It’s official! The era of Trudeau 2.0 is underway. While Justin, Sophie and the kids are getting settled into Rideau Cottage, TLC took a few moments to ponder the fate of the new PM’s childhood home at 24 Sussex.

There is no doubt that the building is falling apart. The media has reminded us that a 2008 auditor general’s report highlighted failing windows, and antiquated plumbing and electrical systems. The estimated  cost of renovating 24 Sussex was $10 million at the time and has surely increased since then.

Facebook and mainstream media have been ablaze with suggestions to make the Prime Minister’s official residence the focus of a reality TV extravaganza. Imagine your favourite HGTV Canada celebrities Mike Holmes, Steven Sabados, and Sarah Richardson each putting their own spin on things!

It might make for great television, but is updating 24 Sussex really the best idea?

Is now the time to tackle a flagship renovation or start fresh with a new official residence that highlights all that Canadian design has to offer?

Trudeau’s followers are looking to him for a new way forward. It’s possible they would support a national design competition to attract up-and-coming talent. Wouldn’t a completely new residence incorporating materials from across Canada be wonderful? The multiculturalism that we are so proud of could surely be incorporated by a talented designer.

It would be quite a task! The designer must consider how a new building could function for everything from entertaining foreign dignitaries to family birthday parties for the young Trudeau clan. The official residence needs to represent the people, geography and ideals of our nation while still being a comfortable home for our new Prime Minister and his successors for generations to come.

What do think?  Renovate or build new?   Reuse and retrofit, or state of the art?  We would love to hear from you.  

In our next post  TLC designer Will Klassen will offer his view on the shifting priorities of young Canadians.