King George V offered to purchase Sir Henry’s favourite horse, Prince, but Sir Henry refused to part with him. 
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Pellatt Newsreel: The Story of a Lifetime

This new docudrama tells the amazing tale of Sir Henry Pellatt, the Canadian industrialist who makes Donald Trump look like an apprentice.

Lush Art & Entertainment and Casa Loma are pleased to present the new twenty-two minute docudrama, Pellatt Newsreel: The Story of a Lifetime.  Narrated by Colin Mochrie (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Whose Line is it Anyway), the film is styled as a 1939 newsreel tracing the arc of Sir Henry’s life. From his roots as an enterprising stockbroker to his ascent to the heights of the Canadian establishment, Pellatt Newsreel is a story of unbridled optimism and entrepreneurial high stakes. But Pellatt Newsreel also tells the story of hubris and tragedy – how Sir Henry’s dreams were undone, first by the Ontario government and then by his own financial miscalculations, which saw him driven out of his glorious "castle on the hill", his home and monument. 

"Like Casa Loma, the stunning Toronto castle that he built, Sir Henry was bigger than life," says Associate Producer Michael Leclair.

"He was Canada’s leading industrialist and most audacious citizen. Millions of Canadians know and love Casa Loma, his beautiful home. Now with Pellatt Newsreel: The Story of a Lifetime, I hope the public will come to know and love the man who built the castle, too," agrees Barbra Cooper, Producer.

"This is a very entertaining (film) that succinctly captures Sir Henry’s remarkable story. Some may call Casa Loma his folly but I believe it’s symbolic of the vision of a great man. I hope this new documentary will give viewers a better appreciation for his lasting contributions to Toronto – as well as an understanding of the true cost of courageously living a life to its fullest," said John Pellatt, Sir Henry’s great nephew.

Pellatt Newsreel recreates Sir Henry’s life with an eye-popping medley of archival photos, historical footage, cutting-edge animations and dramatic re-enactments filmed in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, Old Toronto and Casa Loma itself.  Shot on film, Pellatt Newsreel will screen daily as an extra charge attraction in the newly restored Billiard Room at Casa Loma.
The Pellatt Film is included in Casa Loma ticket price.

"For some time, we had wanted to develop an orientation film on Sir Henry to enrich the visitor experience at Casa Loma," said Virginia Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Casa Loma.  "When Lush Art and Entertainment approached us with an opportunity to fulfill this ambition we were delighted to become their partner in this production.  We congratulate them for capturing the true spirit of Sir Henry and the many innovations that he brought to Edwardian Toronto and for allowing us to share the record of his legacy with the many students, Torontonians and tourists that visit Casa Loma each year."


Born in Kingston, Ontario in 1859, Sir Henry Pellatt was the most dramatic Canadian of his day. He was a visionary, whether it was being the first to bring electric lights to the streets of Toronto or the first to invest in a Canadian air service.  He was a patriot and philanthropist, as commanding officer and private sponsor of the Queen’s Own Rifles, the Canadian regiment that still marches to this day. And he was a colossus in Canadian business, with interests in everything from insurance to railways. At his height, Sir Henry sat on dozens of corporate boards comprising fully 25% of Canada’s economy, a feat unmatched today. When he commissioned the construction of Casa Loma, it was the largest home in Canada. 

But the demands of maintaining his castle, combined with a series of ill-advised investments and the fall of the Home Bank of Canada, undid Sir Henry. He and his beloved wife Mary were forced to leave Casa Loma and auction off their possessions to pay off his debts. But Sir Henry’s many legacies live on, as does his magnificent castle on the hill.


Pellatt Newsreel: The Story of a Lifetime is produced by Toronto’s Lush Art & Entertainment, narrated by Colin Mochrie, produced by Michael Leclair and Barbra Cooper and directed by Barbra Cooper.  Lush is also producing a one-hour, in-depth biography of Sir Henry’s life, which will be available for sale at Casa Loma.

For more information please visit


Colin Mochrie  Narrator
Kevin De Avalo      Young Henry Pellatt
Joe Febbo    Midlife Sir Henry Pellatt
Billy Sheine     Older Sir Henry Pellatt
Patricia Medina Lady Mary Pellatt
David Cooper Sir Wilfrid Laurier     
Joe Hejno   Sir Adam Beck
Barbra Cooper    Producer, Director
Michael Leclair   Associate Producer
Meg Davies Production Manager
Jonathan Bensimon  Director of Photography
Andre Brunger Editor
Felicia Brooker     Story Editor
Sarah Picket   1st Assistant Camera
Hugh McJanet  Gaffer
Allister Foster Grip
Joanna Syrokomla  Costume Designer
Julia Valente    Make Up
Patricia Medina   Hair Stylist
Bill Balfe  Visual Researcher