10 Most Beautiful Castles in Canada

Updated On October 5, 2023
Banff Springs Hotel

Castles started sprouting up in Canada as far back as 1835 when Dundurn Castle was built.

Since then, many others have been constructed across the country.

Some sit majestically with a national park behind them, and others are just outside of big cities as a personal oasis. 

While these castles don’t really serve the same purpose as their predecessors in Europe did, they are quite beloved today.

So, if you’re ready to take a unique trip, come along with us and discover the most beautiful castles in Canada.

10 Most Beautiful Castles in Canada

1. Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta

Nestled up against the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains lies the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Built in 1888, this gorgeous old castle lies up against the base of Rundle Mountain and is only a few minutes away from the mountain town of Banff.

The story actually starts several years prior to that, though.

The seed was planted for the hotel in 1881, unbeknownst to those in charge.

Canada was looking to build a transcontinental railroad to link the east and west coasts.

The man hired to oversee its construction was William Van Horne. In 1883, when the railway finally met up with the Canadian Rockies, William had an instant appreciation of the area’s natural beauty.

Noticing the tourism opportunity, he passionately began working on the blueprint of a luxury hotel.

Construction on the castle started in 1887.

The structure was built quickly and opened its doors in 1888. 

Having over 300 guest bedrooms, the hotel was an immediate success.

Much of that is due to the location’s many natural wonders as well as a multitude of activities that were promoted.

Today, the summer guests enjoy a variety of things to do, such as swimming, golfing, and hiking, to name a few.

During the winter, the obvious lure of the mountains means the fun is in the snow, like skiing or sledding.

2. Castle Lake Louise, Alberta

Castle Lake Louise, also known as the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, is another castle that takes full advantage of Canada’s natural beauty.

Once again adorned by the panoramic wonder of the Canadian Rockies, Castle Lake Louise opened in 1890.

It has the added beauty of resting against the shores of the crystal blue waters of Lake Louise.

Guests who have been lucky enough to spend the night at this castle are surrounded by the feeling of being in a fairy tale landscape.

It’s the type of place a visitor probably wouldn’t be surprised to see a unicorn drinking from the lake’s edge.

Originally built to only open in the summer, the castle was winterized in 1982.

It boasts eight floors, seven restaurants, and over 500 guest bedrooms.

3. Empress Hotel, British Columbia

We now travel over to British Columbia to take a look at Canada’s Castle on the Coast, the Fairmont Empress.

This castle is a National Historic location going back to 1908.

It has been labeled by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as one of the Top 21 Iconic Hotels in the World.

Empress Castle has a Chateau-Esque facade that is extremely popular with tourists.

The architect, Francis Rattenbury, began construction on the castle in 1904.

Doors opened four years later.

Within the hotel’s walls, it holds eight floors with 412 guest bedrooms, 52 guest suites, and four restaurants.

Other tourist attractions nearby include the Inner Harbour, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, and the Victoria Bug Zoo.

4. Ravenscrag, Quebec

The first castle on this list that wasn’t built with the sole purpose of being a hotel is Ravenscrag.

Located specifically in Montreal‘s Golden Square Mile area, this mansion was built as the home of Sir Hugh Allan.

Built to mimic the style of a villa during the Italian Renaissance, Allan named it after the Ravenscraig Castle ruins located in East Ayrshire.

It was one of his favorite places to explore as a child back in Scotland.

In total, there are 72 rooms across five floors on a 14-acre plot.

This site rests on the slopes of Mount Royal, which Allan had purchased for $10,000 back in 1860.

The castle continued to be used as the home for his family, until 1940. 

That’s when his son, Sir Montagu Allan, decided to give the property up for use as a medical facility for the Royal Victoria Hospital. 

5. Willistead Manor, Ontario

It isn’t too often that you go for a stroll in the park and come upon a castle.

Fortunately, that is the case with Willistead Manor.

This 36-room stone structure stands within the 15-acre Willistead Park in Windsor, Ontario.

Edward and Mary Chandler Walker called this lovely estate home after its construction in 1906.

The City of Windsor now opens its doors to locals and tourists interested in visiting.

