Location: 1 Austin Terrace Toronto, ON M5R 1X8, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 923 – 1171
Hours: 9:30 – 5 PM
Casa Loma is more than just an eye catching castle in the middle of Toronto: the castle also holds a great deal of history within its walls. Considered now to be one of the most famous landmarks in Canada, Casa Loma was formerly home to Sir Henry Pellatt. Pellatt was a Canadian financier who became known for bringing hydro-electricity to Toronto. His castle was designed by the architect E. J. Lennox and it is massive: the castle boasts three floors in addition to a basement stable and hunting lodge! With over 98 rooms, this castle was the largest private residence in Canada: it is no wonder that it took over 300 workers to bring the castle to life over the course three years, and for a price tag of over $3.5 million.
Unfortunately, as Sir Pellatt’s fortune disappeared during World War I, he needed to auction off the castle to pay off his debts. Forced to move to his decidedly less stately farm along with his wife, Sir Pellatt left his beloved castle vacant. After some time, the architect William Sparling acquired a long term lease for the abandoned castle and began making plans to convert it to a hotel: when the hotel did not succeed, however, the castle was once again left vacant. As time passed, the state was granted ownership of Casa Loma and took control of its management.
Today Casa Loma is a popular tourist attraction. History buffs can catch a screening of the short documentary entitled, Pellatt Newsreel: The Story of a Lifetime. The castle is a must-see stop for romantics, architecture aficionados, children and historians visiting Toronto. Further, Casa Loma’s palatial architecture makes it the perfect venue for filming and hosting or attending special events. Some of the much-heralded events held at Casa Loma are: Royal Brunches during Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Easter Sunday, the Taste ‘N Tour Tuesdays every first Tuesday, and during September to April the Toronto Theatre Organ Society shows wonderful performances.
Though the facade and gardens alone are enough to draw in tourists, there is a lot more to the castle once you start to explore the structure: an 800 foot tunnel, secret passages and beautifully constructed rooms all lurk beyond Casa Loma’s gates. With the use of multimedia audio-aids, you can experience the life in the castle as the royalty did. Truly, words are not enough to describe the staggering beauty of this special place located in the heart of midtown Toronto. Sir Pellatt would be proud to see his castle today: beautifully maintained and now a popular destination for tourists from all nations to behold.
Indeed, Casa Loma is a feast for the eyes as its postcard-worthy scenery never fails to wow its guests. Remember, before going to Casa Loma, to charge up those camera batteries and be ready to be blown away by the unique and majestic architecture. Due to the age of the building, not every annex is stroller or wheelchair accessible. If you’re hungry or looking for a keepsake, stop by the first floor and pay Sir Henry’s Café a visit then head next door to see the selection at the Casa Loma Gift Shop. Have you ever been to Casa Loma? Share with us your wonderful experiences and if you haven’t yet visited Sir Pellatt’s creation, do come back and tell us what you thought!
Savings Tip: If you are planning a trip to Toronto, you may want to plan on buying a CityPASS: the pass grants you admission to five of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. If you are planning to visit CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum, a CityPASS will save adults $46.63 and youths $36.97 on the price of admission for all five destinations.
Regular Admission Fees:
Adults (Ages 18 – 59): $18.19 (with HST $20.55)
Senior (Ages 60 and above) / Youth (Ages 14 – 17): $12.95 (with HST $14.63)
Children (Ages 4 – 113): $10.02 (with HST $11.32)