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Casa Loma

Thursday started with Casa Loma!

IMG_3905Casa Loma is probably the best place I’ve visited in Toronto. In addition to its beautiful design, the history is really interesting.

Casa Loma was constructed between 1911-1914 for Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, a very wealthy man noted for bringing hydro-electricity to the city of Toronto. It was designed by architect E. J. Lennox and is the largest private residence constructed in Canada (98 rooms and nearly 65,000 square feet).

Casa Loma, after three years of building by 300 workers and $3.5 million invested, was not able to be completed due to the start of World War I and financial issues faced by Mr. Pellatt. Certain areas of the house, such as the third floor, were left almost entirely unfinished, while other parts were completed. Pellatt was facing great financial difficulties and had to leave the castle in 1923. It was operated as a luxury hotel for a short while. In 1933, Toronto seized Casa Loma because of a hefty amount of owed back taxes and almost demolished the building. The Kiwanis Club stepped in and leased Casa Loma and operated it as a tourist destination.

Casa Loma underwent major exterior renovations over the course of 15 years at the turn of the 21st century, costing $33 million and covered primarily by the city of Toronto. Casa Loma is now operated through an agreement and long-term lease with Liberty Entertainment Group.

Layout of Casa Loma

Casa Loma is situated on a hill in midtown Toronto. It is surrounded by five acres of gardens and has an underground tunnel which connects the castle to the Hunting Lodge and to the stables, garage, potting shed, stalls, carriage room, and tack rooms.

The Main Floor consists of the Great Hall, Library, Dining Room, Conservatory, Serving Room, Peacock Alley, Sir Henry’s Study, Smoking Room, Billiards Room, and Oak Room.

The Second Floor consists of Sir Henry’s Suite & Bathroom, Lady Pellatt’s Suite & Bathroom, Girl Guides Exhibit, Guest Suite, Windsor Room, and Round Room.

The Third Floor consists of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum, Stairs to Towers, The Kiwanis Room, The Garden Room, Servant’s Room, and The Austin Room.

The Basement consists of a gift shop where the bowling lanes and shooting lanes were not completed, as well as a café where the gymnasium was planned to be. Additionally, a swimming pool was designed and planned but never completed. A wine cellar and the tunnels leading to the Hunting Lodge and Stables can also be found in the basement.

I enjoyed learning about the history and really loved all the beautiful parts of the castle! There’s 50 photos below from inside and outside Casa Loma:

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