email: christie.tucker@international.gc.ca 
Tel: +44 20 7258 6362

Background

In February 2013, the Government of Canada announced plans to consolidate all Canadian High Commission activities in one Central London location, anchored by Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

In June, 2013, Stantec Limited, which has offices in Canada and in the United Kingdom, was awarded the architectural, engineering and interior design services contract for the reconfiguration and renovation of the expanded Canada House.


Exterior cleaning

January, 2014 – While preliminary works continues on the inside of Canada House and 2-4 Cockspur Street, the renewal project will also be turning its attention to external cleaning of both buildings in the coming weeks.

The aim is to minimize the use of scaffolding if possible and rely on other methods to restore the original stonework of both buildings to their former glory. The two still won’t look alike of course, as Canada House is made of Bath stone, while 2-4 Cockspur is built of Portland stone.


The sale of 1 Grosvenor Square

December, 2013 – The sale of our property at 1 Grosvenor Square was announced last week.

The building will be acquired by Lodha Group for $530 million Canadian, or £306 million.

Arrangements have been made for the mission to stay at Macdonald House until the renovations at Trafalgar Square are complete.  Construction plans for Canada House and the adjacent building at 2-4 Cockspur are on schedule. Early construction activities are under way at 2-4 Cockspur and the big project will begin in the early spring of 2014.  We’ll be hosting events at Canada House until the last moment - though sometimes our guests and our architects and engineers may find themselves stepping ‘round each other!

As planned, we’re anticipating the renovation will be complete at the end of 2014. We’ll provide further updates as construction begins in earnest.


Canada exchanges contracts on sale of London site

29 November, 2013 – London, UK - Canada's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Gordon Campbell, today confirmed that legal contracts have been exchanged for the sale of One Grosvenor Square in London, England.

The Canadian High Commission, advised by Savills, confirmed that the property will be acquired by Lodha Group for $530 million (CAD).

The Government of Canada's intention to sell the property, first announced in Canada’s House of Commons in February 2013, is a key step in plans to revitalize Canada House on Trafalgar Square in the heart of London and to consolidate the Canadian High Commission’s diplomatic activity in the UK in one central London location, saving valuable operational dollars.

High Commissioner Campbell said of today's announcement: “There was exceptional interest from international parties for the property on Grosvenor Square. We are looking forward to the move to Canada House on Trafalgar Square, Canada's traditional home in the United Kingdom, in the next year. We thank Lodha Group for their keen interest and welcome this new phase in the project.”

Abhishek Lodha, Managing Director of Lodha Group, said: “The acquisition of this marquee asset overlooking London’s most renowned garden square, in the heart of Mayfair, and in close proximity to Bond Street and Mount Street is a great opportunity for our company.”
Lodha Group was represented by Knight Frank.

To schedule an interview on this topic with Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Gordon Campbell, media representatives may contact:

Canadian High Commission Media Relations Office
Caroline Mallan
Email: caroline.mallan@international.gc.ca
Tel: +44 (0)2072586557 or +44 (0)7714061221

Savills Press Contact:
Victoria Buchanan
Email: VBuchanan@savills.com
Tel: +44 (0)7870999653


Plans to renew Canada House

November, 2013 – Work continues on our plans to renew Canada House on Trafalgar Square as home to our diplomatic presence here in the UK. Stantec, a leading Canadian design firm, is working with its UK offices and specialist heritage architects to bring out the very best of this historic building.

The renewal will incorporate the adjacent 2-4 Cockspur Street building in order to house all High Commission activities in one location. The project strives to preserve and restore the unique history of the building and at the same time reflect the best of Canada in this century.

As we prepare to sell Macdonald House on Grosvenor Square, there has been plenty of active interest from a range of parties. Preparations for the move have included quite a bit of house cleaning. It is quite a task but it feels good to get started.
In the same vein, we have begun necessary work in the 2-4 Cockspur building ahead of the move late next year.


