The Castle in the City

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Casa Loma - view from the parking lot

I've always been fascinated with castles ever since my chance visit to Windsor Castle in the UK. So when the opportunity for a trip to Casa Loma sprung up (meaning I was getting the admission fee at a discounted price), I grabbed it with both hands.
 
Casa Loma was the former estate of financier, Sir Henry Pellatt and his wife, Lady Mary Pellatt. Sir Henry Pellatt had always been the romantic and built the medieval castle because of his love for fine art and architecture. Casa Loma, meaning "House on the Hill", was the grandest residence in Toronto, which took 3 years to complete (1911 - 1914).
 
Unfortunately, the Pellatt family fell into hard times (remember, these were Great Depression times) and had to abandon the castle in 1923 due to financial difficulties.

Casa Loma oak room

The grounds showcased magnificent landscaping and the castle was astounding. You'd never guess that such a castle was hiding in the middle of Toronto. Casa Loma is now a museum and hospitality venue. The castle still housed some antique household furniture and pieces and touring the castle really gives you that "step back in time" experience.

One thing that sticks to my mind was one of the first rooms we saw in the castle. It was an office which was dubbed the round room. It was a room that was a perfect circle. The walls and doors in the room were not flat at all. They were curved to accommodate the roundness.

The perfect circle room

There is also a 800-foot underground tunnel from the Castle that takes you to a hunting lodge and stables on the other side. The hunting lodge had vintage cars on display.
 
The stable and hunting lodge - viewed from a castle tower
vintage car at Casa Loma

Since the castle really is a great backdrop, it has been used in many movie scenes. Most notable are X-Men, The Vow, The Tuxedo, Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

Fancy yourself roaming a fairytale castle on the weekend? Then Casa Loma is your place.

Casa Loma conservatory
For more details, check out the Casa Loma website
 

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