Today, Dr. Mark Kristmanson, chief executive officer of the National Capital Commission (NCC), and David Smythe, general manager of Ottawa’s landmark Lord Elgin Hotel, unveiled a portrait of the 8th Earl of Elgin, who served as governor general from 1847 to 1854, and for whom the hotel was named. The portrait, on loan from the NCC’s Crown Collection of the official residences of Canada, now hangs in the hotel’s lobby.
“The Lord Elgin Hotel is pleased to display this iconic painting that has hung on the walls of Rideau Hall for over 25 years,” said Mr. Smythe. “This loan from the NCC will ensure that Lord Elgin’s image will grace the walls of our lobby and reaffirm our hotel’s link to Canada’s history.”
The presence of objects from the Crown Collection at the Lord Elgin Hotel is a unique tradition which began with the display of original busts of Lord and Lady Elgin in the hotel’s lobby in 1941.
“The Lord Elgin Hotel has displayed Canadian historical artifacts connected to Lord Elgin and the Bruce family for the better part of its 74-year history,” said Dr. Kristmanson. “As we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, I invite visitors and residents of the national capital to take advantage of this rare opportunity to view a special piece of Canada’s heritage.”
The Lord Elgin Hotel opened in 1941. It is named after the Right Honourable James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, 12th Earl of Kincardine and Governor General of Canada (1847–1854). The hotel’s relationship with the Bruce family of Scotland continues to this day.
Lord Elgin is credited with implementing the principal of responsible government in Canada by signing the Rebellion Losses Bill into law in 1849. Lord Elgin was also an early proponent of making Ottawa Canada’s national capital, and had visited the city in July 1853.
The portrait is from the Crown Collection of the official residences of Canada. The Crown Collection brings together all the finest examples of furnishings, paintings and objets d’art to furnish and decorate the interiors of Canada’s official residences. It showcases the country’s British, French and Aboriginal origins, as well as contemporary Canada’s wide cultural diversity. The NCC is responsible for the six official residences in Canada’s Capital Region, and is the steward of the Crown Collection.