Spanish for ‘Hill House’, Casa Loma is Toronto’s prized castle. Although the stately fortress has never accommodated royalty during its 104-year history, the elegance and grandeur of the 98-room mansion certainly classifies it as a royal landmark. Sitting majestically atop Davenport Hill and with stunning views over the heart of Toronto, Casa Loma is a sight not to miss.
The Gothic Revival mansion was the brainchild of Sir Henry Pellatt, a wealthy Canadian financer, whose childhood dream of building a medieval castle was brought to life with the help of architect E.J. Lennox between 1911 and 1914.
Built on two hectares of magnificent gardens, Casa Loma took three years to complete and cost an impressive US$3.5 million. The end result is an architectural frenzy of underground tunnels, Rapunzel-style balconies, sweeping staircases and looming towers.
Sadly, after World War I, Pellatt lost his fortune and was forced to auction off Casa Loma to pay his debts. After some years, Casa Loma was eventually turned into a museum by the City of Toronto and is now owned by Liberty Entertainment Group.
Today, Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s most popular attractions and event venues. If the looming towers and picturesque gardens seem familiar to you, it’s likely you’ve seen the grounds in a movie.
X-Men, Chicago and Robocop are just a few blockbusters that were filmed at the castle. Casa Loma attracts over 350,000 visitors each year who come to admire the striking Gothic Revival, Norman and Romanesque architecture, or to enjoy the riveting Casa Loma Escape Series held throughout the year.
Casa Loma is open daily from 9.30am until 5pm. Entry fees start at $14 for children aged 4-13; $18 for teenagers aged 14–17 and for seniors over 60; and $24 for adults. Entry is free for children under three. Self-guided audio tours are included in the price and are available in eight languages.