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24 Sussex is falling apart: 10 homes fit for the Trudeaus

Julia Thomson Julia Thomson
classic  by Mis en Demeure, Classic
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Canadians are known for being a bit modest and reserved. That changed somewhat when Justin Trudeau was elected Canada's 23rd prime minister in the fall of 2015. The young, hunky PM and his photogenic family made an international splash.

But at home in Canada, modesty continues, especially in the PM's official residence, 24 Sussex Drive. The house has not been updated in decades, and in fact it is so rundown that the Trudeaus have not moved in, instead setting up house in nearby Rideau Cottage.

The question of whether to repair, restore or rebuild 24 Sussex is still up in the air. But in the meantime homify started an international search for a home fit for the Trudeaus.

24 Sussex 2.0

classic  by Architectural Bronze Ltd, Classic Metal
Architectural Bronze Ltd

Heritage Bronze Casements with Applied Lead

Architectural Bronze Ltd

Our first house has a similar feel to 24 Sussex: three stories, lots of windows and the facade stepping forward and back.

The leaded windows are a historic reference, while the stucco exterior is more modern than the crumbling stone that covers the current official residence.

This home's generous size would give the Trudeaus space to host those all-important official government functions, while still providing private areas for the family. We can just picture window seats, hidden nooks and sun-filled rooms, perfect for Justin, Sophie and their children.

Futuristic home above the forest

For a departure from 24 Sussex, we offer this modern geometric home from Justin Trudeau's home province of Quebec. Nestled in the centre of a forest, this house celebrates Canada's natural landscape. The striking square and rectangular rusted boxes are stacked within and above the trees, both part of and in contrast to the organic setting.

A distinctive modern home like this could become a national icon, enhancing Canada's profile on the international stage.

And after the high stress of international politics, escaping to a modern treehouse sounds like a great way for the PM to recharge.

Cozy castle complete with personal playground

Climbing Frame Castle Classic style garden by Selwood Products Ltd Classic
Selwood Products Ltd

Climbing Frame Castle

Selwood Products Ltd

The Queen may be Canada's head of state, but there's no reason the Prime Minister can't live in a castle too.

This one with its turrets, dark peaked roofs (the colour of unaged copper before it oxidizes to green) and buff stone echoes the distinctive architecture seen elsewhere in Ottawa.

And the fact that this castle comes with its own personal playground for Xavier (age 9), Ella-Grace (7) and Hadrian (2) makes it a fit for the Trudeaus and their young family.

Ocean front escape

Whether on the country's numerous freshwater lakes or Canada's extensive coastline bordering the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, there are plenty of opportunities for the PM and his family to have a waterfront home. Of course, it might mean relocating Canada's capital to Newfoundland or the Northwest Territories, but when the option is a sinuous modern abode like this one, why wouldn't you?

The seaside setting, curved architecture, glass facade and luxurious finishes make this a home worthy of a Prime Minister. At the same time, nautical references throughout show that this house doesn't take itself too seriously – a perfect fit for the Trudeaus.

A barn that balances old and new

A barn conversion may not seem like a conventional choice for the Prime Minister's official residence, but we think a home like this one from Lee Evans Partnership would suit the Trudeaus.

The Trudeaus are a historic family in Canada. Justin's father, Pierre, twice served as PM. Canadians have watched Justin since he was a young child – he was born during his father's first term in office. Now, he is putting his own stamp on the Prime Minister role. His 50-50 male-female cabinet and openness on social media during his election campaign are just two examples of how he's bringing a new approach.

This barn mixes old (wood beams, historic oil paintings) perfectly with new (glass, steel, modern furniture). It's symbolic of the Trudeaus themselves.

Historic French flat

For our next house, we're taking inspiration from this luxurious French apartment. Hello moldings, mirrors, fireplaces and herringbone floors. Steeped in history, full of luxurious finishes, with large rooms perfect for hosting visiting diplomats, we think this is a great option for the Trudeaus. Plus, the red and white decor is in sync with Canada.

Walk down the historic rues of Ottawa and Montreal, and a gem like this could be tucked behind one of the original facades.

Mountain getaway

A house on the cliff Modern houses by studio_GAON Modern

A house on the cliff


We've already talked about moving the capital to one of Canada's coasts. Why not move it to the mountains? Whether the Rockies to the west or the Laurentians to the east, the stunning vistas would be an impressive sight for international visitors and offer a getaway for the Trudeau family.

This unique home references a medieval castle with its high lookouts, but it takes a more modern form with smooth concrete and undulating walls.

Inside, the curves continue with a staircase and balcony snaking through a sun-drenched great room that overlooks the magnificent view.

Luxe log home

You don't get much more Canadian than a cabin in the woods. This grand log home takes the cabin to another level.

Soaring ceilings, two-storey windows overlooking the natural landscape, massive beams and the log construction combine to create a stately space fit for Canada's leader.

However, contrasting the natural wood walls and timberframe structure with ornate furnishings like this carved table and gilded mirror keep the space from tipping over into rustic.

Chateau Trudeau

With this house, we're once again tapping into the Trudeaus' French heritage.

This stunning chateau maintains its historic pedigree with a beautiful brick facade, exceptional moldings, stained glass windows, pea gravel terraces, and character-filled dormers.

At the same time, the eclectic, light-hearted and updated decor brings energy to the interior. Painting out the heavy woodwork adds lightness to the space. Bright pops of colour, contemporary furniture and cheeky accents show that this is a home for a young family, not just an official residence.

Renovated rather than relocated

If none of the options above appeal and the Trudeaus decide to make 24 Sussex home, there's little debate that renovation will be required. So a scene like this one with dumpsters and forklifts may play out in front of the PM's official residence.

Canadian construction crews can take lessons from this restoration in Oxfordshire. At the very least, Sophie Gregoire needs this manor's closet for her fabulous Canadian wardrobe.

What do you think should be considered in the official residence for the Prime Minister and his family? How do you balance official public spaces w...
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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