The castle also rents out areas for special events, such as weddings and receptions.

If you happen upon this 36-room mansion during Christmas, you will get to experience overwhelming holiday decorations, in the best way.

6. Craigdarroch Castle, British Columbia

You’ll feel as if you have gone back in time while visiting the majestic Craigdarroch Castle.

Located in Victoria, this lovely structure took three years to complete.

Doors officially opened in 1890.

The Victorian-inspired castle overlooking the city of Victoria was the home of a coal baron by the name of Robert Dunsmuir and his wife.

Having made his fortune by selling Vancouver Island coal, the Scottish immigrant was considered the richest man in western Canada at the time.

After the couple’s death, the castle was used as a military hospital, a college, a conservatory, and finally a museum.

On average, Craigdarrough sees 150,000 visitors a year.

7. Hatley Park Castle, British Columbia

This Scottish baronial-style mansion was another structure commissioned by the industrialist Robert Dunsmuir.

He hired the Victorian architect Samuel Maclure to design the impressive Hatley Castle.

In addition, he brought on two landscape artists to create the immaculate gardens surrounding the estate.

The 40-room Tudor revival was completed in 1908.

From 1941 to 1943 it was used as a mess hall and dormitory for staff and cadets of the Royal Roads Military College.

Today, it is the administrative center for Royal Roads University, as well as a museum for visitors. 

8. Casa Loma, Ontario

Sir Henry Pellatt, with the help of architect E.J. Lennox, designed his dream home.

Ground broke on Casa Loma Castle in 1911.

This Gothic Revival in Toronto was finished with construction in 1914.

Today, the castle is comprised of seven floors and over 64,000 square feet.

It is known as a historical landmark museum and hosts thousands of visitors each year.

The huge battlements and secret passageways are reminiscent of castles during medieval times.

Visitors probably wouldn’t be surprised to see knights in armor roaming the halls.

Casa Loma has been used for filming movies and television shows and can be rented out for weddings with a fairytale ceremony.

9. Place Viger, Quebec

Built in 1898 for the Canadian Pacific Railway, this grand castle was envisioned to be used as a hotel and railway station.

Named after the first mayor of Montreal, Jacques Viger, this structure’s combination of hotel and rail station was commonplace in Great Britain.

However, there was nothing like it in Canada.

Its chateau style of architecture was designed by Bruce Price and encompasses 110,000 square feet.

In 2014, a redevelopment plan was drawn up to use the complex for residential and office space.

That same year, the software company Lightspeed moved in and is still there today.

10. Dundurn Castle, Ontario

Built in 1835 in Hamilton, Dundurn Castle is a breathtaking, neoclassical mansion and historic site.

The 18,000-square-foot manor took three years to build and is the oldest castle in Canada.

At the time of construction, it boasted several modern technological breakthroughs.

Two of the best examples are running water and gas lighting.

Sir Allan Napier MacNab was the original owner.

The Queen of Canada, a descendant of Sir Allan, is the castle’s Royal Patron today.

After MacNab’s death, the 40-room, Italian-style villa was temporarily used as an institution for deaf mutes.

It also once housed the Hamilton Aviary, before finally becoming a National Historic Site of Canada.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the oldest castle in Canada?

As previously mentioned, Dundurn Castle was built in 1835 and is the oldest castle in Canada.

It is now owned by the City of Hamilton.

The estate was purchased for $50,000 sometime in 1900, which was an enormous sum at that time.

Are there any medieval castles in Canada?

Well, there are castles in Canada that were built with a medieval style of architecture, such as the Casa Loma.

However, there aren’t any castles in Canada that date back to Medieval times, due to the fact that there were only Native Americans there during that era.

Are there any real castles in Canada?

There are many real castles in Canada, with several of them being built in the 1800s.

However, as far as castles being built to fortify a defensive position or ones that were controlled by kings or warlords as positions of power, there were never any built for that reason in Canada.

How many castles are there in Canada?

There are as many as 15 castles currently standing in Canada.

However, most likely, there have been many more than that.

There are also several different styles of architecture that exist in Canada that could be considered similar to a castle.

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