The Info List - Casa Loma

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Casa Loma
Casa Loma
(Spanish for Hill House) is a Gothic Revival
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 [[Henry PellattSir Henry Mill Pellatt Casa Loma
Casa Loma
was constructed from 1911 to 1914. The architect was E. J. Lennox,[1] who designed several other city landmarks. Casa Loma
Casa Loma
sits at an elevation of 140 metres (460 ft) above sea level.[2] Due to its unique architectural character in Toronto, Casa Loma
Casa Loma
has been a popular filming location for movies and television. It is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies.[3] 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
Henry Pellatt
purchased 25 lots from developers Kertland and Rolf. Pellatt commissioned architect E. J. Lennox to design Casa Loma
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-storey 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.[citation needed] 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.[4] 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
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
Glen Gray
and the Casa Loma
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
Casa Loma
in 1924 for unpaid taxes, and for years the building was left vacant.[5] In the 1930s, CFRB
broadcaster Claire Wallace spent a night at Casa Loma
Casa Loma
to gather material for a story about ghosts and supernatural phenomena, and she later broadcast an appeal to save the old building from demolition.[6] Her broadcast was heard by the vice-president of a local Kiwanis Club,[6] and subsequently Casa Loma
Casa Loma
was leased in 1937 by the Kiwanis Club
Kiwanis Club
of West Toronto, later the Kiwanis Club
Kiwanis Club
of Casa Loma
Casa Loma
(KCCL), which began operating the castle under a sole-source contract as a tourist destination.[5]

Lieutenant-Governor Dr. Bruce opens Casa Loma
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.[7] Casa Loma
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.[8] 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."[9] KCCL managed Casa Loma
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,[10] and the organization disputing her relationship with Pellatt in 2010.[11] 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
Casa Loma
Trust";[12] 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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[13] 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 upgrades. The company's plans also included a fine dining facility. [14] The restaurant, Blueblood Steakhouse, opened in summer 2017. [15] Layout[edit]

The CN Tower
CN Tower
is visible from the third floor.

Fountain as seen from the third floor.

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

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

Second floor[edit]

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

Third floor[edit]

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
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

Appointments[edit] Sir Henry imported artisans from Europe to design much of the furniture and other features of the castle. Oak Room[edit]

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
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
Louis XVI style
faux-gilt carved light standard with 24 bulbs.[16][17][18]

Other rooms[edit]

Library at Casa Loma
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. 

Location[edit] Casa Loma
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
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
Casa Loma
is served by St. Clair West Station and Dupont Station on the Yonge-University line of the Toronto
subway. Film location[edit] Casa Loma
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
Scott Pilgrim
vs. the World, Warehouse 13, Descendants, Twitches Too, and The Pacifier. Comic books and children's novels that have used it include the Scott Pilgrim
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 as well as The Beasts Castle for Disney’s 2017 live action Beauty and The Beast. In the CBC Television
CBC Television
show Being Erica, the episode "Mi Casa, Su Casa Loma" features Casa Loma
Casa Loma
prominently as the place where main character Erica Strange works.[19] It also served in the movie adaption of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps (TV series) A Night In Terror Tower. Casa Loma
Casa Loma
also features prominently in the biography-documentary of Sir Henry Pellatt, The Pellatt Newsreel: the Man who Built Casa Loma
Casa Loma
and was nominated for a 2009 Gemini for Best Biography Documentary].[20] TV show Hemlock Grove was also filmed there as well as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and related Shadowhunters Exterior shots of the building were used in the Gothic TV Show, Strange Paradise.[21] 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
Science Fiction Double Feature
take place were filmed (a movie theatre marquee was placed at the front entrance of the castle for filming).[22] Girl Guiding[edit] 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 Pellatt watched the Guides' annual fête from her bedroom window as she was too ill to leave her room.[23] Rallies became an annual event at the house. Guides also skated on the house's curling rink in winter. Girl Guiding events have continued in recent years, including the introduction of a Girl Guide room in 1973, and both the 75th anniversary and the 100th anniversary celebrations of Guiding in Canada were held at Casa Loma.[citation needed] Vintage car exhibition[edit] As of 2014[update], the garage and carriage room feature an exhibition of vintage cars from the early 1900s.

