Step back in time at Casa Loma, Toronto’s urban castle. Completed in 1914, Casa Loma has a fascinating backstory and offers a unique view into Canada’s past as well.
Enjoy several in-house museums, decadently preserved rooms, several dining options and special events. Spend a day exploring the castle’s three floors, the stables outside and the manicured gardens surrounding the estate. Explore at your own pace or take a tour, making sure to stop at each of the museum exhibits, such as the striking and evocative Dark Side of Toronto photography exhibit, which stretches through the tunnels that connect the stables to the castle. Discover secret passageways inside and take in the unmatched view of the Toronto skyline and the estate’s five acres of gardens.
Since the attraction is owned by the City of Toronto, you can save by using your Toronto CityPass.
For up-to-date information and details on Casa Loma, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Casa Loma
Located at 1 Austin Terrace, Casa Loma is located at the intersection of Spadina Ave. and Davenport Road in the Annex neighbourhood.
Step into the life of a wealthy, twentieth-century mogul at Casa Loma. Walk through the halls and imagine spending the afternoon studying in the library, sitting down for a meal in the Great Hall or basking in the sunshine on the terrace. Visitors are welcomed into a former home filled with decadently upholstered furniture and fabulously indulgent decor, like the tiger rug on the floor of one of the many bedrooms. The exuberant gold leaf interior trim is seems fitting for the exterior Gothic architecture, including multiple towers hiding secrets (and fun events, like an escape room) within.
Despite the striking interiors, the castle is actually not preserved exactly as it was when its owners left it. In fact, Casa Loma has changed hands several times over its 100-year history. Originally built to accommodate the illustrious desires of Sir Henry Pellatt, an ambitious businessman, Casa Loma, Spanish for “Hill House,” was vacated in 1924 when Pellatt’s business luck came to an end. After monopolizing Toronto’s electricity by founding the Toronto Electric Light Company and buying risky, but successful, Canadian Pacific Railroad stocks, Pellatt used his fortune to build the decadent home and fill it with pricey works of art. Even after his years of success, a widely respected stint serving in the Queen’s Own Rifles, and a philanthropic streak that went down in Canadian history, Pellatt’s company began to fail when the government took ownership of electricity service. That, mixed with the struggles of post-World War I life, made Casa Loma an unrealistic endeavor and Pellatt had to liquidate his many fortunes in the face of bankruptcy. The castle became a luxury hotel for three years, during which time a local architect completed some unfinished areas of the grounds, but the Depression brought vacancy to the estate once again. This, perhaps, led to the best fate for Casa Loma: ownership by the City of Toronto.
Shortly after it took ownership in 1933, the city turned Casa Loma into the tourist attraction it is today. With the Dark Side of Toronto exhibit, an antique car collection and a tour of the Queen’s Own Rifles history, the castle exemplifies Toronto's history of wealth and stature.
Casa Loma garners around 650,000 visitors each year, making it one of Toronto’s most popular places to visit. Despite a tumultuous past, the castle’s history has led it to this moment, when it exists as a testament to the tenacity of Toronto and its people. Learn about the castle, the country, and the city as you explore the beautiful grounds of Casa Loma.
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