Dundurn National Historic Site

Location
610 York Boulevard
Hamilton, Ontario L8R 3E7
Phone
905-546-2872


The museum is only partially wheelchair accessible. Call for more details.

Dundurn Castle

Experience a guided tour of this 40-room Italianate-style villa built in the 1830’s on Burlington Heights; the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813. Once home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas (1854-1856) and his family, today Dundurn Castle tells the story of the family who lived above stairs and the servants who lived and worked below stairs to support their affluent lifestyle. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is the museum’s Patron and the great, great, great granddaughter of Sir Allan MacNab.

The Kitchen Garden at Dundurn

Rich, bountiful, and a pleasure to the senses, the kitchen garden at Dundurn, as at any fine Victorian home, provided an abundance of fashionable fruit, flowers, vegetables, and herbs, essential to the kitchen and dining room. William Reid was Sir Allan’s gardener for over 25 years. Explore his lovingly restored kitchen garden, where we use 1850’s tools and varieties to grow food for Dundurn Castle’s historic kitchen. Stop by the garden gate for the sights and scents of the 19th century.

Travel Canada's Garden Route to explore more gardens in Canada. This website contains the most comprehensive listing of Canadian gardens and garden experiences.

Description: 
Video: Topper The Topmost Mouse takes Jerry Muskrat on a tour of the castle, and gives him a taste of the lifestyles of the Canadian rich and famous, around the year 1855.

Watch the full series "The Greatest Lakes" a Jerry Muskrat Adventure at jerrymuskrat.com

The Coach House at Dundurn

Housed in an 1870’s Coach House, this unique, meeting and reception facility can accommodate groups up to 88 people. The Coach House is also home to The Castle Shop, featuring a variety of Canadian handmade crafts, souvenirs and special gifts.

The Hamilton Military Museum

The tranquil landscape around the Hamilton Military Museum known as Burlington Heights was a centre of defense from 1813 to 1815. This was home to men, women and children connected to the British army and First Nations allies who came together during the conflict known as the War of 1812. The new exhibit Blood Ties to a Gentle Landscape tells the stories of people who lived here by connecting artifacts, personalities and modern-day descendants. Step back in time and meet the people tied by blood to this gentle landscape.

Landscape Project

In 1855, Sir Allan Napier MacNab was the Premier of the combined Provinces of Canada and at the height of a very colourful career. He lived in Dundurn, the home he had built 23 years earlier with architect and landscape designer Robert Charles Wetherall and Master Gardener William Reid.

Dundurn National Historic Site is situated at the western end of Lake Ontario on a promontory referred to as Burlington Heights, a spectacular natural landscape. Wetherall and Reid sculpted the grounds into a picturesque landscape to complement the grand Italianate villa. Today, 150 years later, this is an historic site of national significance. It is however, also, a city park. The recent landscape restoration is being undertaken with respect for balance between these two aspects of the site.


Hours

The Museum is open year-round.

  • Tuesday to Sunday, 12 noon to 4 pm. The last tour starts at 4 pm.
  • Closed on Mondays, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Depending on availability, we will open outside of regular hours for pre-booked groups.

If you cannot make it to the museum, then sit back, relax and enjoy a virtual tour.

Admission

  • $11.50 for adults ages 18 to 59
  • $9.50 for seniors ages 60 and above
  • $9.50 for students ages13 to 17. Students must show valid student ID
  • $6 for children ages 6 to 12
  • Infants who are five years old or younger visit for free
  • $30 for a family of two adults and unlimited dependent children under 18 years old

Full-price ticket includes admission to Dundurn Castle, the Kitchen Garden and the Hamilton Military Museum.

Buy now and save 20%

Buy your tickets online to Dundurn Castle and save 20%!


Events

We host a variety of events, workshops and exhibitions at Dundurn Castle thoughout the year. No two trips are ever the same!

September

Dundurn's historic Kitchen Garden catered to the nutritional needs and aesthetic desires of the MacNab family 150 years ago. Enjoy informative stories and historic gardening knowledge conveyed by costumed garden staff. The tour promises to be a pleasure for the mind and the senses.

