Estonia buys embassy building in Ottawa

Estonian Ambassador to Canada Toomas Lukk with Canadian Governor-General Julie Payette.
Estonian Ambassador to Canada Toomas Lukk with Canadian Governor-General Julie Payette. Source: Ülle Baum

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has purchased a building in the Canadian capital of Ottawa for €900,000 that will house the Estonian Embassy.

"The current rental premises of the Ottawa embassy do not meet the needs of the embassy and modern security requirements, have been depreciated, and lack official rooms," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Britta Tarvis told BNS on Thursday. "When weighing various rental and purchase options, it was determined that it would be more favourable in the long term to own real estate. In addition, when it comes to an owned property, there are better opportunities for adjusting it to meet the embassy's needs."

Sitting on a property of 611 sq m, the 309 sq m building cost €868,000. "The building, which until now had been used as a residential building, was purchased in February already, but the paperwork conducted later took months," Tarvis explained.

"The building was built in 1875 and renovated in 1982, when an addition was also built during renovations," the spokesperson said. "The building, which until now had been used for residential purposes, is currently in average condition and during renovation will be built into a representative and office building in accordance with the needs of the embassy."

Design work and applications for the necessary permits and coordination are all currently underway. The premises is to include rooms for consular services, meetings, work as well as receptions.

Renovation of the new embassy building is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2019. The embassy is expected to move into the new building within the next year.

The new embassy building is located at 168 Daly Ave. in Ottawa.

"The building is located in Ottawa's historic Sandy Hill neighbourhood, which is a popular location for many embassies," Tarvis said, noting that the Australian and Brazilian Embassies are located nearby. "The University of Ottawa is also located in this neighbourhood east of the city centre."

Employees at the Estonian Embassy in Canada include the ambassador, consul and a secretary. Estonia also has six honourary consuls in Canada, two of whom are located in Toronto, the country's largest city.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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