Dundurn National Historic Site

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.

Trip Advisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence logo Dundurn National Historic Site has been selected for the 2016 Certificate of Excellence, reflecting the consistently great reviews earned on TripAdvisor.

 

The Kitchen Garden

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.

The Coach House

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.

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Full-price ticket includes admission to Dundurn Castle, the Kitchen Garden (Open June to October) and The Hamilton Military Museum.

Regular admission rates and hours of operation apply to all events unless otherwise indicated.

  • $11.50 for adults ages 18 to 59
  • $9.50 for seniors ages 60 and above
  • $9.50 for students ages 13 to 17. Students must show valid student ID
  • $6 for children ages 6 to 12
  • Children five years old or younger visit for free
  • $30 for a family of two adults and unlimited dependent children under 18 years old

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

We are located at:
610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, Ontario L8R 3H1
Phone: 905-546-2872
Email: dundurn@hamilton.ca

The Museum is open year-round.

  • Tuesday to Sunday, 12 noon to 4 pm. Guided tours are approximately one hour and begin every 20 to 30 minutes
  • Closed on Mondays, Good Friday, Canada Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

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

The purchase of a $179 permit is required for all outdoor photography involving 10 or more people. Please call the museum to book your time.

Weddings at Dundurn

Historic Cooking Workshops

Take a virtual tour

Social Gatherings - Rentals

Birthday Parties

Field Trips - Teachers

Group Tours

Corporate Rentals


Events at Dundurn

We host a variety of events, workshops and exhibitions at Dundurn National Historic Site throughout the year. No two trips are ever the same!


Our Hamilton: Through Their Eyes

The effects of the First World War were so far-reaching they impacted the lives of every Hamiltonian. Follow the course of Hamilton’s involvement from the initial ‘call to arms’ to the post-war period through treasures from the collections of the Hamilton Military Museum including letters, photos and personal items owned by Hamiltonians and experience the war Through Their Eyes.
Saturday, May 6, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
Cost: Adults: $4, Seniors/Youth: $3.50, Children: $3, Infants: Free, Family: $11.50


Dundurn’s Golden Anniversary Celebration

The City of Hamilton has operated Dundurn for over 100 years. Saturday, June 17, 1967 the museum officially reopened its doors to a crowd of more than 3000 people to celebrate the newly restored “Castle.” Saturday, June 17, 2017 marks our 50th anniversary as a historic house museum. Join us as we celebrate 50 years of restoration with special tours of newly restored rooms, view the rarely seen Cockpit building, and participate in hands-on activities such as gardening, and cooking using tools and techniques from the 1850s. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy music, crafts and games which were popular in MacNab’s time as well as in the 1960s when the museum first opened.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm


From Our Garden to Yours

Dundurn’s Historic Kitchen Garden is hosting a FREE one-day, plant-sharing event. This event encourages communal growing, harvesting, and enjoyment of plants. Our hope is that these plants and what they produce will be shared with a larger community, and not hidden away in a back yard.  Under the guidance of Garden Demonstrators visitors will have the opportunity to dig up and pot ‘Victoria’ Rhubarb. Named after Queen Victoria this red-stemmed variety is dates back to 1837. Quantities are limited and participants are required to bring a 6-inch plastic pot or sturdy plastic bag for transplanting.  Throughout the afternoon, starting at 12:30pm, visitors are welcome to participate in free tours of the Kitchen Garden. This tour offers a glimpse into the life of Sir Allan MacNab and his family and the many varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs which were grown in his time.  Free outdoor event, regular admission rates apply to the museum.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm


Canada Day Military Tattoo

Come and enjoy a spectacular military musical celebration and experience a tradition that celebrates 25 years in Dundurn Park! Feel the thrill as the Regimental Band of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Band and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Pipes and Drums perform in front of Dundurn Castle. Catch a glimpse of the red coated defenders of Canada West at Ridgeway during the Fenian Raid of 1866, as the 13th Battalion Ceremonial Guard takes to the field. Free event.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Time: 5 pm


The Heights: A War of 1812 Tour of Dundurn National Historic Site

Dundurn Castle is built on the history of the War of 1812. Burlington Heights, where the Castle now stands, was occupied by the British military from 1813 until 1815. Your journey will begin at the Hamilton Military Museum to uncover the history surrounding the property. Discover evidence of military fortifications as the tour takes you outdoors to The Hamilton Cemetery and Dundurn Park. The guided tour will end with a look inside Dundurn Castle focusing on the 1812 architectural features which Sir Allan MacNab would later incorporate into his well-known home. This tour does contain outdoor components; please come dressed for the weather and walking on uneven terrain. Suitable for ages 10 yrs and older.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Cost: $20 per person. Pre-registration required.


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, July 8 & Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm 


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, July 15 & Sunday, July 16, 2017

Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


Historic Cooking Workshop: Something Sweet!

