A grand stone building stands tall on the picturesque grounds above the glorious Horseshoe Falls–it is the Mount Carmel Chateau Park Museum and Art Centre also known as the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre. Built in 1894, this classic building functions as a spiritual centre and a museum. Home to the Carmelites, it offers different types of retreats and workshops throughout the year. Visitors to this place have a lot to see here especially the stone architecture, designs, sculptures and the Art Centre.
Situated on 12 acres of scenic landscape, the stunning stone architecture of the building includes lovely columns, intricate designs, and turrets. Its history is equally interesting. The Carmelites arrived at the Falls in 1875 where their first residence was a humble farm. The monastery was initially conceived as a hospice and retreat centre. In the 1920s it was converted into a seminary which ran for a few decades and finally closed down in 1979. Subsequently, it became a retreat and a museum.
The main chapel has wonderful wood carvings and wall panels with artistic stained glass windows. Above the main altar is a round stone and glass window known as the Rose Window, it looks like a wheel with the inner portion in the shape of flower petals and the outer part of a complete circle. The museum contains wonderful art objects, ceramics, and sculptures. Works of famous Canadian and international artists are displayed at the Art Centre along with sculptures and other spectacular pieces. There are some splendid statues both inside and outside the building. A visitor can enjoy the beautiful artwork as well as find peace in the lovely manicured grounds among wooded areas and gardens located close to the waterfalls. It’s a great place for photography and you can take photos all around the property. Guided tours are also available during which visitors can get acquainted with the architecture of the building, the art, statues, sculptures and more.
A gift shop known as the Boutique offers charming and unique gift articles like art reproductions, art books, postcards and other collectibles. There’s a café offering coffee, sweets, and sandwiches for those wanting to grab a bite. Open round the year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Mount Carmel Chateau Park Museum and Art Centre is a tranquil retreat and architectural marvel that will soothe your senses.