The Queen City has its first-ever castle in its midst - and it's open for public tours.
Real estate investor Jason Hall is the owner of Stone Hall Castle in Regina - what was once the College Avenue residence of real estate magnate Francis Nicholson Darke and then the former Helmsing Funeral Chapel.
Built in the 1920's by Darke to protect his wife Annie from prairie weather, it was converted in the 1970's into an Art Deco-style funeral parlour for 30 years. Hall purchased the 10,000 square foot house in 2004. He turned his passion for European architecture and history into his private home and public medieval castle. Shipping in thousand-year-old limestone from Greece and purchasing museum-quality antique furniture, light fixtures, tapestries and paintings, Hall has invested millions of dollars into renovating the fortress.
It's a mixture of modern and medieval with in-floor heating and electricity as well as several fireplaces and hundreds of beeswax candles to create ambience within the castle. Every detail is adhered to with two copper bathtubs and kitchen appliances craftily hidden behind antique designs. Even the pots in the kitchen are antique, with a copper set from 1875.
Hall searches out his carefully selected antiques from auctions around the world, paying thousands of dollars for pieces of history to add to his collection. The oldest painting in the castle is a biblical scene created in 1575.
In the master bedroom you'll find an original four poster rope bed from England with ornately detailed carvings across the upper panel. The 17th century style bed was originally built using ropes tied in a weave, providing support much like modern-day box springs. It's theorized this is where the saying "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" came from as one had to tighten the ropes before going to bed to hold the mattress in place and keep it from sagging on the floor.
Having invested 13 years into its creation, Hall has even bigger plans to expand the castle. Hoping to offer overnight stays in the future, guests will have access to a home theatre with private viewings of movies as well as a personal chef, a butler and servants. Hall also hopes to add on a tower as well as a courtyard with real swans over the next 25 years.
Hall offers 45 minute tours, 7 days a week. More information can be found here.