A Casa Loma real-estate listing: In a bid to help the City of Toronto clarify its thoughts on the future of Casa Loma, the Post’s Jane Switzer offers this hint of what a Casa Loma real-estate listing might highlight:
Perched atop a hill in Toronto’s desirable Casa Loma neighbourhood, this 180,000 square-foot Gothic Revival-style castle boasts 98 rooms, five acres of exquisite gardens and parking for 150. The custom-built home, with ornate woodwork throughout, was constructed between 1911 and 1914, is a five-minute walk to both Dupont and St. Clair West subway stations and several elementary and high schools…
(Photo: Tyler Anderson/National Post) via
Build by a capitalist to honor himself (who then went broke 10 years later), it was a luxury hotel for a while, and is a money pit today.
Construction began in 1911… The house cost approximately $3.5 million and took a team of 300 workers three years to build from start to finish. Unfortunately, due to the start of World War I, construction on the house was halted. At 98 rooms, it was the largest private residence in Canada. Notable amenities included an elevator, an oven large enough to cook an ox, two vertical passages for pipe organs, central vacuum, two secret passages in Sir Henry’s ground-floor office and three bowling alleys (never completed).
[...] Sir Henry was able to enjoy life in the house for less than ten years, leaving in 1923. It was later operated for a short time as a luxury hotel. During the late 1920s Casa Loma was also a popular nightspot. The Orange Blossoms, later known as Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, played there for eight months in 1927–1928. Shortly thereafter, they went on tour of North America and became a major swing era dance band.
The city seized Casa Loma in 1933 for $27,303 in back taxes.
The castle was extremely run down and the city was motioning for the castle to be demolished. In 1937, however, it was leased by the Kiwanis Club of Toronto (currently known as the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma).
Smoke Rings performed by Glen Gray And The Casa Loma Orchestra, 1932. Footage from Alice In Wonderland starring Charlotte Henry, 1933.
It feels very “The Shining” doesn’t it?