The Info List - Casa Loma

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CASA LOMA (Spanish for _Hill House_) is a Gothic Revival style house and gardens in midtown Toronto , Ontario , Canada, that is now a museum and landmark. It was built as a residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt . Casa Loma was constructed from 1911 to 1914. The architect was E. J. Lennox , who designed several other city landmarks. Casa Loma sits at an elevation of 140 metres (460 ft) above sea level.

Due to its unique architectural character in Toronto, Casa Loma has been a popular filming location for movies and television. It is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies. The historic place can be rented in the afternoons after the museum closes to the public.


* 1 History

* 2 Layout

* 2.1 Main floor * 2.2 Second floor * 2.3 Third floor * 2.4 Basement * 2.5 Stables * 2.6 Exterior

* 3 Appointments

* 3.1 Oak Room * 3.2 Other rooms

* 4 Location * 5 Film location * 6 Girl Guiding * 7 Vintage car exhibition * 8 Further reading * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links


Construction of Casa Loma, c. 1912 Garden party at Casa Loma, 1914

In 1903, financier Henry Pellatt purchased 25 lots from developers Kertland and Rolf. Pellatt commissioned 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 Hunting Lodge is a two-story 4,380-square-foot (407 m2) house with servants' quarters. As soon as the stable complex was completed, Sir Henry sold his summer house in Scarborough to his son and moved to the Hunting Lodge. The stables were used as a construction site for the castle (and also served as the quarters for the male servants), with some of the machinery still remaining in the rooms under the stables.

The house cost about $3.5 million and took 300 workers three years to build. Due to the start of World War I, construction was halted. At 98 rooms covering 64,700 square feet (6,011 m2), it was the largest private residence in Canada. Notable amenities included an elevator , an oven large enough to cook an ox , two vertical passages for pipe organs , a central vacuum , two secret passages in Pellatt's ground-floor office, a pool, and three bowling alleys in the basement (the last two were never completed).

Most of the third floor was left unfinished, and today serves as the Regimental Museum for The Queen\'s Own Rifles of Canada . Pellatt joined the Regiment as a Rifleman and rose through the ranks to become the Commanding Officer . He was knighted for his dedication to the Regiment. Pellatt later served as the Honorary Colonel and was promoted to Major-General upon retirement.

During the depression that followed the war, the City of Toronto increased Casa Loma's property taxes from $600 per year to $1,000 a month, and Pellatt, already experiencing financial difficulties, auctioned off $1.5 million in art and $250,000 in furnishings. Pellatt was able to enjoy life in the castle for less than ten years, leaving in 1923.

In the late 1920s, investors operated Casa Loma for a short time as a luxury hotel. During Prohibition it became a popular nightspot for wealthy Americans. The Orange Blossoms, later known as Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra , played there for eight months in 1927–1928. Shortly thereafter, they went on a tour of North America and became a major swing era dance band.

The city seized Casa Loma in 1933 for $27,303 in back taxes. The castle was extremely run down and the city was moving for the castle to be demolished. In 1937, however, it was leased by the Kiwanis Club of West Toronto, later the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma (KCCL), which began operating the castle under a sole-source contract as a tourist destination. Lieutenant-Governor Dr. Bruce opens Casa Loma to the public (1937)

During World War II, the stables were used to conceal research and production of sonar , and for construction of sonar devices (known as ASDIC) for U-boat detection, according to a book about the "castle". The area was closed, behind an "Under Repairs" sign. The suggestion that the stables were under renovation allowed workers of the secret facility to come and go without suspicion. Casa Loma is often claimed to be the location of Station M that manufactured covert devices for agents, claiming that the book _Inside Camp X_ provides this information. In 2015, however, author Lynn Philip Hodgson rejected this in an interview with the Toronto Star . "Nobody knows where Station M was. You won’t read where it was in any book."

KCCL managed Casa Loma for 74 years, until 2011. Its tenure was not without controversy, with Pellatt's great-grandniece Trelawny Howell starting a campaign for an open tender lease process in 2005, and the organization disputing her relationship with Pellatt in 2010. A 2006 advisory committee led by former MPP Ron Kanter, and its subsequent reports, recommended the city turn the castle's management over to a new " Casa Loma Trust"; however, a city manager's report in 2008 recommended extending the city's lease with KCCL for 20 years, and in July 2008 it was renewed.

Meanwhile, from 1997 until 2012 the castle underwent a 15-year, $33-million exterior restoration largely funded by the city, which also created a new board of trustees including seven KCCL members and seven city appointees in 2008. The city's renewed management agreement included a stipulation that KCCL would use the castle's net revenues to help pay for upgrades; however, the organization used the fund to cover operating shortfalls instead, and there was only $335,000 in the account by 2011, rather than the $1.5-million originally projected. As a result, in 2011 the city temporarily resumed management of Casa Loma, and began welcoming bids from the private sector in its search for a new operator.

