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.

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.

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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

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

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. 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 $175 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!

The Hamilton Military Museum

Hamilton Military Museum 40th Anniversary!
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm

In honour of our anniversary, The Hamilton Military Museum presents a free day of activities, on Saturday November 5. Studio Babette Puppeteers perform From Ruthven to Passchendaele which features 14 hand-made table top puppets and tells the story of the Thompson Family of Ruthven during the First World War. Demonstrations by the Hamilton Volunteer Cavalry will take place on the front lawn of the Dundurn. Guests are invited to paint a poppy in our First World War gallery and “plant” it in our Remembrance Day garden. While visiting the Military Museum, don’t forget to dress up like a soldier and use your skills to identify our mystery military objects. Suitable for all ages. Free outdoor event.


Victorian Christmas
November 27 to December 31, 2016
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
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.  Cost:  Adults: $11.50, Seniors/Youth: $9.50, Children: $6.00, Infants: Free, Family: $30

First Day of Christmas
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Time: 12 noon to 4 pm
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! Free event.

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.

December 2
December 9 to 12
December 16 to 18
Time: 7 to 9 pm

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Victorian Christmas Delights
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. 

 Saturday, December 3, 2016
Time: 9 am to 12 noon 

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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.

Sunday, December 4, 2016
Time: 9 am to 12 noon

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Ring in the New Year
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.

December 28 & 29
Time: 7 to 9 pm

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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