Castle Glen in Blue Mountain, Louis Riel and Britton Bath Osler

Britton Bath Osler (1839 – 1901)

In the mid 1800’s, an enchanting love story between Britton Bath Osler and his wife Caroline began, and that brought them to County road 19 in Grey County, at Castle Glen Estates. Britton was a famous Canadian criminal lawyer, and also the crown attorney at the trial of Louis Riel on the charges of treason in 1885. He founded the law firm of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Toronto. When his wife, Caroline, began to suffer from her chronic arthritis, Osler decided in 1893, to build the 15-room Osler ‘Castle’ near the Town of Blue Mountain. Mr. Osler hoped that the ‘fresh air’ would improve her health. Before he was finished, several hundred thousand dollars had been invested. The “cottage” that emerged from the construction had 15 rooms within a stone shell of huge granite-hard heads that had been gathered from the surrounding hills. It was a fanciful structure of massive cut rock with turret-like chimneys, an arched entryway, and large bright windows. It was built to last an eternity. Tragically, Caroline died before ever being able to summer at Osler Castle. She died on May 3, 1895. After Caroline’s death, Britton visited the home for 5 years before his own health deteriorated. After his death in 1901, the Butler and Maid remained in the house for years, until they left to live an easier life in Collingwood. Left unattended, the empty home became the target of lawbreakers. The furnishings were stolen and the home vandalized and eventually set on fire. Of course, urban legends began to sprout up with notions that the castle was haunted and that strange lights could be seen and horrible noises heard. Today, all that’s left of the castle are ruins which keep watch over the Lake in the Clouds and is lined by the Silver Creek flowing down the Escarpment. You can access it several ways, one of the most beautiful is by way of Silver Creek.

Published by Annette Sandberg

I grew up on the Niagara Escarpment in Grey County and this ancient land was, and still is, my backyard playground. I am a Certified Hike Leader with Hike Ontario and I lead hikes for various Ontario Trail Clubs, Sightseeing Tour Agencies and individual groups of family & friends who want to experience nature safely and informatively with an experienced Guide.

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