Canada’s natural beauty is pristine; we all know that. It’s a kind of pastoral lushness that draws visitors from across the country and around the world to look upon it all in awe.
But Canada’s natural loveliness isn’t simply outdoors. Our history is literally rooted in the trees and rock formations and caves nature has carved for us but it’s also in the foundations, walls, and textures of certain landmarks across the country. They punctuate cities, rural settings, and northwestern bits of land and leave an impression on us. They are just as much of a draw, an eye-catching thing, largely in part because they remain a time capsule to a specific point in history that contrasting that against modern architectural marvels and what Canada’s future may hold.
Here are eight landmark marvels across the country that pop out and demand you give them, and their history, some attention:
1. Casa Loma
It’s hard to miss the giant castle in downtown Toronto but, if you’re not looking, you just might. In 1911 owner Sir Henry Pellatt commissioned the house, which would take three years and $3.5-million to complete. The turn of the century structure reminds visitors and locals of a time when Toronto was truly grandiose.
Downtown Kitchener is home to an eclectic array of quiet architectural wonders, with turn of the century factories interspersed with the new housing developments. It is home though, to the Joseph Schneider House, which is the area’s oldest known homestead. It serves as a symbol of an old way of life, of its Germanic and Mennonite heritage, and how far the new tech hub city has come.
Overlooking Victoria, B.C., this majestic structure is sure to be attention grabbing. Craigdarroch Castle stands as a reminder of a “bonanza castle”, a point in history when rich industrialists built massive homes during the pinnacle of their wealthy time. Built in 1887 but not completed until 1890, this castle still stands as a reminder of that time.
Castle Kilbride is a stunning landmark in Southwestern Ontario. Named after industrialist’s James Livingston’s birthplace in Scotland, the home stands as a token of heritage and tradition in a rural community. Built in 1877 in Baden, the ornate interior design is just as striking as the towering structure itself.
The Sun Life of Canada Assurance building (as it and the company were called in 1914) was the pinnacle of downtown Montreal, but caused a stir when the grand building shifted locations from its traditional financial district location to its current Dorchester Square. It was the largest building of its era in the British Empire at the time and was completed in 1933. It stands as a symbol for Canada’s financial growth.
Newfoundland’s legacy can be captured in the Cape Spear Lighthouse in Blackhead. It points east toward the vast ocean and Ireland and west back toward the whole of Canada –if you believe in folk tales like that. The oldest existing lighthouse in the province (constructed in 1836) was and still is to the vital mariner community.
Alberta’s Government House in Edmonton, opened in 1913, holds a history of politics within its walls and is an important, distinct building in the community. The grand building was initially a residence for Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor Generals and has then evolved several times over into a cultural and government office.
This exquisite and impressive church in the Northwest Territories is sure to catch any visitor’s eye. The Gothic Revival Style church was first built in 1865 but not completed until 1885 and remains one of the oldest surviving building styles of its kind.
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