Welcome to the Queen’s official residence in Halifax – and also that of her Lieutenant Governor in Nova Scotia. As one of the few official residences to be located in an urban setting, Government House definitely stands out from other similar properties elsewhere in the country.
Built in 1800, it has welcomed hundreds of foreign dignitaries and royal families from around the world since its opening, and has recently become a National Historic Site of Canada. Its sophisticated Adamesque Georgian style was imagined by Scottish architect George Richardson and ordered by Sir John Wentworth, who intensely rebuffed at the foul conditions and lack of luxury of what was then the Government House. He felt that the basic materials and poor upkeep of the building did not match the sophistication of the guests it was supposed to host, like royal families and worldly entrepreneurs. The governor insisted that the new building be erected by Nova Scotians and for Nova Scotians using locally sourced materials only. Because the building’s mission has only very slightly changed since its construction, Nova Scotia's Government House is presently the oldest vice-regal residence in North America.
Government House is located in downtown Halifax on Barrington Street. Several bus routes offered by Metro Transit stop in the vicinity of Government House, including routes 7, 9, 35 and 41. It is not advised to travel to Government House by car as there is not parking available onsite. Government House is open to the public for 30-minute long guided tours during July and August on Fridays and Mondays between 11am and 4pm as well as on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 4pm. Admission is free of charge.