Castle Kilbride is the 1877 mansion of James Livingston, a flax industrialist, politician and entrepreneur. Located in the town of Baden in Wilmot Township, visitors can tour through the castle and enjoy the many events and exhibits that happen there throughout the year.
Named after Livingston’s birthplace in East Kilbride, Scotland, Castle Kilbride features lavish Victorian era décor. The rare trompe l’oeil (“fools the eye”) ceiling and wall murals provide a three-dimensional design on a flat surface. The exterior of the building is typical of an Italianate villa of its time, and was called Castle Kilbride as a tribute to the reputation of Livingston as the ‘Flax and Linseed Oil King of Canada’.
The building was owned by the Livingston family until 1988 when it was sold to a development company. However, development didn’t move ahead and the castle was left to deteriorate. In 1993 the Township of Wilmot decided to purchase the castle, and with help from local groups as well as federal, provincial and municipal support, it was restored to its former glory. The doors of the castle were opened as a museum in 1994, and in 1995, Castle Kilbride was designated a National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monument Board of Canada.
Castle Kilbride is home to a number of events and exhibits throughout the year, including Christmas at the Castle and the Summer Concert Series which takes place on the front lawn of the castle Thursday evenings throughout the summer. It’s also a romantic setting for wedding ceremonies and a beautiful backdrop for engagement or wedding photos.
Castle Kilbride offers a full spectrum of curriculum based school programming. All programs include a tour of the castle as well as a hands-on activity and/or craft.
Also located on the grounds of Castle Kilbride is the Prime Ministers Path, which when complete will feature life-size sculptures of the 22 men and one woman who have held Canada’s highest political post.
Castle Kilbride is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is closed Mondays and holidays. Group tours of the castle can also be arranged.