If the US President has the White House, the Canadian PM has 24 Sussex Drive... Except for Justin Trudeau.
24 Sussex Drive is traditionally where newly elected prime ministers in Canada live during their term in office. But due to significant infrastructure damages to the estate that have accumulated over the years, the home was deemed unsafe for Trudeau and his family to move into. Instead, he opted for the Rideau Cottage, another historical federal heritage building.
He may end up missing out though, because 24 Sussex Drive is about to become worth more than its previous $7.2 million list price. New documents released by iPolitics show that renovations to the prime ministerial residence will cost a staggering $38 million, which is well above the $10 million that was initially declared for the project.
The striking difference in renovation costs sparked quite a bit of outrage with people online, who were not pleased to hear that a sizeable portion of the money was to be allocated to the construction of a new annex with a pool ($12M). Though, aside from that, the budget will be spent mostly on necessary updates to the main building, such as the replacement of the electrical system, the installation of new bulletproof exterior windows, and a the creation of a new sun room ($13.49M).
Alternative proposals called for a transformation of 24 Sussex Drive into a White House-type complex, but the estimated costs for such project were even more outrageous - $561.7 million. The idea was scrapped because there isn't really any need to make the home look like the White House. In essence, it is still "The White House" of Canada since its where the leader of the country should always traditionally live. It just needs be made safe to live in.
Trudeau has stated before that he will "listen to the experts at the National Capital Commission and others" before considering the switch from Rideau Cottage to 24 Sussex Drive. "I'm certainly not going to try and second guess people who have been waiting a long time to do some repairs to a house that is apparently ... poor in shape," he says.
But if the completed renovations make the home safe to live in again, Justin Trudeau would surely consider the move. The only problem is that the renovations may not be complete in time for Trudeau to actually move in. It may take well over his 4 years in office for the estate to become safe to live in again.
He might be okay with that though, because he's already lived there with his brothers when his father was prime minister in the 70's.
Photo cred - Canada Alive!
The most expensive home in Canada is actually in West Vancouver, which sells for $42.8 million.
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