  • Saturday September 5 & Sunday September 6
  • Time: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm and 2 pm to 3 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: Free outdoor event. Regular admission rates apply to the museum

October

October will be a month of mourning at Dundurn. Costumed interpreters will lead visitors on a tour of over 40 rooms, many of which will be dressed for mourning. Experience the home in a unique way uncovering mourning customs and rituals developed during the Victorian period and get a glimpse into the personal experiences of the family through diary excerpts and newspaper articles and view some rarely seen artifacts.

  • Thursday, October 1 to Saturday, October 31, 2015
  • Time: 12 noon to 4 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: Regular admission rates apply to the museum

Elaborate mourning practices and rituals were developed during the Victorian period. The MacNab family was not spared these experiences which are well documented through newspaper articles, illustrations and journals when both Sir Allan MacNab and his wife Mary died at their family home. Other events surrounding Dundurn include hangings for treason, death from cholera, and the tragic Desjardins train accident of 1857. Join costumed Historical Interpreters for a special evening tour of the grounds and Castle to uncover the truths about these tragedies. NOTE: This tour contains outdoor components; please come dressed for the weather and for walking on uneven terrain.

  • Saturday, October 31, 2015
  • Time: 7 to 9 pm
  • Ages: 14 years and older
  • Cost: $30 per person. Pre-registration required

November

On Remembrance Day we acknowledge the struggle of men and women in their work toward the goal of peace. In honour of this commitment, the Hamilton Military Museum presents a special display and free admission to the museum.

  • Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8, 2015
  • Time: 12 noon to 4 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: Free event

Enjoy the beauty of a mid-19th century family Christmas celebration at Dundurn Castle. The Garden Club of Hamilton decorates the Castle in Victorian splendor with cedar boughs, ribbons and dried flowers. Bring your family and share a Hamilton holiday tradition.

  • Sunday, November 22, 2015 to Sunday, January 3, 2016 (Closed Mondays)
  • Time: 12 noon to 4 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: Regular admission rates apply to the museum

Visit Dundurn for the first day of its Victorian Christmas for FREE! Join costumed interpreters at Dundurn Castle for a free visit of the lavish home of Sir Allan MacNab and his family. The Castle will be decorated by The Garden Club of Hamilton with cedar boughs, ribbons and dried flowers. Bring your family and share a Hamilton holiday tradition. Please bring a non-perishable food item to help stock the Good Shepherd's pantry! 

  • Sunday, November 22, 2015
  • Time: 12 noon to 4 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: Free event

Enjoy an authentic Victorian Christmas cooking experience at Dundurn. Your culinary journey begins as you are greeted by costumed cooks who lead you below stairs to Dundurn's 19th century kitchen for a unique and entertaining experience preparing seasonal desserts! A tour of Dundurn decked out for the season is also included. 

  • Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Time: 9 am to 12 noon
  • Ages: 14 years and older
  • Cost: $50 per person. Pre-registration required

Family fun is on the menu! Come to Dundurn and prepare some tasty treats in the historic kitchen below stairs. While your treats are baking in the oven, costumed interpreters will guide you on a tour of the home. Complete your visit with a tasting of your delicious treats. 

  • Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • Time: 9 am to 12 noon
  • Ages: 6 years and older
  • Cost: $55.00 for 1 adult and 1 child. Pre-registration required

December

Enjoy a unique opportunity to see Dundurn Castle decorated for Christmas in the evening. Begin your evening with carol-singing in the front hall, followed by an extended tour of Sir Allan MacNab's lavish home and a chance to sample an assortment of traditional Christmas foods served in Dundurn's historic kitchen. 

  • Weekends: December 4 t0 6, December 11 to 13, December 18 to 20
  • Time: 7 to 9 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: $27 per person. Pre-registration required

Enjoy a unique opportunity to see Dundurn Castle decorated for the holidays in the evening. Sir Allan MacNab was very proud of his Scottish Ancestry and celebrated the New Year surrounded by family and friends. Ring in the New Year at Dundurn with music, an extended tour of MacNab's lavish home and a chance to sample an assortment of traditional holiday foods served in the historic kitchen. 

  • Sunday, December 27, 2015 
  • Time: 7 to 9 pm
  • Ages: All
  • Cost: $27 per person. Pre-registration required

Historic Cooking Workshops

Bring together friends and family or colleagues and clients with a historic cooking program. Learn more about these workshops.

Description: 
Video: Take a look inside Dundurn Castle and life of its builder, Sir Allan MacNab.

Description: 
Video: Come check out Christmas at the castle! There will be carols, harpists, and festive food for everyone.