The New York Times has written about the crumbling stone building in Ottawa at 24 Sussex Drive. This was supposed to be the residence of the Prime Minister. The building, a huge stone house with over 35 rooms on four floors was originally built in 1868 by a lumberman for his own use. It was expropriated by the government in the mid 20th century, and underwent a very unfortunate renovation in the 1950’s that took off its original gingerbread trim and cladding.
Unlike 10 Downing Street in London and the White House in Washington, the purpose of 24 Sussex Drive was to be only a residence. The spaces are not large enough for state dinners or formal functions, and many of the rooms as they exist are quite small. Located on a cliff overlooking the Ottawa River the location is stunning, however the house has not had good maintenance or stewardship for over 60 years.
Asking for tax payer funded renovations of the house~and 2015 estimates valued the work at 15 million dollars~is not that good a look for any political party in office. The house has a leaky roof, knob and tube electrical, is riddled with asbestos and has boxy air conditioning units plugged into the windows like a cheap hotel. There is an antiquated horrid heating system that costs over $50,000 a year to run. There was a reason that the current prime minister said no thank you, and tucked his family into a smaller residence at Rideau Hall, where the Governor-General lives.Read more »