This 1890s, 4 1/2 storey, 39 room mansion was
made for British Columbia wealthiest man, Robert
Dunsmuir. Dunsmuir emigrated from Scotland,
made his fortune in coal mines, and built this
Scottish-style castle to place himself at the head of
the local aristocracy.
The castle has been carefully preserved and
restored with its fine woodwork, stained glass, and
original paintings. Robert died before the
completion of the house, leaving its possession to
his wife, Joan. One of her favorite spots was the
one room tower at the top of the castle - 87 steps
off the ground - with 360 degree views. Once
commanding 28 acres, the estate has kept a mere
1.75 with neighborhoods growing right up to it.
I highly recommend the Dunsmuir Saga, the book I
bought from the gift shop. It chronicles Robert's
rise to wealth, the tension between Joan and her
grown sons as she kept tight control of the money,
and son James' success in politics as Premier of
British Columbia in 1900.
James went on to build his own castle: Hatley
Castle and Gardens, which is well worth a visit.
by Bob Kelly