This has been such a great series to bring to you and the response has been incredible!  We thank everyone so very much for all your kindness & support, and it’s with a tinge of sadness that we wrap up this great series today on Hatley Park Castle.  Today we are going to take a brief look at the Japanese Garden area of the castle grounds, and enjoy a wonderful parting shot of the castle itself as we away from the Castle’s keep, closing the wrought iron gate behind us to carry on with other adventures….

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

As we meander the gardens, we come across an area designated as the “Japanese Gardens” on the grounds.  It’s a beautiful and serene setting with many trees and little running creeks.  This traditional Japanese bridge really captured our eye as we came across it.  We were able to fully explore the textures and details in the bridges and bring them to life.  We really love HDR processing for this reason, we can bring you an image the way we see it.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

This yet again is one of my favorite shots from the series.  I just love the little bridge and pagoda that rest over this little garden pond.  The reflections of the building, bridge and trees really produce a striking scene, very peaceful and serene.  The rocks situated directly in the middle of this image are host to a pair of heron statues that are simply incredible.  This scene warrants further visits and captures of new images, there are countless items to explore and angles to photograph and share.  We hope this picture at least can give you a taste of the gardens.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

And with a bit of melancholy we present the final image in this series.  This was definitely Mrs. Toad’s vision as she scouted ahead of me for great angles and views.  I was working in another area of the garden and she had found this angle and immediately knew we had a home-run here.  The lines here draw the viewer into the castle and create an overall feeling of great flow.  Glimpses of the honey colored doors from previous posts are visible here, and the looming castle tower produces an ominous sight, indeed.  As mentioned before, this entire scene would be radically different in the summer.  Undoubtedly we will be back to work on a new series at this time, maybe if allowed even with some indoor shots.  The castle was locked up tight as a, well, castle, when we were here for our shoot.

This has been one of the most satisfying and fun shoots to do and bring to you so far!  We’ve really been thrilled with the response and support everyone has given us, and we are truly thankful for that.  We really can only hope you’ve enjoyed following along with us as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.

In closing, here are some great facts about Hatley Park Castle as researched by my best friend.  From the Superhero Wiki Encyclopedia:

Appearances in TV and film

  • Hatley Castle is known to Smallville fans as Luthor Mansion, the estate belonging to Lex Luthor.
  • The castle is also known to fans of the X-Men film series as the setting for Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
  • It was also used in the 1997 movie, Masterminds as Shady Glen School, a posh private elementary school in California.
  • The castle was also used in MacGyver. In the second episode of season 5, “The Legend of the Holy Rose, part 2”, it is used as a hideout for the episode villain.
  • In the TV series Seven Days, episode 9 of season 2,”Love and Other Disasters”, the castle is used as a home for royal family and a place for royal wedding.
  • In the series Poltergeist: The Legacy, Hatley Castle was the headquarter of the San Francisco legacy.

Hatley Castle and Gardens

Prior to European settlement, the area was used by the Coast Salish inhabitants as a source for food (berries and camas bulbs) and clothing (cedar bark). Settlers farmed this site until the early 1900s, when it was transformed into an elegant Edwardian estate.

In 1906, B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, James Dunsmuir who was of Scottish ancestry, purchased the property and commissioned renowned Canadian architect Samuel Maclure to build a 40-room home in the Scottish baronial style, a Gothic revival style popular in the Edwardian period. The Dunsmuirs also created many beautiful formal gardens using the services of renowned American garden designers Brett and Hall. They named their estate “Hatley Park” in the tradition of the grand European private estates. The castle became a landmark and was home to the Dunsmuir family until the estate was sold to the Government of Canada.

In 2008, Hatley Castle celebrated it’s 100th anniversary since completion.

Royal residence

At the outbreak of World War II, plans were made for King George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth, and their two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, to reside in Canada. Hatley Castle was purchased by the federal government in 1940 for use as the King’s royal palace,[1] however, it was decided that having the Royal Family leave the UK at a time of war would be too big a blow to morale, and the family stayed in London.

Royal Roads

When plans for the use of the castle as a royal residence fell through, the estate was converted into a naval training facility. It existed under a number of names, but from 1948 was known as Royal Roads Military College, named for the body of water which forms the entrance into Esquimalt Harbour from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, lying to the east of the facility. The college was closed in 1995 and subsequently leased to the Province of British Columbia. That same year, the castle and grounds were designated a national historic site by the Canadian government.

In September 1995, Royal Roads University was opened as a public, degree-granting university. It leases the campus from the Department of National Defence for $1 per year and assumes all stewardship responsibilities related to the site including the cost of site management, operations, heritage preservation and restoration, and educating the public about the site’s history and natural attributes.

Many thanks for joining us on this great journey together!  Please feel free to leave a comment today, we’d love to hear from you!!




  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Another beautiful and fitting end to a great series! Interesting knowing that I’ve seen this place before in movies, especially the X-Men. Well done Toads!

  2. avatar Nate says:

    Hey, these are some incredible pictures. I’ve never been to Japan, but am an avid traveler so I hope to get there eventually. This castle looks like quite the sight!
    Thanks for sharing the photographs.
    – Nate

  3. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Fantastic series ,cannot wait to see what you are going to share with us next. Keep up the great work Toad and Mrs Toad!!

  4. Well I’m sad to see the end of this exquisite series 🙁 The shot with the bridge reflecting in the water is definitely my favorite of the day. Thank you so much for taking us on this journey with you. I felt like I was standing right there. Looking forward to what you post next!

  5. avatar Jerry Denham says:

    Great blog, shots, and series Toad. Great job

  6. avatar Heather says:

    Best of the whole series! Right here! Love!

  7. […] also want to recommend you check out this blog series about a castle over at Toad Hollow Photography I’ve really enjoyed it this […]

  8. Hi

    Excellent job with this series – really fine work!

    Erik

  9. Great series guys! You are amazing photographers and I appreciate you sharing your work!