After doing one circuit of Toronto on the City Sightseeing Tour, we then used the open topped bus to get us to Casa Loma, the most northerly point on the sightseeing route.
Between 1911 and 1914, Sir Henry Pellatt built Casa Loma in midtown Toronto. Within ten years he was declared bankrupt and he had to sell the stately mansion. The City of Toronto now own Casa Loma and it is open to the public.
Entering Casa Loma from the Main Entrance, we elected to buy the Toronto Pass, as we intended to visit several of the other attractions covered during our stay, including the CN Tower and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).
Once through the entrance lobby, the first room is the Great Hall, featuring a Wurlitzer Organ.
The organ was built in 1923 for Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre. When the theatre was demolished in 1957 the organ was moved to the Maple Leaf Gardens until 1964. Through the good offices of the Toronto Theatre Organ Society is was saved from destruction and installed in Casa Loma. The inaugural concert in Casa Loma took place in February 1974.
Passing through the Library and the Dining Room, the Conservatory is reached which features a stained glass dome.
The Conservatory features a niche contained a classic candle stick telephone. 59 were installed throughout the building which also included its own switchboard.
From the Conservatory, the suggested tour took us past the Serving Room (were the food came up from the kitchens) to Sir Henry’s Study. Sir Henry had a hidden stairway up to the next floor to take him to his suite.
This led us onto to his bathroom with all modern (early 20th century) conveniences and a telephone.
Next is the suite of Lady Pellatt, whilst her bedroom is main blue and white, the sitting room (in the Scottish Tower) is brighter.
The wardrobe room of the suite is now used to display memorabilia of the Canadian Guide Movement and Lady Pellatt’s involvement. Across the corridor is a guest suite including bedroom, bathroom and sitting room, not forgetting the telephone in its niche.
Leaving the Guest Suite, behind a door are the stairs to the servants quarters on the third floor. Also on the third floor is access to the roof space and the towers.
At the west end of the third floor, some of the organ pipes can be seen. Down another staircase to the second floor, the next room is the Windsor Room, so called as Sir Henry always hoped that the Royal Family would visit Toronto and stay at Casa Loma. As with many other rooms, it was provided with a telephone.
Across from the Windsor Room is a corridor leading to another bedroom/suite and the Round Room, opposite which more pipes of the organ are visible.
Down the main stairs to the Great Hall, and the western end of the ground floor is the Smoking and Billiard Room. The ceiling of the Smoking Room is provided with a landscape decoration.
From the lower floor, access is afforded to the Potting Shed, Stables and Garage/Coach House located in Walmer Road via a tunnel to the north under Austin Road. In the Garage several vintage cars are on display, including a Maxwell Model Q Standard.
Back to the main building, the gardens surround the house, which the main displays to the south.
Casa Loma is well worth a visit, and with a restaurant on the lower floor, it is easy to make a day of it.