Canada House’s revitalization project

October, 2013 – Canada House’s revitalization project that will unite our existing building on Trafalgar Square with the newly-acquired 2-4 Cockspur Street building is underway in earnest. Designers, planners, architects and technical experts are already in the building and working on some of the behind-the-scenes pieces that will lay the foundation for a great, revitalized building to serve as Canada’s front door to the United Kingdom. It’s not the glamorous stuff just yet, more plumbing and phone lines, but we are getting there.

Plans to market and sell our Mayfair location at Macdonald House also continue and last month, we named Savills as the agent who will handle the sale. It’s all go and we look forward to keeping you updated on our plans as they unfold.  


Moving forward

September, 2013 – Things are continuing to move forward as planned in the Canada House revitalization project. We’ve selected Savills estate agents to handle the sale of our Mayfair building, known to many of you as Macdonald House. This is an important step in our plans to consolidate our operations in one central location, in Canada House on Trafalgar Square, and to make the most of this historically important building. Watch this space for more updates on the progress of this exciting move.


Canada chooses Savills as agent for sale of its Mayfair property

September 6, 2013 – The Canadian High Commission has announced the next step in its plans to consolidate its diplomatic activity in the UK in a single, central location in historic Canada House on Trafalgar Square.  As part of these plans, its diplomatic premises on Grosvenor Square in Mayfair will be sold.

The Government of Canada received a strong response to its publicly advertised request for proposals for broker services. The international real estate advisor Savills was selected and awarded the contract.

“The Canada House project has entered an important phase,” said High Commissioner Gordon Campbell. “We have had exceptional interest in the property at 1 Grosvenor Square but an international firm like Savills will extend our reach to interested parties all over the world and help maximise the value of our building in Mayfair for the benefit of Canadians.”

Mark Ridley, Chairman and Chief Executive of Savills said “Savills is honoured to have been selected by Canada to bring this important property to the market.  Given its prominent location at 1 Grosvenor Square, we anticipate a very high level of interest.”

Tim Whitmey, Director in Savills Development team said: “This is without doubt one of the finest addresses in central London. We expect interest from all over the world, with both the hotel and residential sectors vying for this prime Mayfair destination.”

The address of the property is:
1 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 4AB

Inquiries about the property should be directed to Savills

Tim Whitmey
Email: twhitmey@savills.com  
Tel: 020 7409 9999
To schedule an interview on this topic with Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Gordon Campbell, media representatives may contact:

Canadian High Commission Media Relations Office
Vera Alexander
Email: vera.alexander@international.gc.ca
Tel: 02072586362
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadianUK

Savills Press
Contact
Claire Newing
Email: cnewing@savills.com
Tel: 020 7016 3898


A message from the High Commissioner

February, 2013 – On Friday, the Government announced exciting plans to move the Canadian High Commission to a renovated and invigorated Canada House on Trafalgar Square. This is great news for Canadians. Canada will be represented best from one location in the heart of London.

Canada House has been an elegant, active and prestigious home-away-from-home for Canadians since it was opened as the High Commission by King George and Queen Mary in 1925. It has served as a gathering place for everyone from homesick soldiers during the war to backpackers exploring Europe. It is also the backdrop for thousands of Canadians celebrating our national day in Trafalgar square every July 1st.

We have acquired the building right next door, an office that was originally built by Sunlife of Canada in 1929, and served as the Canadian Army's overseas headquarters in London during World War II. We will be disposing of Macdonald House and moving all our services to an expanded Canada House. It will be an easily accessible, highly recognisable, modern and efficient office space for the work of the High Commission. There will be no disruption in consular or immigration services during the move, which is planned over the next 18 months.

This is a return to our history, to a place that was described by Mackenzie King as “the finest site in London”, but also a move forward, creating a modern and efficient foreign service that meets the needs of Canadians and Canada in today's world. It will be a showcase for Canadian design, talent, innovation and enterprise.

This move will be a homecoming for the Canadian High Commission. Whether you’re renewing a passport, viewing an art show, or attending a talk or performance by a Canadian luminary, you’ll be welcome in the renewed, revitalised, refurbished Canada House on Trafalgar Square .

- Canada Plus newsletter, February 2013


More...

February 8, 2013
Canada Announces Plans to Consolidate Presence in London 

Footer

Date Modified:
2014-12-16