Canadian financier, industrialist, and business visionary Sir Henry Pellatt modeled the Casa Loma castle on the style of art and architecture he came to admire when touring similar castles throughout Europe. Today, the structure endures mainly as a testament to the culture and lifestyle of the Toronto elite during early 20th Century. Visitors can tour the grounds on their own or with a group while learning about the family, the Edwardian heritage, and?most importantly?the architecture and history of the landmark castle atop the hill.
1859: Henry Pellatt was born in Kingston, Ontario
1882?1902: Pellatt became a millionaire by investing in various mining, insurance, land, and electricity prospects
1905: Pellatt was knighted for his military service by the Queen's Own Rifles
1911: Working with Canadian architect E.J. Lennox, Pellatt helped design his dream home?a Medieval-inspired castle
1914?1924: Economic hardships eventually forced Sir Henry and Lady Mary Pellatt to sell Casa Loma
2014: After failed attempts to transform the residence into a hotel, a school, a museum, and an art gallery over the years, Liberty Entertainment Group chose to preserve the historic structure
Self-guided tours of Casa Loma and the surrounding area are available throughout the year. Here are some highlights worth seeing:
Great hall on the main floor: This room serves as a focal point within the castle, complete with 60-foot ceilings and sculpted figures adorning the pillars.
Sir Henry Pellatt's master suite on the second floor: Mahogany and walnut walls keep with the home's luxuriant spirit. This room also features a hidden compartment beside the fireplace where Sir Henry Pellatt would conceal secret documents.
Carriage House and Stables: Connected to Casa Loma by an 800-ft. tunnel which runs 18ft below Austin Terrace. The tunnel features an exhibit of Toronto?s Dark Side, which tells the story in archival photographs of Prohibition, The Depression, The Plague, The Great Toronto Fire, and Toronto?s first plane crash. The carriage house features an Automotive Exhibit featuring vintage automobiles from the early 1900?s.
Estate gardens: The five acres of lush flora surrounding Casa Loma showcase ornate sculptures and fountains as well as meticulously tended displays of perennials and a wooded hillside filled with wildflowers, ferns, rhododendrons, and decorative grasses.
To deliver more insight into the Pellatt family's optimistic construction and tragic loss of Casa Loma, the castle screens a 22-minute docudrama on the rise and fall of the estate. Narrated by Colin Mochrie, this docudrama adopts the tone of a 1939 newsreel as it tracks Sir Henry's resounding business successes, followed by his gradual financial undoing.
A community presence in Ottawa for more than 140 years, YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region remains true to its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages across all seven of its facilities. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and full gymnasiums outfitted with equipment for basketball, soccer, and rope skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness centres with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, boxing, and salsa-dance classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, and outdoor education.
These YMCA-YWCA outposts are dedicated to helping all members of the community. They provide those in need with emergency and youth housing, employment services, and domestic-violence support programs. They further strengthen and unite the Ottawa community through the YActive Assist program, which adjusts membership rates to help families that can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
Creative Kids Place engages exploring minds aged 2–12 in its colourful arts-and-play centre through drop-in sessions, summer camps, holiday camps, birthday parties, and special programs. During drop-in sessions, children can stuff teddy bears, paint T-shirts, or string beads of bracelets as preschoolers and toddlers bond with their parents over creatively minded toys or frolic in costume in the dress-up area. Creative Kids Place provides all needed craft supplies, paints, and play activities, and changes its crafts weekly to ensure children don't steal the company's secrets and start their own franchises. March break camps provide children from 4–12 years with an opportunity to spend time with a variety of crafts over March break, and all camps include either a bowling or a mini-golf outing.
When not playing, parents use free WiFi or lounge on the centre's couches amid bright red and green walls and tables draped in decorative tarps. Alternatively, crafters can choose from an array of sculpted, three-dimensional pottery canvases including penguins, dinosaurs, unicorns, princesses, and more. After wee artists paint their pieces to express colour appreciation or camouflage them from envious stuffed animals, staff fires completed sculptures in an on-site kiln.
Each member of Bikram Yoga Canada’s talented team of instructors possesses a sage yogic know-how borne of their participation in a 10-week certification course taught by Bikram Choudhury in California. Over the course of this rigorous program, the posing pedagogues learned the essentials of heated movement modality, spending hours stuffing their brains with wisdom ranging from yoga philosophy and anatomy to a detailed study of each pose. While the world-renowned course provides the team with an unshakable foundation, the instructors—firm believers that learning is a never-ending endeavour—undergo re-certification every three years to ensure that they remain abreast of current practices. With this impeccably trained and passionate staff at the helm of every sweat-inducing class, Bikram Yoga Canada offers students of all experience levels a chance to experience the physical detoxification afforded by stretching sessions within their balmy studio. During each class, the instructors put their hard-earned teaching skills into practice as they lead pupils through a series of 26 postures, known as asanas, designed to warm and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons while melting away tension and the frozen dinners stored in the hearts of pupils.
Spread across 270 historic acres, Knollwood Golf Course is a challenging 36-hole facility comprised of the Old Course set right alongside the New Course?both designed by well-regarded course superintendent Jack Harris in 1970 and 1990, respectively. Players can opt for a round on the Old Course or the New Course links and enjoy hole designs that embrace the natural Ancaster topography. Elevated tees and long, perplexing par 5 holes with ominous names such as Buried Treasure and Redemption lead to finely timed fairways that open up into stirring panoramas. The New Course entices advanced club swingers, and the Old Course's more accessible series of par 4 holes with large, accommodating greens is appealing for beginners.
Knollwood players don clean-cut golf attire and enjoy a golfer's paradise that has been open to the public since 1970 and keeps players happy with sprightly paced 10-minute tee times, on-site restaurants and beverage carts, and a "no-argue" rain cheque policy. The facility's proud groundskeepers maintain large, naturalized areas on the course intended to encourage the wildlife to thrive and occasionally join in on a game.
At Pro Dojos, certified martial-arts experts lead students of all ages and skill levels through a variety of pugilistic disciplines. Each location is independently owned, so the martial-arts styles may vary, but many offer karate, tae kwon do, kick-boxing, aikido, and jujitsu classes. The instructors elucidate the noble combat arts to kiddos as young as 4 years old, helping them build strength and motor skills while instilling the values of self-confidence. Teen classes focus on honing discipline and treating yourself and others with respect, and adult classes reinforce cardiovascular conditioning, strength, balance, and coordination. The instructors also lead classes for the whole family, allowing them to bond as a unit, which could possibly lead to starring in a hit sitcom about a crime-fighting family who takes down comical villains in their idyllic suburban neighborhood.