History of the Castle
Re-Published April 2016 by:
the New Management of Castle Village in honor of the founders - Paul Des Roches and Family
Spring of 2007 marks the beginning of Castle Village's 15th year in operation when owner Paul des Roches decided, in 1972 to design and buld a small castle in which to sell his handicrafts and woodworking, it was the beginning of a creative journey, with his craft business thriving, he needed to supplement his stock with retail giftware, just to keep up with production. Eventually his business came to be named "Castle Village Gift Shop", focusing on retail giftware. Paul and his wife, Julie, worked and still work together in the business.
Every year Paul added another phase to his original one-room project. First, the basement furniture showroom was completed, then the most, an addition with a large showroom on the main level, the fence around the castle's perimeter with all its towers and several large towers of varying designs on the castle itself, were added. In 1982, the Museum of Horror, Dracula's Dungeons, opened on the lower level of the castle. Eventually, in 1999, the Museum of Medieval Arms, Armour and Heraldry replaced the furniture showroom.
The name Castle Village implied the eventual creation of a village behind the castle. In the early 1980's, work began to seletively clear trees and bring many loads of clean fill onto the back bush loc. Around this time, Paul had purchased a 45-arce paced of land to add to his original 7 arces. the first building that Paul built in this nature and fantasy village called the Enchanted Kingdom Park, in the early 1990's were the Dwarf Village Slides: three buildings downsized for children. Interconnected with stairs, slopes, slides and bridges where youngsters could play, and Snow White's Wishing Well. Paul and his youngest daughter Suzette, then designed and conceptualized the following series of building from 1994 to the mid-2000's. Hansel and Gretel's Candy and Ice Cream House, The Three Bear's House, Red Riding Hood's Grandma's House, The Mother Goose House, Hickory Dickory Dock, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Old Grist Mill, and Merlin's Tower. Paul did the construction while Suzette organized and arranged all the lifestyle props, life size characters and decor settings inside each building. The 80-foot long fun suspension bridge was then built to span from Merlin's Tower over a pond with a giant fountain. An educational trail with illustrated signs telling about a hardwood forest also forms part of the Park.
Several projects sill reside in the imaginations of Paul des Roches and his daughter Suzette. It has been an interesting on creative journey. Castle Village welcomes thousands of visitors every year and indicentally in 2005 took the first place win the Provincial Tourism Category.
A group of Filipino-Canadians recently bought a castle and a park in Midland, Ontario. Now one may ask, "why would anyone buy a castle?" It started over a year ago when Nenita Aguirre visited the castle after a pilgrimage to Martyr's Shrine Church. She was sitting on a bench when a man walked by and greeted her. She jokingly replied - "I wish to live in castle someday" and the man responded, "As you wish" and just like a fairytale - it came true.
Our kababayans are now waving Philippine flags on top of the castle towers inviting to visit Castle Village at 701 Balm Beach Road in Midland Ontario.
Recently Aguirre and other entreprenuers came together to revitalize this tourist attraction with acres of nature and fantasy with delightful little houses and structures inviting windows to peek through then come inside the castle to enjoy a great selection of music, coffee, amidst the artwork from local and international artists, collections of medieval arms and heraldry, costumes and specialty items.
One of the new attraction is escape room adventures where you have to work together to solve puzzles, find clues and accomplish a mission.
Travel through time and experience interactive live action performances from a cast of medieval characters. In the evening they have scheduled events ranging from acoustic music to masquerade parties.
Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom Park is family and friendly but their long term vision is to build affordable senior housing for 55+ with active lifestyle although they want to first build a campground park as the beginning of a retirement village.
The grand opening is on August 6th which is also Filipino Day at Martyr's Shrine Church. It's probably good for business to do it some day but they say that it's celebrating being Filipino with flags flying on top of the towers and most of all, giving thanks for the wish coming true.