In January 2014 the city entered a new long-term lease and operating agreement with Liberty Entertainment Group, led by President and CEO Nick Di Donato, which agreed to spend $7.4 million to continue the castle's restoration, installing air conditioning, enhancing the special events and dining experience and integrating new technology for school and cultural programming. The company's plans also include a fine dining facility.


The CN Tower is visible from the third floor. Fountain as seen from the third floor.

Casa Loma has five acres of gardens. An underground tunnel connects Casa Loma to the Hunting Lodge and to the stables (garage, potting shed, stalls, carriage room and tack rooms).


* Great Hall * Library * Dining Room * The Conservatory * Serving Room * Peacock Alley * Sir Henry's Study * Smoking Room * Billiards Room * Oak Room


* Sir Henry's Suite * Sir Henry's Bathroom * Lady Pellatt's Suite * Lady Pellatt's Bathroom * Girl Guides Exhibit * Guest Suite * Windsor Room * Round Room


* The Queen\'s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum * Stairs to Towers * The Kiwanis Room * The Garden Room * Servant's Room * The Austin Room


* Gift Shop ( Bowling lanes and shooting range - never completed) * Castle Café (Gymnasium - never completed) * Swimming Pool (Never completed) * Wine Cellar * Tunnel to Hunting Lodge and Stables


* Garage * Potting Shed * Standing Stalls with horses' names and box stalls * Carriage Room * Tack Rooms * Hunting Lodge


* Gardens * Parking lots


Sir Henry imported artisans from Europe to design much of the furniture and other features of the castle.


The Oak Room

The Oak Room (originally called the Napoleon Drawing Room) is the most decorated room in the house, and was used for formal occasions. It is encased in wood panels in the style of Grinling Gibbons which took three artisans three years to carve. The highly ornamented plaster ceiling was made by Italian craftsmen, and was enhanced by the use of indirect lighting in the ceiling. Among other fixtures, the room featured a 10 feet (3.0 m) high Louis XVI style faux-gilt carved light standard with 24 bulbs.


Library at Casa Loma with new chandeliers

Sir Henry aspired to have members of the Royal Family stay in the Guest Suite.

The Conservatory showcases plants and, at one end, this fountain.

Lady Pellatt's Suite.

The Round Room is designed to fit beneath the castle's tower. This room is notable for its doors and windows, which curve to follow the shape of the room.


Casa Loma is on Austin Terrace at Spadina Road , on an escarpment (Davenport Hill) above Davenport Road . Davenport runs along the bottom of the escarpment which was the shoreline of Lake Iroquois , the predecessor of Lake Ontario (coordinates 43°40′41″N 79°24′33″W / 43.678°N 79.4093°W / 43.678; -79.4093 ). Casa Loma affords views down the escarpment and Spadina Avenue into the heart of Toronto. The stables are located at 330 Walmer Road and the Hunting Lodge at 328 Walmer Road.

Casa Loma is served by St. Clair West Station and Dupont Station on the Yonge-University line of the Toronto subway .


Casa Loma is a popular location for use in film and television. It has served as a location for movies such as _X-Men _, _ Strange Brew _, _Chicago _, _ The Tuxedo _, _ Scott Pilgrim vs. the World _, _Warehouse 13 _,Desentdents , _ Twitches Too _, and _ The Pacifier _. Comic books and children's novels that have used it include the Scott Pilgrim series and Eric Wilson 's murder mystery, _The Lost Treasure of Casa Loma_. It was also temporarily transformed into Hogwarts for the release of _ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows _. In the CBC Television show _ Being Erica _, the episode "Mi Casa, Su Casa Loma" features Casa Loma prominently as the place where main character Erica Strange works.

It also served in the movie adaption of R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps (TV series) " A Night In Terror Tower. Casa Loma also features prominently in the biography-documentary of Sir Henry Pellatt, _The Pellatt Newsreel: the Man who Built Casa Loma_ and was nominated for a 2009 Gemini for Best Biography Documentary]. TV show _Hemlock Grove _ was also filmed there as well as _The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones _.

Exterior shots of the building were used in the Gothic TV Show, Strange Paradise .

It is also the filming location of the TV movie "re-imagining," _The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let\'s Do the Time Warp Again _, where scenes that take place at Dr. Frank N. Furter's castle and the movie theatre where the audience participation and Ivy Levan 's performance of " Science Fiction Double Feature " take place were filmed (a movie theatre marquee was placed at the front entrance of the castle for filming).


Lady Pellatt frequently invited the Girl Guides to her home. Their first visit was in 1913 when 250 girls and their leaders toured the conservatories and stables, climbed the circular staircase to the top turret and then were served tea in the Palm Room. In March 1914, Lady P