Casa Loma Review
A European-style castle, Casa Loma was commissioned by Sir Henry Pellatt, a soldier and financier. This grand display of extravagance has 98 rooms, two towers, creepy passageways, and lots of secret panels. The home's architect, E. J. Lennox, also designed Toronto's Old City Hall and the King Edward Hotel. Pellatt spent more than C$3 million to construct his dream (that's in 1913 dollars), only to lose his house to the tax man just over a decade later. Some impressive details are the giant pipe organ; the reproduction of Windsor Castle's Peacock Alley; the majestic, 60-foot-high ceiling of the Great Hall; the mahogany-and-marble stable, reached by a long, underground passage; and the extensive, 5-acre estate gardens (open May–October). The rooms are copies of those in English, Spanish, Scottish, and Austrian castles. This has been the location for many a horror movie and period drama, an episode of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, and several Hollywood blockbusters, including Chicago and X-Men. Included in the admission price are a self-guided audio tour (available in eight languages) and a docudrama about Pellatt's life. A tour of Casa Loma is a good 1½-km (1-mile) walk, so wear sensible shoes. And if you're traveling with young children, note strollers must be left on the first floor.