residence

residence

[rez-i-duhns]
residence: see domicile.
Stornoway is the name of the official residence of the Leader of the Opposition in Canada. It is provided in recognition of the opposition leader's position. Located at 541 Acacia Avenue in the Rockcliffe Park area of Ottawa, Stornoway is valued at over C$2 million and is maintained with $70,000 a year in government funds. It is geographically quite far away from Ottawa's Parliament Buildings, unlike the Prime Minister's official residence. It is located in an area home to many ambassadorial residences.

The current Leader of the Opposition is the Honourable Stéphane Dion, a Liberal Member of Parliament.

History

The house was built by architect Alan Keefer in 1914 for Ottawa grocer Asconio J. Major and was given the name “Stornoway” by the second occupant, the Perley Robertsons, after their ancestral home of the Perley family in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.

During the Second World War, it served as the temporary home-in-exile of the future Queen (then princess) Juliana of the Netherlands and her family, including the current Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Stornoway has served its present purpose since 1950 when it was purchased by a group of concerned citizens, and later transferred to the government. In 1993, the house became an issue when Bloc Québécois leader Lucien Bouchard declined to move into the residence as a mark of protest against the federal government, choosing instead to live in nearby Hull, Quebec. Following the 1997 election, the new opposition leader, Preston Manning, declined to move in for a different reason: he implausibly protested that it was too extravagant and a waste of taxpayer money, even joking that it should be used as a bingo hall to pay off the national debt. Manning asked that he be provided with a more 'modest' residence, but soon moved into Stornoway.

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