Ainsley Smith for Daily Hive Toronto


Us tourists love to travel to dreamy European destinations like Paris or Rome to get a taste of that fairy-tale royal life.

But if you live in Toronto or the surrounding area, you can save yourself the flight and visit a majestic castle right in your own backyard, which opens to visitors next month.

Buckle up wanderlusters, because it’s almost road trip time and the Thousand Islands region is calling your name.


On a warm sunny day, pack the car and head three hours east of the city, where you can catch a ferry and embark on an unforgettable adventure through the intricate network of islands.


During your boat ride, you’ll pass a smaller land mass located in the region named Heart Island, which is home to Boldt Castle, a breathtaking full-scale Rhineland palace, which was originally built and owned by George C. Boldt — the man who owned the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The history of Boldt Castle is as romantic as it is heartbreaking. Mr. Boldt had built the grandiose structure in the 1900s as a display of his love for his wife, Louise.


However, in 1904 Louise passed away suddenly and broken-hearted Boldt abandoned construction of the castle and never returned to the island.

For years the castle sat untouched, until 1977 when the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and preserved the castle for the enjoyment of future generations.


Today, visitors are invited to visit the castle, which is located on the US side and only accessible by boat. However, as long as you have a valid passport, you’re able to explore Boldt Castle and the grounds.


The opulent castle boasts 120 rooms, a private bowling alley, pristine grounds, and can also be rented out for weddings and private events.


The castle is open now through to October 21 and remains open on most holidays.


Boldt Castle

When: Opens for the season May 11
Time: Varies by day, full hours available here
Where: Located on Heart Island, in the Thousand Islands region
Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for children (5-12 years) and free for children four and under. All prices are in US dollars.

Photo credit: Justen Soule