Turkish Embassy in Ottawa

Embassy

The bilateral relations between Canada and Turkey were established  in June of 1943, ensuing the request from the Republic of Turkey to open its Embassy in Ottawa. Mehmet Ali Şevki, the first Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Canada presented his letter of credence on March 6, 1944. General Victor W. Odlum, the first Ambassador of Canada to Turkey, presented his credentials to İsmet İnönü, the 2nd President of the Republic of Turkey, on November 26, 1947. Turkish Embassy is located on 197 Wurtemburg Street, operating in an historical building which has served as the Turkish Embassy since 1953. The Office of the Counsellor for Economic Affairs, the Office of the Counsellor for Commercial Affairs, and the Office of the Armed Forces Attaché are also located within the building.

The original part of the chancery was built in 1869 as a two-and-one-half story mansion in the “Picturesque Neo-Gothic” style for the personal use of William F. Whitcher, the Minister of Commissioner of Fisheries. The Children’s Hospital, which occupied the structure from 1888 until 1904, probably added the two wings and the late-Victorian half-timbering. A photograph from the early 20th century shows a perpendicular fanlight and sidelights around the main entrance, and a latticed archway covered by a roof between the entrance frontispiece and a later frontispiece to the right of it. Since then, windows on the upper and lower floors have been reconfigured, a second entrance has been placed in the right frontispiece, and semi-circular porticos supported by brackets have been placed over both entrances. This edifice stands out as the epitome of how numerous sumptuously adorned mansions, which were built in the aftermath of the Confederation Congress Proclamation of 1783, have successfully transitioned from serving as the private mansion to senior governmental officials and ministers, to officiating as a governmental institution after enduring for years under distinct functions. These functions include: 

1869-1888 The Residence of William F. Whitcher, the Commissioner of Fisheries
1888-1904  Childrens’ Hospital
1905-1921 The Mansion of Leslie Stuart Macoun
1922-1923 The Mansion of John R. Allan
1924-1927 The Residence of Brigadier General Andrew McNaughton
1928-1929 The house remained empty
1929-1930 The Mansion of Frederick Mayer
1930-1931 The Mansion of Leslie Stuart Macoun
1932-1933 The Mansion of J. H. Lerougtel
1933-1934 The house remained empty
1934-1935 The Mansion of Edward Hastey
1935-1937 The Mansion of Itano Goto
1937-1938 The Residence of Ely Palmer, the General Consul of the United States of America
1938-1942 The Residence of John Simmons, the General Consul of the United States of America
1942-1945 The Residence of William Van Tets, the personal secretary of the Queen of Holland
1945-1950 The Residence of Homer Fox, the Commercial Attaché of the United States of America
1950-1951 The Residence of Madin Dimechkie, the Consul General of Lebanon
1951-1953 The Residence of Makaish Muktar, the Consul General of Lebanon
1953-1999 The Residence and the Chancery of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
1999-        The Chancery of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey

The building was designated as a Heritage Property by the City of Ottawa in 1980.