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May 5, 2023

Midland’s former Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom could be turned into brewery, restaurant or events hall, real estate listing suggests

For people who always wanted to be king or queen of the castle, a new opportunity awaits.

An iconic building in Midland and its grounds can be yours for $1.2 million. The former Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom could be turned into a brewery, restaurant or events hall, suggests a Keller Williams Experience Realty listing.

Or it could just make a really cool house with more than 8,000 square feet of space on a property that totals just under two acres.

Located on Balm Beach Road in Midland, the castle was built in 1972 by Paul Des Roches, who passed away last December at the age of 86.

Des Roches originally built the castle intending to sell his handmade crafts and woodworking.

“The business was so successful that he was selling his products as fast as he was producing them,” according to the website Talking Walls Photography (TWP), which documents ‘Canada’s Abandoned & Forgotten Places’.

“His gift shop offered nearly 10,000 items such as souvenir spoons.”

The castle was designed with thirty towers, a water-spewing dragon, and a moat guarded by “creatures of the underworld.” In the castle’s basement, a showroom was added to house early Canadian and American furniture.

It was later turned into the Museum of Medieval Arms, Armour and Heraldry where visitors could learn about medieval weaponry and see suits of armour, according to TWP.

“For $2, you could visit the Medieval Armament where you’d learn about heraldry and armour throughout the Middle Ages. Visitors could try on chain-mail suits. Over the years, Des Roches accumulated a large collection of medieval arms and heraldry.”

In 1982, another museum was added as the Museum of Horror, Dracula’s Dungeons. Entry was down a spiral staircase complete with cobwebs and cost $1. “In the museum, you’d find early era prisons with well-known horror characters inside the cells,” the TWP article states.

The original seven-acre property was later expanded to 45 acres with Des Roches and his daughter working to design new additions, according to TWP.

One new addition was the Enchanted Kingdom Park, which allowed guests to walk along an educational nature trail lined with fantasy cottages based on fairytales.

“Some of the houses included Snow White’s wishing well, Hansel and Gretel’s candy house, Mother Goose and Family, Teddy Bear’s Tea Party, Giant Fountain, Little Red Riding Hood & Grandma’s house, and Three Little Pig’s House. A Grist Mill and Merlin the Magician’s Tower was added, and an 80-foot suspension bridge across a pond with a giant fountain,” the TWP article states.

In 2005, the site was awarded the provincial tourism award from RDEE, a francophone economic development organization, since the Castle operated as a bilingual attraction.

“At the time, the Castle was operating seven days a week and seeing thousands of visitors each year,” the article noted.

“The family eventually decided to pursue their own interests in 2008, and put the property up for sale. In 2016, the business was sold to businessman Deo Moreno who added new attractions (and) applied for a permit to allow for a campground with 10 camping spots in the rear of the park.”

A grand reopening was held on August 6, 2016. The new attractions included an escape-room adventure called Escape the Dungeon in which participants would work together to solve puzzles. There were three escape rooms to choose from: Dracula’s Dungeon, Secret of Delicious, and Sleuths.

“There were also life-size role-playing games and a wedding room to host thematic weddings from medieval times,” the TWP article adds.

“Archery target shooting and human foosball were also introduced.”

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