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Casa Loma Gardens wins prestigious Phoenix Award

Casa Loma Gardens
Photo by: James Burrows Photography

The Phoenix Award was established in 1969 by the Society of American Travel Writers to recognize the importance of individuals and organizations actively involved in the conservation, preservation, beautification and anti-pollution efforts which enhance the appeal of travel destinations.

Society members submit nominations to the Conservation and Preservation Committee, which reviews them and recommends those judged worthy to the Society’s Board of Directors for final approval.

Past recipients of the Phoenix Award include: Mrs. Lyndon B (Ladybird) Johnson for her roadside wild-flower beautification campaign; the Gaylord Entertainment Company for its restoration of Ryman Auditorium, home to Nashville’s Grand Old medieval atmosphere; to Colonial Williamsburg; and to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall Association, to name a few.

The other five 1997 recipients of the SATW Phoenix Award are: Dr. David DiChiera for restoring Detroit’s former Grand Circus Theatre; the Pepper Bird Foundation of Williamsburg, Virginia for creating awareness of America’s ethnic historic sites; Ozak Ocotours for its efforts in Arkansas’ poorest, but most scenic county; Landmark Trust USA for preserving Rudyard Kipling’s home; and the Hidden Marine Environmental Project for its work with injured green sea turtles.

The renovation of the Gardens of Casa Loma was a five year project, begun in 1987 at a cost of $1.5 million. Funding for the project came from the Garden Club of Toronto, The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma, along with a variety of corporations, foundations, individuals and government. The five acre Gardens officially opened in 1990.