When most of us think of castles, images of European-style turret-filled structures come to mind. Canada too has its share of castle-esque hotels dating back as far as the 19th century – making for an exciting adventure that you could call “castling-esque hotels”.
Dundurn Castle in Hamilton was constructed for railway tycoon Sir Allan MacNab in 1835 in neoclassical style, but is believed to be haunted by his first wife and family members’ ghosts.
Though Canada may be relatively young in global terms, its castles can rival those found throughout Europe. While lacking fairy-tale moats or drawbridges, these grand chateaux still make for stunning sights to see. Some have even been converted into luxury hotels while others remain open for tours and exhibitions – from Toronto’s Casa Loma to Le Chateau Montebello; discover some truly spectacular Canadian castles!
Dundurn Castle in Hamilton is a grand, Italianate-style palace built in 1835 that contains 40 rooms. Once home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab – a railway magnate, lawyer, and Prime Minister of the United Provinces of Canada from 1854-1856.
At first glance, its architecture resembles that of a grand Georgian estate, earning it the name “Hamilton’s Downton Abbey.” Today, costumed guides provide intimate tours through this iconic structure while sharing stories about both its wealthy inhabitants who lived above stairs and its faithful servants working below stairs.
Year round, the castle hosts various events such as dinners and performances. A popular activity at MacNab’s Kitchen Workshop allows participants to follow traditional recipes using ingredients grown right on its grounds. Furthermore, Hamilton Military Museum allows visitors to view artifacts from numerous wars.
Canada may not boast the rich history of Europe, but it does boast plenty of epic battles and old-world architecture reminiscent of Europe. While most castles here don’t belong to royalty or are owned by an ancestor’s estates, you can still feel like royalty by staying at one of these charming chateaux!
From Toronto’s stunning Casa Loma to Le Chateau Montebello, Canada is home to some breathtaking castles that will provide visitors with the experience of royal life. These impressive Canadian castles range from elegant castle-like hotels to sprawling forest sanctuaries – and we suggest making plans to visit these spectacular Canadian landmarks today! So get packing and take a flight over. Here are Canada’s 10 Best Castles
Though you might expect to see beautiful castles abroad, Canada boasts its fair share of majestic structures worthy of viewing. These captivating mansions reflect Canada’s rich European heritage and sometimes welcome foreign guests for extended stays.
Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia offers the ideal escape from modern city life. Built by Robert Dunsmuir in the late 1800s, its exquisite beauty will transport visitors back in time.
He was an ambitious self-made man who rose from modest beginnings to become one of British Columbia’s richest individuals by the time of his death in 1890. This castle, now open as a museum, pays homage to both his Scottish roots and to Scottish Baronial style architecture that was popular during this era in British Columbia.
Its luxurious interior reflects the wealth of its former owner, and today visitors can tour its four floors to admire antique furnishings and intricate woodwork. Although admission does cost money, all proceeds go toward further restoration efforts for this historic gem.
To experience the true magic of this exquisite castle, a guided tour is recommended. By doing so, visitors will gain insight into its rich history while taking in all its sights. Furthermore, the museum has an innovative state-of-the-art application which brings alive some of its colourful inhabitants, making this one of Canada’s most engaging castles.
If you are planning a visit to Canada with the intention of viewing some of its beautiful castles, an eTA Canada Visa should be obtained first. This electronic travel authorization can be applied for online in minutes and allows entry to Canada while enjoying its many attractions – making your journey much simpler and convenient!
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
As much as Canada may remind one of Europe, there are beautiful castle-like hotels located throughout its borders that provide visitors with a truly European feel in a stunning Canadian setting. Once railway hotels, these historic mansions have been transformed into luxury accommodations offering guests a sense of European history within Canada’s stunning setting. Many have even hosted notable guests over time including royalty and world leaders.
Fairmont Chateau Laurier provides both an enchanting experience and convenient proximity to major city attractions, making it the ideal accommodation choice. Dating back to 1912, this French Gothic-style castle stands in striking harmony with Parliament buildings around it, boasting limestone turrets, green-tinged copper roofs and elaborate gables that have earned it the accolade of one of the world’s most photographed castles.
Hotel Park Plaza has an impressive history. Over time, it was home to many prominent politicians such as Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Rainier and former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. In 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt and Mackenzie King met there at Quebec Conference to plan strategy for an Allied invasion of France. Not to mention Elvis Presley! Today it remains popular choice for high-profile weddings.
At its downtown Ottawa location, this hotel is just steps from some of Ottawa’s most prominent landmarks and state/diplomatic buildings – Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, National Gallery of Canada Shaw Centre and ByWard Market among them. Popular for afternoon tea services with rooms offering traditional furnishings, plush bedding and ample natural lighting; suites come equipped with living and dining areas, soaking tubs and stunning views!
Fairmont Chateau Laurier stands out as one of Canada’s premier castle-like hotels, offering guests an exquisite castle experience in addition to offering its popular Afternoon Tea service with delicious scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream served alongside delectable pastries and sandwiches.
If you think castles only exist in Europe, Canada offers stunning examples that are equally breathtaking. Toronto boasts Casa Loma – one of the greatest castles ever constructed in Toronto and one that tourists visiting Toronto must see for some great photo opps and history lessons!
Though this castle may lack the traditional moat and drawbridge that you would expect, its intriguing backstory and stunning architecture more than make up for any lack thereof. Constructed by financier Sir Henry Pellatt over three years at a cost of CAD 3.5 million.
Once a private residence, this castle has since been turned into an historic house museum and open for tours by visitors. Visitors can tour its 98 decorated suites, secret passageways and 5-acre state gardens as well as take part in an eight language self-guided audio tour to help understand all its intricate details.
Casa Loma Castle is an extremely popular tourist attraction and event space in California, used by couples to host weddings and other celebrations. Additionally, its interior has even been featured in movies like X-Men! Various events take place throughout the year here; tickets can be purchased in advance online to avoid long lines at ticket windows.
The castle is open daily from 10am to 5pm and admission includes admission to the palace, self-guided audio tour and watching of Pellatt documentary. For an optimal visit experience, the best time is late June or early September for fewest crowds; however winter visits can still provide great illumination! For those seeking something extra interactive and theatrical experience there is also a escape room where groups of people work together towards solving an interactive theatrical mystery!