Trudeau's Harrington Lake residence undergoing $8.6M renovation
One alternative home is at Harrington Lake, the official summer residence of the prime minister, located a 30-minute drive outside Ottawa.
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s lakeside residence, where he recently spent Easter with his wife and children, has been undergoing $8.6 million in renovations, the National Capital Commission (NCC) has confirmed.
Renovations at the Harrington Lake residence were prompted after a 2018 report determined that the prime minister’s summer getaway was in “critical condition” and in need of $17 million in repairs.
The federally designated heritage building, which is maintained by the NCC, has not seen any investment since 2005, according to a statement from an NCC spokesperson.
“While the Main Cottage is 95-years-old, most of the buildings were built between 1850 and 1925,” a spokesperson said via email Friday.
“It was 1950s -- over 60 years ago -- the last time major capital investments were made at Harrington Lake.”
Trudeau’s official country residence has been widely cited this week, after he garnered criticism for travelling to Harrington Lake over Easter despite having warned Canadians not to visit their own cottages amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
His wife, Sophie Trudeau, and children have been living at the residence for the past three weeks.
While Harrington Lake is only a 30-minute drive from the prime minister’s residence of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, it’s located in neighbouring Quebec, which means Trudeau would have crossed provincial borders in order to visit his family.
In an effort to limit non-essential travel between Ottawa and Gatineau, Quebec police have turned some motorists away when they attempt to cross the provincial border.
Trudeau defended the decision to visit the residence in a press conference Tuesday, noting he continues to “follow all instructions from public health authorities.”
According to the NCC spokesperson, work on the $8.6-million renovation has been suspended due to COVID-19 directives.