1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard 

1924-1925 Ford Model T
Ford Model T

1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard 

1922 Ford Model T
Ford Model T

1929 Ford Model A 

Further reading[edit]

Denison, John (1982). Casa Loma
Casa Loma
and the Man Who Built It. Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-0919822481.  Oreskovich, Carlie (1982). Sir Henry Pellatt, the King of Casa Loma. MaGraw-Hill Ryerson. ISBN 978-0075484561. 

See also[edit]

Spadina House Mary Lake Augustinian Monastery


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Casa Loma.

^ "The History of Casa Loma". Casa Loma
Casa Loma
website. City of Toronto. Retrieved 2014-02-07.  ^ Casa Loma
Casa Loma
Altitude and Location ^ Dela Cruz, Ruth (31 March 2013). "A Visit to Casa Loma
Casa Loma
(Old Castle in Toronto)". Retrieved 22 February 2015.  ^ Future Options for Casa Loma, Toronto, Casa Loma
Casa Loma
Corporation, 2012, 115 p., p. 13 ^ a b c d e Grant, Kelly (2010). "The Globe and Mail: Feud brews over Casa Loma". www.globeandmail.ca. Retrieved 10 February 2014.  ^ a b "Wallace, Claire History of Canadian Broadcasting". www.broadcasting-history.ca. Retrieved 2018-02-22.  ^ Casa Loma: The House that Henry built: how a castle in downtown Toronto
helped us win the battle of the Atlantic in WWII. Eric Leclerc. Esprit de Corps. 18.6 (July 2011) p32. url=[1] ^ [2] ^ https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/11/07/the-names-bond-maybe-st-james-bond-ian-flemings-toronto-inspirations.html ^ Howell, Trelawny (2005). " Toronto
Waterfront Magazine: Casa Loma's Fate" (PDF). www.casalomatrust.ca. Retrieved 10 February 2014.  ^ Farncomb, Jennifer (2010). "Annex Gleaner: Howell defends her lineage". www.casalomatrust.ca. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  ^ Spears, John (2006). " Toronto
Star: Sir Henry's great-grandniece wants new caretakers". www.casalomatrust.ca. Retrieved 10 February 2014.  ^ Wood, Eric Emin (2013). "Turnaround at Casa Loma; Town Crier". www.mytowncrier.ca. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014.  ^ Wood, Eric Emin (2013). "Liberty Group to free Casa Loma; Town Crier". www.mytowncrier.ca. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.  ^ " Casa Loma
Casa Loma
is getting a new 'upscale' but 'edgy' steakhouse;". www.cbc.ca. 2017.  ^ Freeman, Bill (1999). Casa Loma: Canada's Fairy-Tale Castle and Its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt. Lorimer. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-1550286458. Retrieved January 22, 2015.  ^ Davidson, Hillary (2008). Frommer's Toronto
2009. Frommer's Complete Guides. Frommer's. p. 143. ISBN 978-0470399064. Retrieved January 23, 2015.  ^ Litvak, Marilyn M. (1996). Edward James Lennox: Builder of Toronto. Dundurn. p. 60. ISBN 978-1550022049. Retrieved January 22, 2015.  ^ Mi Casa, Su Casa Loma
Casa Loma
(Television production). Being Erica. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009. 21:32 minutes in. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-09.  ^ Maljardin Trivia ^ Rocky Horror Picture Show filming at Casa Loma ^ "Fact Sheet Lady Mary Pellatt" (PDF). Girl Guides of Canada
Girl Guides of Canada
Guides du Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 

External links[edit]

Official website The Casa Loma
Casa Loma

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Coordinates: 43°40′41″N 79°24′34″W / 43.6781°N 79.4095°W /