Casa Loma, Toronto

Our Casa Loma tour in Toronto was nothing short of an experience. The one that brimmed with stories of joy, sorrow, and tragedy.

Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style mansion, now a historic house museum. It was Sir Henry Mill Pellatt’s early 20th century chateau, the biggest private residence ever constructed in Canada, sitting at an elevation of 460 ft above sea level.

Pellatt brought hydro-electricity to Ontario, and through which he made his fortune. His was the first company that harnessed the generating power of Niagara Falls; the electricity that powered the province. He became Commanding Officer of The Queen’s Own Rifles, and his leadership of this regiment earned him a knighthood.

But legislators launched a campaign proclaiming hydro power should be as free as air, and they took his electric company from him through a legislative process.

His empire was rapidly disintegrating with heavy debts to the bank, and his money tied up in real estate developments stalled due to the Great Depression. He was unceremoniously forced out of his 98-room palace with just three van loads of belongings. Later, he auctioned off his luxury items to cover his debts.

Lady Mary Pellatt died of a heart attack in April 1924. The City of Toronto seized Casa Loma for backed taxes. Pellatt died in 1939.

Sir Henry and Mary Pellatt in 1910. Courtesy: Spacing Magazine.
As we approached the entrance gate…
The flags and the lights in the entrance lobby

The dining rooms

The baths of the castle times. These are two of the thirty.

Inside Casa Loma, there’s a tunnel, 800 feet long, which was once a secret passage between the castle and horse stables.
Legend has it that the tunnel is haunted. People have seen a lady in white, heard spooky voices.
Potting shed – Pellatt was fond of flowers.

Oak Rooms – the French oak panels

The 10,000-book library
Stained glass ceiling in the Conservatory
Pellatt’s study contained a replica of Napoleon’s desk
Some of the movies shot in the castle

The suite-style bedrooms

The quiet sitting rooms

Blueberry-carved ceiling
Pellatt’s son – the one on the wall
The way to the Scottish Tower
This spiral staircase will lead you to the highest point in the tower. The staircase is narrow, may become congested, is the only way up and down.
The highest point in the tower.
View from the tower (CN Tower is seen)

29 thoughts on “Casa Loma, Toronto

  1. That is a great looking castle. I wonder if was creepy to live in a castle. I bet that tunnel was fun for kids but I bet it could be scary.

    • Thanks Sonya for your observation 🙂 Sir Henry Pellatt lived like a king. The creepiness, they say, came to be felt after his death. Btw, he too was spotted in the tunnel.

  2. I love haunted places! (Of course if I ever come face to face with a ghost that might change!). Very cool pictures! It makes me want to visit.

  3. On many occasions we have driven by Casa Loma when visiting Toronto but have never gone exploring. Fascinating to know the history and the unceremonious end to the possession of the castle. Your ghostly photo in the tunnel a great visual aid to the possibility of ghosts.

  4. Wonderful Mahesh that you shared this wonderful tour around Casa Loma. One of my own favourite pastimes when I go on holiday is to view stately homes, such as mansions and castles. Each have their own charm and usually some residential ghost. Loved the spooky tunnel..
    The Glass ceiling magnificent as were those oak panels and beautiful furniture..
    No wonder Pellatt was some one who could afford such affluence if he was the one to discover how to harness the power of the Niagara Falls.. A pity the Banks foreclosed on his estate.
    It makes you laugh when the thought of Hydro Power should be FREE,, Yet those who no doubt brought this man to his knees, then went onto profit from his ideas. As Energy Companies continue to increase prices of so called ‘Free Power’ 🙂
    Canada is a place I visited in the yr of 2000 on our 25th Wedding Anniversary present to each other.. On a tour coast to coast in Canada.. the CN Tower we went up and the view is magnificent if you like looking at micro dots for people.. lol

    Wonderful images and narrative . looks like you enjoyed your selves.. thank you for sharing
    Sue 🙂

    • Thanks Sue for your detailed comment. Loved it 🙂 “Yet those who no doubt brought this man to his knees, then went onto profit from his ideas. As Energy Companies continue to increase prices of so called ‘Free Power’” – you’ve brilliantly captured the truth here. And glad you loved the CN Tower – one of the best towers ever – especially the glass floor that can withstand the weight of fourteen large hippos 🙂 Thanks my friend for your time.

  5. Casa Loma looks enormous and rich in architectural terms. The 800-ft tunnel reminds of the secret passageway the old Indian palaces used to have, in case the kings and queens need to escape.
    The stained glass ceiling is so very beautiful… 🙂

  6. Casa Loma tour looks like such a grand tour. Looking like another era on the inside and some effort certainly has been put into keeping the Gothic mansion as it is. That staircase does look narrow, and slow and steady is a must to get safely up and down. Hope you didn’t get scared of climbing up and down 🙂

    • I was more scared of the spiral staircase collapsing since it was shaky during my ascension than the claustrophobia that’s perhaps attached to its narrowness. Lol. But all went well 🙂 Thanks my friend for reading and commenting 🙂

  7. One of my daughters who did her residency from New York University and stayed at Buffalo at that time has visited this Castle as one of her friends was from Toronto. I had heard the story and seen some pics and your pictorial treat took me back to those days! Also this Castle reminds me of Biltmore House and 8000acre Estate at Asheville (NC) which has rich history and the rooms are somewhat similar. That too is a worth visiting place. Though we visited in November and couldn’t see the glory of the gardens but Fall is no less magnificent of Asheville.

    • I’m really tempted to be in Asheville for Biltmore House. Your description makes it all the more fascinating. And thanks for your kind words, Balroop. I’m sure that your daughter had a wonderful, quiet time in CL. I have some friends in Toronto who are yet to visit it, and I keep prodding them. The effort to be there is worth all the sweat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s