Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks through Grosvenor Square Garden with wife Laureen after attending the funeral of Margaret Thatcher in London on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Canada has sold the John A. Macdonald building, the mansion in London that is home to some of the country's diplomatic activities in the U.K.
Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Gordon Campbell confirmed the sale Thursday of One Grosvenor Square, which went to an Indian developer, Lodha Group, for $530 million.
About 250 diplomatic staff based in the Macdonald building will be consolidated in Canada House, which is about half a kilometre away, in a move to save money.
"There was exceptional interest from international parties for the property on Grosvenor Square," Campbell said in a news release. "We are looking forward to the move to Canada House on Trafalgar Square, Canada's traditional home in the United Kingdom, in the next year."
"A revitalized Canada House on Trafalgar Square is an ideal location from which to represent Canadian interests, and provide easier access to clients," said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. "It will showcase Canada, building on our historic partnership with the U.K. and will reflect Canada in the 21st century."
The federal government announced plans in February to put the Macdonald building on the market. At the same time, it said it had bought a property located beside Canada House. That property was originally opened in 1929 by the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and later served as the Canadian army’s overseas headquarters in London during the Second World War.
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