24 Sussex Drive
24 Sussex Drive is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada, located in the New Edinburgh neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario. Built between 1866 and 1868 by Joseph Merrill Currier, it has been the official home of the Canadian Prime Minister since Louis St. Laurent.

The house at 24 Sussex Drive was originally commissioned in 1866 by lumberman and Member of Parliament, Joseph Merrill Currier, as a wedding gift for his wife to be. He named it Gorffwysfa, Welsh for "place of rest." In 1943, the Federal Crown served then owner Gordon Edwards with an eviction notice. Edwards fought the eviction but eventually lost the dispute with the government in 1946. Louis St. Laurent became the first prime minister to take up residence there in 1951. Except for Kim Campbell, every prime minister since that date has resided at 24 Sussex Drive for the duration of their mandates; previous prime ministers lived at a variety of locations around Ottawa: Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King, for instance lived at Laurier House in Sandy Hill when they were Prime Minister. Security at 24 Sussex was overhauled following a November 1995 attempted assassination by André Dallaire, who wandered around the house and grounds for nearly an hour before being confronted outside Jean Chrétien's bedroom by the Prime Minister's wife Aline. She locked the door to the bedroom while Chrétien guarded it with an Inuit stone carving. Ultimately, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers arrested Dallaire. Measures put in place after the attempted assassination include the addition of several more guards to the house's attache, the installation of crash-proof barriers within the main gates, and the addition of several more security cameras. Despite the building not having any bureaucratic function, it has been the location of protests, such as when farmers drove their tractors in a convoy past the front of the property in 2006, and when Greenpeace activists chained themselves to the front gates in March 2007.

Architecture and use
24 Sussex is a large limestone structure of 34 rooms spread over four floors, set on 3.98 acres (16,000 m 2) on the edge of the Ottawa River, next door to the French embassy and opposite the main entrance to Rideau Hall. Unlike 10 Downing Street or the White House, it is used almost exclusively as a place of residence; the Prime Minister's work is carried out in the Langevin Block, near Parliament Hill, though informal meetings between the Prime Minister and other government or foreign officials may take place in the residence. The residence is spread on four floors, from the basement to the third floor. The basement consists of support rooms, including the laundry room. The main floor of the residence includes the dining room, which is used for both official and unofficial dinners, the living room, the kitchen, which is staffed by a head chef and various support staff, the main stair hall and the prime minister's library and a sun room. The second floor is mostly bedrooms, and includes the master bedroom, however, the prime minister's spouse's office is also on this floor. The third floor contains additional bedrooms, as well as a private study for the prime minister. The National Capital Commission maintains a selection of historic furnishings for use in the public rooms of the mansion, ranging from musical instruments to chairs and tables to paintings by famous Canadians. The main floor of the residence is commonly used to entertain VIPs and dignitaries; the upper two floors of the house are typically reserved for the prime minister and his/her family. Due to the lack of restraints on the prime minister of the day to do what he/she pleases with the mansion, several prime ministers have left their own marks on the building; for example, unnamed business associates of Pierre Trudeau installed a pool for his frequent workouts. Being the first to publicly reveal the renovation costs, the high tab for Brian and Mila Mulroney's changes to the building caused political controversy, especially when some of the costs were paid for from the PC Canada Fund, which raised money from individual donations to fund the Progressive Conservative Party. Since then, very little has been spent on renovating the building, leaving parts of it somewhat tattered and outdated. Most notable is the leopard spot carpet Mila Mulroney put on the staircase. The house lacks central air conditioning and is cooled by a series of noisy window air conditioners. In November 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin complained about the house's heating system. According to his statement, the century-old house gets "too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer." Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved in on February 9, 2006, and has said he may move out temporarily during the summer so that renovations may be done. On May 6, 2008, the Auditor General reported that the house is in poor condition and needs about $10 million in repairs and upgrades, which would require at least 12 to 15 months of "full access" to complete.

Staff and Security
The residence is equipped with facilities befitting the prime minister's status. The family has access to a head chef and a pastry chef, a butler/usher, maids and gardeners, and security forces. The home has two gatehouses, one at either end of the driveway, and two parking lots - one for the vehicles of the prime minister's motorcade, another for support staff. After an attempt on the life of former prime minister Jean Chrétien, the RCMP drastically altered security precautions at the mansion. Retractable crash proof gates were installed within the original gates. A permanent security garrison was installed at 10 Sussex Drive, the house at the foot of the driveway on the east side. The garrison is a special unit of the RCMP, tasked with the constant securing of the prime minister's safety.


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