Casa Loma, a folly or a glorious castle!

I am not sure of the answer but I think Casa Loma is both a folly and a glorious castle! Certainly worthy of a visit. I spent a few hours happily wandering through the house, listening to the audio guide with its insights into the architecture, decor and history of the house and its owner, Sir Henry Pellatt. He was quite a character, being extremely wealthy at the time of building Casa Loma to living in poverty at the end of his life. He loved everything modern, from telephones in almost every room to his bathroom with all the mod cons of his day including a shower with body jets, and yet the feel of the castle is of an old building. There are small intimate rooms and very grand rooms for very grand entertaining. The highest tower, known as the Scottish tower, has a magnificent view overlooking Toronto, literally towering over the city! It also looks out over the gardens which are a fraction of what they once were but nonetheless give you a sense of how glorious they must have been, with formal gardens leading onto woodland areas which are big enough to give you a sense of being in a cool woodland area, even in the midst of the city today. In its heyday, 40 imageants were required to run the castle but it wasn’t clear if that included all the gardeners and stable boys as well as those in the main house! Although Casa Loma isn’t as grand, it reminded me of the grand houses Stella and I saw in Delaware and of those in Newport, built to impress as a display of wealth, such a very different era and a very different life!

I had some hours to fill which is the reason I went to visit Casa Loma. I dropped Simon and Ben and one of the other Arrowsmith students off at Canada’s Wonderland, which much to Simons amusement I kept calling Australia’s Wonnderland! Perhaps he is right, perhaps I do need to go to Arrowsmith!  I decided not to join them but to brave the Toronto road system and traffic and make my way to Casa Loma, it was a scary drive, navigating and negotiating my way, but it was worth it! Much better than going on a roller coaster!

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