Casa Loma, the “house” on the hill, more like a castle if you ask me!

I have been banished upstairs as Simon and Ben are watching “Non Stop” with Niam Leeson! Simon says if I watch it I will never fly again! Given the number of flights I have taken since Simon started at Arrowsmith not flying is not really an option so here I am, not watching “Non Stop”! I lost two hours of my life yesterday watching “Anchorman” so am happy not to waste another two hours tonight, although I think “Non Stop” will be a rather better film! Simon and Ben thought “Anchorman” was incredibly funny but to my mind it was sexist, smutty and not remotely funny but then again, I am a boring old grump!

More fascinating facts about Casa Loma, well, I find them fascinating! There are ninety eight rooms in Casa Loma and the very first lift in a private  home in Canada – it is Otis 1! There are thirty bathrooms, twenty five fireplaces and the fifty nine phones had their own switchboard – remembering that at that time there were only a hundred other phones throughout Toronto! Sir Henry had more than five thousand lights installed in Casa Loma and the entire system could be controlled (though apparently not very well) from his bedroom. I love this description of the house as a mixture of seventeenth-century Scottish Baronial and Twentieth Century Fox. I think Disney should be included in there somewhere too. it took three hundred men three years to build the castle and it cost $3.5 million. The furnishings, including a fabulous art collection and ten thousand books, cost $1.5 million! And yet, Sir Henry and Lady Mary lived at Casa Loma for only ten year as they were forced to sell it due to bankruptcy. From rags to riches and dying in poverty, Sir Henry had an extraordinary life. He was remembered thus “He gave pleasure. He made and left his mark and had a grand time”. Not a bad epitaph, I believe.

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