This cooking workshop begins in the remarkable historic kitchen below stairs where the costumed cook will provide an amusing hands-on session with you, whipping up a delicious sweet historic recipe. As it bakes in our wood-fired cast iron range you’ll be whisked away on a tour of Sir Allan MacNab’s 40 room home to experience life of the upper class. The morning ends with a sampling of a variety of historic delights in this delicious dessert-filled workshop! Victorians loved to eat an endless assortment of sweets, and so will you!  Take home a booklet of the selected recipes. Suitable for ages 12 yrs and older.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Cost: $55 per person. Pre-registration is required.


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, July 22 & Sunday, July 23, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, July 29 & Sunday, July 30, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


Historic Cooking Workshop: Pastry

This historic cooking workshop begins in the remarkable historic kitchen below stairs where a costumed cook will provide an amusing hands-on session with you, preparing a delicious treat using a historic pastry recipe. As it bakes in our wood-fired cast iron range you’ll be taken on a special guided tour of the two acre historic kitchen garden lead by one of our Gardeners. Discover more than two hundred varieties of heirloom fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers grown in Dundurn’s Kitchen Garden. Return to the Castle for a tasting of a selection of pastry recipes including your own. Take home a booklet of the selected recipes. Butter not miss this one! Suitable for ages 12 yrs and older.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Time: 10 am to 12 noon
Cost: $55 per person. Pre-registration is required.


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, August 5 & Sunday, August 6, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, August 12 & Sunday, August 13, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


Historic Cooking Workshop – Seed to Table

Dundurn’s costumed cook will provide an amusing hands-on session, in the historic kitchen below stairs using garden-inspired historic recipes and produce from Dundurn’s Kitchen Garden. As your recipe cooks in our wood-fired cast iron range you’ll be taken on a special guided tour of the garden lead by a costumed gardener. Discover more than two hundred varieties of heirloom fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in this stunning two acre garden. Return to the Castle for a tasting of a selection of recipes including your own. Take home a booklet of the selected recipes. Suitable for ages 12 yrs and older.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Time: 10 am to 12 noon
Cost: $55 per person. Pre-registration is required.


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, August 19 & Sunday, August 20, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


The Heights: A War of 1812 Tour of Dundurn National Historic Site

Dundurn Castle is built on the history of the War of 1812. Burlington Heights, where the Castle now stands, was occupied by the British military from 1813 until 1815. Your journey will begin at the Hamilton Military Museum to uncover the history surrounding the property. Discover evidence of military fortifications as the tour takes you outdoors to The Hamilton Cemetery and Dundurn Park. The guided tour will end with a look inside Dundurn Castle focusing on the 1812 architectural features which Sir Allan MacNab would later incorporate into his well-known home. This tour does contain outdoor components; please come dressed for the weather and walking on uneven terrain. Suitable for ages 10 yrs and older.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Cost: $20 per person Pre-registration is required.


Dundurn at Dusk

Join costumed gardeners for a special evening garden tour featuring the sights and scents of flowering plants best enjoyed at night. Guests will be invited to make a flower or herb bundle and sample produce picked fresh from the garden and tour the upper and lower floors of the rarely open Cockpit building.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Cost: $25 per person. Pre-registration is required.


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, August 26 & Sunday, August 27, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


Historic Garden Tours

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. Free outdoor event.
Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 1:30 pm and 2 to 3 pm


We Remember

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. Guests are invited to make a poppy for our remembrance board. Free event.
Friday, November 10 to Sunday, November 12, 2017
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm


Victorian Christmas

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 26 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
Cost: Adults: $11.50, Seniors/Youth: $9.50, Children: $6, Infants: Free, Family: $30


First Day of Christmas

Visit Dundurn for the first day of its Victorian Christmas for free! Join costumed interpreters at Dundurn Castle for a free visit to 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! Free event.
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Time: 12 noon to 4 pm


Victorian Christmas Delights: Historic Cooking Workshop

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. Suitable for ages 14 yrs and older.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Time: 9 am to 12 noon
Cost: $50 per person. Pre-registration required


Dough-Re-Me: Historic Cooking Workshop

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. Suitable for ages 6 yrs and older.
Sunday, December 3
Time: 9 am to 12 noon
Cost: $55 for 1 adult and 1 child. $25 for each additional child. Pre-registration required


Christmas Evening Tours

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.
Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Cost: $30 per person. Pre-registration required


Christmas Evening Tours

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.
Friday, December 15 to Sunday, December 17, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Cost: $30 per person. Pre-registration required


Christmas Evening Tours

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.
Friday, December 21 to Sunday, December 22, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Cost: $30 per person. Pre-registration required


Ring in the New Year: Holiday Evening Tour

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.
Thursday, December 28 & Friday, December 29, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Cost: $30 per person. Pre-registration required


Jerry Muskrat's Greatest Lakes Adventure!

Join Jerry as he rows his way through the cities, towns and parks of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway in his series "The Greatest Lakes – a Jerry Muskrat™ Adventure!"

This MOM (Multimedia Outreach Module) is part of a 5-episode story arc developed in partnership with the Hamilton Civic Museums owned and operated by the City of Hamilton. Other National Historic Sites in the series include the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, Battlefield House Museum & Park, Whitehern Historic House & Garden and the Hamilton & Scourge shipwrecks National Historic Site.

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

Dundurn videos