The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Casa Loma in Toronto
Visiting beautiful buildings in Toronto was an awesome experience, but to tell you honestly, the most rewarding part of your Toronto trip was our visit to the beautiful Casa Loma. Considered one of the grandest residential buildings ever constructed in Canada, Casa Loma has 98 rooms with an elevator, beautiful hallways, a huge bathroom, two vertical passages for pipe organs, two secret passageways, a beautiful garden, and more.
A few minutes away from the Queen’s Park and the University of Toronto, passing by the University district and the villages of some of the country’s Who’s Who, we finally reached the Castle located in Austin Terrace near Downtown Toronto.
The beautiful Casa Loma is a medieval castle located on a hill towering over Toronto. The Castle, built on a Gothic Revival style, attracts tourists in thousands every year and is a museum and significant landmark of Canada. Casa Loma literally translates to ‘house on the hill’ in Spanish and is much more than a house in all its magnificence.
There is an intriguing story behind how a medieval castle happed to be in the middle of Toronto. Sir Henry Pellatt, a Canadian financier and military figure, built the Castle out of a passion for reflecting the medieval architecture found in his Irish homeland. He enlisted the help of E J Lennox, celebrated architect of the time, along with 300 workers to build the Castle worth $3.5 million in three years (from 1911). However, Pellet lost his fortune after World War I and was forced to give up his home to Toronto back in 1933. Presently, this beautiful piece of architecture serves as a prime spot for tourists and acts as a hospitality venue.
The beautiful Casa Loma castle transports the visitors back in time. Visitors can wander around the Castle by themselves around the vast corridors and the 98 fully furnished rooms that the Castle holds. With its secret passageways, grand staircase, an 800-foot tunnel, and the breathtaking 5-acre garden, visitors have no choice but to think that they have landed in a different century altogether.
The stables in the castle grounds are made of mahogany, while the floors are covered by Spanish tiles. Even Hollywood has taken note of the beautiful Casa Loma for its charisma and featured the Castle in several movies like Chicago, Scott Pilgrim, X-Men, Extreme Measures, etc.
The Castle is open from 9.30 a.m. till 5.00. p.m. on all days except Christmas day when it is closed and Christmas Eve when it closes at 1.00 p.m. The adults’ admission ticket rate is $30; for senior citizens and youth between 14 and 17 years, it is $25, and for children, it is $20. Parking rates are applicable too. Admission tickets can also be purchased online. Apart from touring the Castle, the ticket also allows the visitor to watch ‘Pellatt Newsreel: The Man Who Built Casa Loma,’ which is a docudrama featuring the life of Sir Henry Pellatt.
Visitors can undertake a self-guided tour of the enchanting Castle of Casa Loma and experience its beauty at leisure with the help of audio guides and tour brochures. These are available in as many as eight languages. The audio guide comes even in American Sign Language. The renowned Casa Loma estate gardens are thrown open for the public from May till October, allowing the visitors to stroll through the 5 acres of sheer beauty and fragrance.
The Main Floor of the Castle consists of the Great Hall, library, Sir Henry’s study, serving room, dining room, conservatory, peacock alley, smoking room, billiards room, and Oak room. The second floor houses Sir Henry’s suite and bathroom, Lady Pellatt’s suite and bathroom, Windsor room, guest suite, Girl Guides Exhibit, and Round room.
The third floor of Casa Loma houses the regimental museum of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. It also has the Austin room, the Kiwanis room, the garden room, the servants’ room, and the stairs to the towers. The basement houses a gift shop, the castle café, wine cellar, and a tunnel to the hunting lodge and stables.
The stables of Casa Loma have served in the Second World War by housing the Anti-Submarine detection Investigation Committee (ASDIC), which is a sonar apparatus.
The Beautiful Casa Loma is immersed in rich history and culture and reflects Canadian tradition. It is no wonder that the Castle still continues to draw in people by the thousands every year. A tour of the Castle is a must for anyone visiting Toronto.
Have you visited Toronto’s Casa Loma? How’s your experience?
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