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   Casa Loma:

  • “Casa Loma” means “House on the Hill” in Spanish.
  • Casa Loma was built between the years 1911 and 1914 and it took 300 men and approximately $3.5 million to complete.
  • Casa Loma was designed by Canadian architect, E.J. Lennox, who also designed Toronto’s Old City Hall.
  • The bookcases in Sir Henry’s Library had shelf space for 10,000 volumes.
  • The Pellatt family crest reads: “Devant Si Je Puis”, which means “Foremost if I can”. This crest is inscribed in the hand-cast plaster ceiling of the Library.
  • The magnificent bronze glass doors, which lead to the Conservatory, are reproductions of a set made in New York for an Italian villa. At the time, each door cost $10,000.
  • The stained glass dome, which cost $12,000, as well as the marble on the Conservatory floors are from Italy.
  • The corridor known as Peacock Alley is a reproduction of its namesake at Windsor Castle in England.
  • There are two secret passages in Sir Henry’s Study. The one to the right of the fireplace leads to the Wine Cellar in the basement. The one to the left of the fireplace leads upstairs to the Second Floor near his bedroom suite.
  • The staff of over 40 people, which was required to maintain the castle, was paid a sum of $22,000 a year.
  • There were a total of 59 telephones throughout the castle, which meant that the castle’s switchboard operator handled more calls than the operator for the entire City of Toronto.
  • The Round Room is actually round, as it fits the curvature of the West Tower. The doors and windows are bowed to fit the shape of the walls.
  • The castle has a total of 22 fireplaces.
  • The castle has two towers. The West Tower is of Norman design and the East Tower is of Scottish design.
  • The elevation from the ground to the top of the Scottish (East) Tower is 130 feet and the oak beamed ceiling in the Great Hall is 60 feet high. At some points, the foundations are as deep as 45 feet.
  • The stables were built in 1906, four years before the construction of the castle, and cost $250,000 to build.
  • The stables are connected to the castle by an 800 foot tunnel which runs 18 feet below ground level.
  • In the stables, each horse’s name was displayed in gold leaf at the head of each mahogany stall.
  • King George V offered to purchase Sir Henry’s favourite horse, Prince, but Sir Henry refused to part with him.
  • The Queen’s Own Rifles was Canada’s second oldest regiment. It was a volunteer regiment manned entirely by part-time soldiers. Sir Henry became Major-General of this regiment, which is presently honoured in a museum on the third floor of the castle.
  • After Sir Henry left, Casa Loma was considered as a home for war veterans, a high school, a convent, an Orange Lodge, a millionaire’s club, a home for the Royal Family, a railway stop and a home for Hollywood film star, Mary Pickford. It was finally opened as a tourist attraction when the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma leased it from The City of Toronto in 1937.
   Lou Seiler
   Casa Loma
   (416) 923-1171 ext. 212