The Gardens of Casa Loma
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 gardens. 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. Sir Henry’s two stone stairways at the east and west ends of the property were rebuilt using the original stone. Also, the original carriage way that winds up the hill from Davenport Road gates was cleared and converted into a pleasant, shady path.
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 the 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.
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 five acre Gardens were officially opened. Today, the Gardens are maintained by The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma.
The Gardens of Casa Loma feature eight specialty areas themed around the following plant communities: (1) Upper Terrace, (2) The Secret Garden, (3) Lower Terrace,
(4) Rhododendron Dell, (5) Woodland Walk, (6) Water Garden, (7) Meadow Garden and (8) Spring Woodland Garden.
5 Acre Estate Gardens
Open May through October
70 varieties of Roses including the Casa Loma Rose
200 different varieties of perennials from Achillea to Zebra Grass
See rare Japanese tree peonies
The gardens feature the unique legend of the Dragon Tree sculpture and the mysterious Gargoyle
Relax in the cool shade and listen to the soothing sounds of the dancing fountain
The Gardens feature some spectacular original specimens planted by Sir Henry’s gardeners in 1915
Special attention was paid to the reconstruction of the two original stone staircases leading up from Davenport Road
The magnificent granite fieldstone wall surrounds the 5 acre estate gardens. It took over a year to complete at a cost of over $ 250,000. The stone was brought in by local farmers and was inspected by Sir Henry personally before being set in place. Sir Henry paid a dollar a stone.
A historical photo display of Sir Henry’s original gardens is located in the restored Potting Shed.
The Garden Room located on the third floor of Casa Loma provides an exhibit of photographs and drawings taken during the renovation of the estate gardens.
Gardens Season’s Pass available for $ 15.00 (including all taxes). Pass is valid for 10 individual admissions to the Casa Loma Gardens (the pass does not include admission to the buildings). The Gardens are open daily from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Lou Seiler, Director of Marketing
(416) 923 – 1171 ext. 212