Friday, November 1, 2013

Saturday Snapshot - Casa Loma Part 1

October 2013 - Toronto ON

Other Casa Loma posts:
Weekly Top Shot

I'll cover the ground floor today and do another post next week of the rest of the house.

Casa Loma (Spanish for Hill House) is a Gothic Revival style house and gardens in midtown Toronto.that is now a museum and landmark. It was originally a residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Casa Loma was constructed over a three-year period from 1911–1914. The architect of the mansion was E. J. Lennox, who was responsible for the designs of several other city landmarks.

The house cost approximately $3.5 million and took a team of 300 workers three years to build from start to finish. Unfortunately, due to the start of World War I, construction on the house was halted. At 98 rooms, 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, central vacuum, two secret passages in Sir Henry's ground-floor office and three bowling alleys (never completed).

The Great Hall, unfinished during Sir Henry's time, welcomes visitors to the castle with a 60' high ceiling and a Wurlitzer organ which once resided in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. This room, with sculpted figures adorning the pillars and its oak-beamed ceiling, is a focal point of the castle.

The herringbone oak floor pattern creates different shadings from each end of the room. On the ceiling is Pellatt's coat of arms. The library's capacity is estimated to be around 10,000 books. The pattern changed as you turned around!

Lined with Circassian walnut, the dining room was originally separated from the library by unique paneling.

My absolute favourite room was the conservatory. The floor is Italian marble but the side panels are of Ontario marble. Covering the conservatory is a beautiful stained glass dome. Steam pipes kept the flower beds warm in the winter.

Also used as a breakfast room, this room contains original Pellatt furniture.

Stretching from the Conservatory to the Great Hall, Peacock Alley is a reproduction of the Peacock Alley in England's majestic Windsor Castle. The walls are oak and the floor is made from teakwood.

The mahogany panels in Sir Henry's study conceal a secret door on either side of the fireplace. You can take the passageway to the left of the fireplace to the second floor, or use the stairway from the Great Hall if a less narrow, steep route is preferred (and it is narrow!).

Renovated by the Garden Club of Toronto, the 6 acres surrounding the castle feature formal perennial borders, sculpture and fountains. The wooded hillside showcases wild flowers and ferns plus dramatic rhododendrons and decorative grasses. Enjoy the serene beauty and changing panorama of rainbow colours May through October as the gardens mirror the transition of the Canadian seasons.

As it is late October there wasn't a lot of colour, but I would love to see them in the spring and summer!


  1. Gorgeous shots! There is such artistry in these designs and in the gardens, too. Thanks for sharing...and here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

  2. The next time I'm in Toronto I must visit this place. Thanks for the virtual tour!

  3. Wow- a modern-day castle! I would love that conservatory too! Thanks for sharing your tour. :-)

  4. Absolutely amazing, inside and out!! Thanks for sharing!
    Here's My Saturday Snapshot

  5. The conservatory dome is stunning - they must dread hailstorms though!

  6. I loved that conservatory too, I want one, I'm sure it'd fit on our house.


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