NCC opens Winter Pavilion at Rideau Hall skating rink


(Via NCC)

The National Capital Commission’s (NCC) 2017 Confederation Pavilions were launched today, with the opening of the Winter Pavilion at Rideau Hall.


His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, accompanied by Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, inaugurated Rideau Hall’s historic Dairy Building as the Winter Pavilion for Canada’s 150th celebrations.


At the Winter Pavilion, you will find a skating shelter and a meeting place next to the Rideau Hall skating rink. It also features an exhibition on winter festivities and sports that have taken place at Rideau Hall and the contributions that governors general have made to these activities throughout history.


The architecture of the building, with its octagonal shape and decorative cupola, is distinctive, and the NCC has preserved it as part of Canada’s cultural history. The Dairy Building, a Recognized Federal Heritage Building, was once the centre of dairy production for governors general at Rideau Hall.


The NCC’s Confederation Pavilions, a series of underused buildings of architectural significance brought to life by our creative partners for Canada150, will welcome residents and visitors throughout 2017.


The Winter Pavilion and the newly installed refrigerated ice rink at Rideau Hall are open to the public on weekends from January 28 to March 26, 2017, noon to 5 pm, and to groups on evenings and weekdays by reservation only.




History of the Dairy Building


  • The Dairy Building was constructed in 1895, and was originally a service building. It represented one of several improvements to agriculture that Governor General Lord Aberdeen brought to Rideau Hall. A variety of dairying activities were carried out in the building:
    • milk from Rideau Hall’s cows was collected, stored and cooled;
    • cream was separated; and
    • butter and cheese were produced.


  • Between 1895 and 1916, the Dairy Building was located next to the skating rink. The newly restored Dairy Building now stands close to the original location where it was constructed 121 years ago.


Restoration of the Dairy Building


  • With guidance from the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, the dismantling of the Dairy Building was done in sections during summer/fall 2016: each of the octagonal walls of the building was separated from the adjoining section, keeping the interior finishes intact.


  • The walls were loaded onto trucks and transported to an off-site facility, where the remediation work took place in a protected environment by a contractor skilled in heritage restoration. The walls were further disassembled and remediation was done, often piece by piece. Each piece was numbered so that it could be reassembled back to its original position within the building.


  • Once repaired, the various components were transported to the new location next to the skating rink for reassembly on a new concrete slab.




“To celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial, the National Capital Commission is working with creative partners to transform a series of underused buildings of architectural significance into 2017 Confederation Pavilions. Today, we thank His Excellency the Governor General for his support and enthusiasm, as we officially open the historic Dairy Building as Rideau Hall’s new Winter Pavilion.”


—Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission


“Winter has been a source of delight here at Rideau Hall for 150 years. Sharon and I are delighted to know that the refurbished pavilion and the now-refrigerated ice rink will extend the tradition for many years to come. We offer our thanks to our colleagues at the National Capital Commission for their outstanding work on this project.”


—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada




OttawaStart Staff


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