The builder and first owner of the Embassy of Hungary to Canada was Thomas Birkett (1844-1920), a wealthy hardware merchant and politician, who served as Mayor of Ottawa in 1891 and as a Conservative Member of Parliament representing Ottawa from 1900 to 1904.
Built in 1896 in Baronial Gothic style, this building was soon dubbed Birkett’s Castle. The interior still retains much of its Victorian detailing. The “Castle” served as the Japanese Embassy from 1926-1930, and later as headquarters of different organizations, such as the Canadian Boy Scouts Association and the Heritage Canada Foundation. In 1980, the City of Ottawa designated the building a heritage property.
In 1994 the Hungarian Government bought the building and since then it has been serving as the Residence of the Ambassador, with a new wing attached at 299 Waverley Street serving as the Embassy offices. On Heritage Day, February 17, 1997, the City of Ottawa granted a Certificate of Merit to the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary for restoring and maintaining this building in its original style.
Location and contact
In-person visiting hours
*Follow building health protocols.
- Saturday, June 3 202310am to 4pm
Virtual and 3D Tours
*Some content may not be available in both official languages.
Amenities and features
- Public washrooms
- Metered/paid parking
- Family friendly