With its sleek lines and open spaces, the Canadian Embassy occupies a prime location on Pennsylvania Avenue not far from the White House and the U.S. Capitol.
Given its vantage point with amazing views of downtown Washington, D.C. it’s no surprise that Ambassador David MacNaughton has an office on the roof. “It just reminds me how close Canada and the U.S. are,” MacNaughton said. Plus, it’s a great place to watch the July 4th fireworks!
The ambassador said that while Canadians have a reputation for being nice he reminded us not to forget that his countrymen are also hockey players. Many walls of the embassy are adorned with jerseys of Canadian hockey stars. The embassy also fields a hockey team that competes against the FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies.
The current Canadian Embassy sits on a site once occupied by a car dealership and was purchased for less than $5 million. Canada's first embassy on Massachusetts Avenue is now the Embassy of Uzbekistan.
The rotunda and the main plaza of the Canadian Embassy are open to the public which is rare for an embassy. Each rotunda column represents a Canadian province or territory except Nunavut, which became a territory in 1999 after the embassy was built and is represented with a plaque. As for the large columns, they are just for show. The D.C. Building Commission didn't like the embassy's modern look and thought columns would better match Washington's classic architecture. Canada added hollow, aluminum, non-weight bearing decorative columns in order to comply.