1 Austin Terrace
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1X8
Casa Loma, now a museum and landmark, was the former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, Canada’s foremost castle is complete with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and beautiful 5-acre estate gardens.
Casa Loma was constructed over a three-year period from 1911-1914. The architect of the mansion was E. J. Lennox who was responsible for the designs of several other city landmarks.
Casa Loma History
In 1903 Sir Henry Pellatt purchased 25 lots from developers Kertland and Rolf. Sir Henry commissioned Canadian architect E.J. Lennox to design Casa Loma with construction beginning in 1911, starting with the massive stables, potting shed and Hunting Lodge (a.k.a. coach-house) a few hundred feet north of the main building.
The house cost approximately $3.5 million and took a team of 300 workers three years to build from start to finish. Construction was halted on the castle once during its building process due to the start of World War I. At 98 rooms, it was the largest private residence in Canada. Most of the third floor was left unfinished, and today serve as the Regimental Museum for The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Notable
Casa Loma Features
- An elevator
- An oven large enough to cook an ox
- Two vertical passages for pipe organs
- Two secret passages in Sir Henry?s ground floor office
- Three bowling alleys that were never fully completed
During the depression that followed World War One, the City of Toronto increased Casa Loma’s annual property taxes from $600 per year to $1,000 a month, and Sir Henry Pellatt, already experiencing financial difficulties, was forced to abandon his castle home. By 1923 Sir Henry had already left Casa Loma.
After Sir Henry had sold the castle, it was operated as a luxury hotel for a brief period and during the late 1920?s was a popular nightspot. In 1933 the city of Toronto finally seized Casa Loma for $27,303 in back taxes.
Contrary to popular belief, Casa Loma has never been an official residence of either the city or the Province of Ontario. In 1937 it was opened to the public for the first time as a tourist attraction operated by the Kiwanis Club of Toronto.
During World War II, Casa Loma was used to conceal research on sonar, and for construction of sonar devices (known as ASDIC) for U-boat detection. The house is still operated by the Kiwanis Club. Today it is one of Toronto’s most popular tourist attractions.
Casa Loma is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Last admission : 4:00 p.m.)
Casa Loma closes at 1:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve – December 24
Closed Christmas Day – December 25
From the South-West, (Windsor, London etc.)
Take the 401 East to Allen Road (Allen Expressway). Go south on the Allen Expressway to Eglinton Avenue West. Turn left (east) on Eglinton to Spadina. At Spadina, turn right (south, which is the only way you can go.) Continue on Spadina until you reach the front of the Castle, which is just south of St. Clair.
From the North-East, (Ajax, Oshawa, Scarborough etc.)
Take the 401 West to the Don Valley Parkway. Go south on the D.V.P. to Eglinton Avenue East. Go west on Eglinton to Spadina. Turn left (south) on Spadina (which is the only way you can go) Continue on Spadina until you reach the front of the Castle, which is south of St. Clair.
From the South, (Niagara, Hamilton, Mississauga etc.)
Take the Queen Elizabeth Way Eastbound into Toronto. Continue along the Q.E.W., (which turns into the Gardiner Expressway) to Spadina. Exit Northbound (which is the only way you can go) on Spadina. Continue north to Davenport Road (Spadina ends at Davenport). Turn left on Davenport, and take your first right (Walmer Road ), which takes you around to the front of the castle.
The TTC traveler has four options to reach Casa Loma by way of public transportation.
Go to Dupont station (located two stops north of St. George station on the Spadina- University line) and walk north two blocks on Spadina Ave. At this point, visitors have the option of climbing the Baldwin Steps (110 steps) at Spadina Ave. and Davenport Road or walking up the hill on the west side of the castle.
Go to Spadina station and take the Davenport 127 bus to Davenport & Spadina. Get off the bus and climb the Baldwin steps (110 steps ), or take the bus one stop further to Davenport and Walmer and walk up the hill on the west side of the castle.
Go to St. Clair West station on the Spadina-University line, walk east on St. Clair to Spadina, turn right (south) and keep walking (approximately 15 minutes) to the castle.
Go to St. Clair station on the Yonge line. Take the St. Clair streetcar (going West) to Spadina Road (5 minute ride-during construction this service is temporarily being provided by buses), get off and walk south on Spadina Road (approximate 10 minute walk) to Casa Loma.
Video of Casa Loma
Email: info at casaloma.org
Telephone: (416) 923-1171
Fax: (416) 923-5734
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Filed Under: Tourist Attractions