At a time when Canada faces a nation wide housing crisis, homelessness remains an unmet challenge that no level of government can address alone, and Canadians are losing their homes to fire, floods and tornadoes,  a discussion about where our Prime Minister should live, may seem unwarranted. Yet, confront the question we must, in part because 24 Sussex is, for better or worse, part of our national identity, and our shared history,  even when that history entails occupying and building on unceded territory.

Our event took place at Carleton’s Dominion Chalmers Centre. It was moderated by  Andrew Cohen, a recently retired Professor in the School of Journalism at Carleton University and columnist for the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen. He is a graduate of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. In a career of 45 years, Andrew has worked in Ottawa, Toronto, Washington, London and Berlin. He is the founding President of Historica Canada.

The panel considered a  range of questions and in the process stimulated debate and discussion. We were  fortunate to have secured the foremost leading experts on the subject who shared with us their views from legal, architectural, conservation and governance  perspectives. The panel included: The Honourable Sheila Copps, former Cabinet Minister; Marc Denhez, President of Historic Ottawa Development Inc.; Mark Thompson Brandt, TRACE Architectures Inc.; and Patricia Kell, Executive Director, National Trust for Canada.

The event was a great  success. Over 300 people attended the event in person and virtually. The discussion struck  the right balance  between informed debate, public consultation and  innovative thinking. Our panelists were excellent without exception. They  challenged the prevailing wisdom and debunked some core 24 Sussex “myths.”