Located in Colwood, British Columbia in Greater Victoria, the Hatley Castle and park is one of the most remarkable places in all of Canada. The castle is a Classified Federal Heritage Building and the whole site has been used for the Royal Roads Military College.
Today, it is the administrative center of Royal Roads University. It is an Edwardian castle built in 1908 by James Dunsmuir who commissioned the architect Samuel Maclure to design it. Many movies were shot at this site and since 1996, it is best known as the filming location for The X-Men, as Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Dunsmuir purchased the property in 1906 and commissioned Maclure to build a 40-room mansion which is 200 feet long and 86 feet wide. The estate was named “Hatley Park” in the tradition of the private estates of Britain and Europe. The gardens were designed in the Edwardian style by the designers Franklin Brett and George D. Hall of Boston.
There were approximately a hundred gardeners who tended the estate. Today, the university employs five gardeners who work full time and their job is to make choices about the areas that can be best presented. In 1947, the mansion became a naval training facility and from 1948 it was known as the Royal Roads Military College.
The mansion served as a filming location for a lot of movies, the first one being The Changeling from 1980. Other movies that were filmed here are MacGyver, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Generation X from 1996, Masterminds, The Mole, Smallville, The X-Men movie series, and most recently Deadpool by Ryan Reynolds.
It is best known as Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The castle is similar to the private estate of Professor Xavier, the X-mansion from The X-Men comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The Royal Roads University was opened as a public, degree-granting university in September 1995. That same year, the whole mansion was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
Visitors can see this magnificent place and learn about its history and natural resources only through guided tours. In 2008, the Hatley Castle celebrated its 100th anniversary. The site is a must-see for people who love history and movies.