Sir Henry Pellatt’s Gardens
The original Gardens of Casa Loma once occupied a portion of land located on the north side of Austin Terrace. The gardens were modeled after an English Gentlemen’s Garden containing a series of parterres with gravel paths, vegetable gardens, flowers and fruit trees. A greenhouse complex featuring a potting shed and conservatory served as a work area for a staff of three gardeners who tended to the magnificent grounds.
Unfortunately, with the demise of Sir Henry’s financial resources much of the original land had to be sold and eventually he was forced to leave his dream castle. With the passing of time, the original gardens succumbed to the forces of nature.
In 1987, the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma approached The Garden Club of Toronto with the interesting prospect of renovating the existing grounds of Casa Loma. An agreement was reached between the Kiwanis Club, The Garden Club and the City of Toronto that would provide the massive renovation of five acres of Casa Loma property.
The project was not intended to be a historical restoration of the gardens as natural changes in the vegetation of the area made this impossible.
The new garden was designed as a series of specialty garden areas, taking into account specific site conditions. In an effort to retain as much historical significance as possible, certain elements of the original gardens have been incorporated into the new design. For example, Sir Henry’s two stone stairways at the east and west ends of the property were rebuilt using the original stone. Also, the original carriageway that winds up the hill from the Davenport Road gates was cleared and converted into a pleasant, shady path.
The renovation of the Gardens at Toronto’s historic Casa Loma, undertaken by The Garden Club of Toronto, was a five year project begun in 1987 at a cost of $1.5 million dollars. Funding from The Garden Club of Toronto, The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma, corporations, foundations, individuals and government created a setting fit for a castle. In 1990, the Gardens were officially opened. Today, the Gardens are operated and maintained by the Casa Loma gardening staff.