Canada doesn’t have a history of battle-crazy clans and their individual castle-fortresses and sieges during the middle Ages or the Medieval Times as does Europe. The country was colonized and developed only in the 18th century, so it was only by the 19th century that castle building took on and became a craze among Canada’s newly elite population. The vast, rugged landscapes of Canada were perfect for the construction of grand, stone-built structures in the style of Scottish Baronial or English or French Chateau styles. We have a curated list of Canada’s best castles for you here, and we hope you visit them soon on your travels!
1.Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City
This is one of the most photographed castles in Canada. This extravagant castle was built in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company to pull affluent tourists to Canada. The castle was built using a mix of gothic elements with French chateau features. In 1943, the Quebec Conference was held here with Winston Churchill, Mackenzie King and Roosevelt in attendance as they pondered over their French invasion strategy.
[Also Read : Quebec tourist attractions]
2.Casa Loma in Toronto, Ontario
Casa Loma means Hill House in Spanish. This castle was built in the flamboyant Gothic Revival style in 1911 by the wealthy Canadian Henry Pellatt. There are 98 rooms, winding secret passageways, twisting towers, five acres of gardens and an 800-foot tunnel built for horses. The castle was auctioned off soon owing to the Canadian depressions. It served as a lively nightspot during the Prohibition for wealthy Americans and is now a tourist attraction. It’s been used in movies such as Strange Brew, Chicago, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, X-Men and many others. Be sure to visit this famous castle during your Canada holidays.
3.Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia
This castle is today one of the great Canada attractions that was once the home of the Dunsmuir family, built coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Robert died before he could complete the construction. His two sons took up the construction and completed the castle. The castle is of Scottish Baronial style that draws on British Columbia’s Scottish heritage, while incorporating aspects of the Gothic Revival architecture that you can see in other castles of this period. Check out the fabulous stained-glass windows and great woodwork plus Dunsmuir’s lavish furnishings from the 1890s.
4.Hatley Park National Historic Site in Victoria, British Columbia
The son of Robert Dunsmuir of Craigdarroch Castle, James Dunsmuir, later became British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor. James Dunsmuir constructed a second Scottish Baronial castle called Hatley Park. It’s a 40-room mansion with several intricate gardens. The castle today is a public university and has been featured in several movies including the X-Mansion in the X-Men series; be sure to visit it during your Canada travel.
5.Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario
Dundurn Castle was built as far back as 1835, in the neoclassical style with a neat portico and geometric outlines. It was built by Sir Allan MacNab, the wealthy Premier of the Province of Canada. MacNab hosted great parties that became famous over the years, and was even attended by the King of England at one point. Today this castle is a tourist attraction, with its rooms restored to their original magnificence. When you visit this castle, costumed guides will lead you through the 40 rooms, showing you the daily life of a wealthy family in 1850s Canada.
6.Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands
Wealthy hotel magnate George Boldt built this castle in 1900 in tribute to his late wife Louise. Originally, Boldt Castle was to be the couple’s summer dream home on the St. Lawrence River on Heart Island in the 1830s. However, Mrs. Boldt died, and the construction was put aside for seventy years. This fantastic castle is located on the US side of the Lawrence River, but you can visit via boat from either side of the border.
7.Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta
Chateau Lake Louise was built over 100 years ago, overlooking the Emerald Lake as an outdoor alpinist base. Today the chateau serves as a luxury mountain resort. The castle is magnificent with multiple luxury rooms, much renovated with modern toilets now for tourists. The Chateau has been visited by many prominent people, including dozens of royals such as Prince Rainier of Monaco, and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.
8.Empress Hotel – Victoria, British Columbia
The Empress Hotel was opened in 1908 to serve wealthy railway tourists. This Edwardian chateau-style hotel has, over time, hosted movie stars, kings and queens. Prince Edward of Wales waltzed in the Crystal Ballroom at dawn in 1919, an event of such importance in those times that the obituaries of old ladies, almost 50 years later, singled them out as ones who received special attention from the prince on that morning. The Empress Hotel is one of the top places to visit in Canada, if it is only to enjoy the classy English tea!
9.Chateau Laurier – Ottawa, Ontario
This French Renaissance-style hotel was built to serve as a luxury railway hotel in 1912. However, just a few days before opening day, railway magnate Charles Melville Hays, the castle’s builder died on the ill-fated Titanic. The hotel was officially opened by Canada’s seventh Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The castle is an iconic landmark in downtown Ottawa. Its 69 rooms and suites are updated every now and then to accommodate the influx of tourists each year to Canada’s capital.
10.Banff Springs Hotel – Banff, Alberta
The Banff National Park is one of the largest parks in Canada, lined with icy glaciers, dotted with pristine blue lakes and ski trails. The Banff Springs Hotel opened in 1888 to welcome luxury railway tourists. This castle brought tourism to the Rockies. The credit for this goes to the General Manager of Canadian Pacific Railway, William Cornelius Van Horne. This castle is one of the famous Canada points of interest, totally not to be missed and well worth obtaining a Canada visitor visa!
Canada’s castles were mostly built as residences or as luxury hotels to draw tourists in. Very few of them were used to engage in long sieges or battles with enemies. Still, the history is evident and the beauty is mindblowing. The castles near Lake Louise and in Banff National Park are like little sugar castles nestled in the most incredibly beautiful fairyland landscape you can imagine. Definitely worth a visit to Canada.