By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Are there any castles around that I could take my young daughter to visit?

A: Besides the obvious Casa Loma in Toronto, you are in driving distance to visit two of Ontario’s other esteemed castles. In Hamilton, the 150-year-old Dundurn Castle will transport you back in time as you wander through this stone castle constructed for the owner Sir Allan Napier MacNab who was premier of Canada West (Ontario) from 1854 to 1856. The 43-room Regency style villa is a National Historic Site that will surely fascinate all ages as you wander through the corridors and hear costumed guides narrate stories of the family and of the surrounding area.

For visitor information, log onto and click on “City and Government” then link to “civic museums.”

Over in Wilmot Township, Castle Kilbride radiates a classic Italianate villa and contains exquisite trompe l’oeil murals throughout the mansion. In 1877 flax mill king and member of parliament, James Livingston had the lavish home constructed and named it in memory of his birthplace in Scotland. It was sold to a private developer in 1988 where it remained empty for several years.

The township has since purchased the historic property and in the mid 90s it was designated a National Historic Site.

Castle Kilbride is located between Kitchener and Stratford in Baden, Ontario, approximately 2 minutes north of Highway 7 and 8. For hours and other castle details visit


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