What do X-Men and The Handmaid’s Tale have in common?
They were both shot in Casa Loma, a 64,700-square-foot castle located in midtown Toronto. Originally owned by Sir Henry Pellatt, the monumental home was designed by his billiards buddy, celebrated architect E.J. Lennox.
At one time, Sir Pellatt was among the richest men in Canada. He started working for his father’s stock brokerage firm at 17 before founding the Toronto Electric Light Company at 24. With a monopoly contract to supply electricity to the city, Sir Pellatt’s wealth grew to $17 million by 1911.
That was when the construction of Casa Loma, or “Hill House,” began. It took 300 workers three years to complete and cost around $3.5 million (equivalent to almost $92 million in 2020).
Casa Loma has 98 rooms, 30 bathrooms, several secret passageways and a library with more than 10,000 books.
Sir Pellatt lived there until 1924 when a series of unfortunate events left him with an enormous tax bill.
A hotel, a tourism legacy
After the city sized Casa Loma for unpaid taxes in 1924, it was turned into a hotel for a short time and then stood vacant for many years. Saved from demolition by the Kiwanis Club of West Toronto in 1937, Casa Loma become a popular tourist attraction. Now managed by the Liberty Entertainment Group, it attracts more than 350,000 visitors every year.
Besides the castle tour that operates throughout the year, Casa Loma also offers the restaurant, BlueBlood Steakhouse. During Halloween, the entire property is transformed into a haunted palace with spooky rooms and creepy hallways. At Christmas, twinkling lights turn it into a winter wonderland.
Visit https://casaloma.ca/ for updated opening hours
and necessary COVID safety precautions.
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