Aside from the fact that Canada is not actually part of the United States despite occupying most of North America, Canada is also known for the production of maple syrup. Around 80 percent of all the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada.
Canada is also the World’s Most Educated Country because more than half of the population have college degrees. Another interesting fact about Canada is that it has more lakes than the rest of the lakes all over the world.
But do you know what’s even more interesting specifically in Toronto? Casa Loma – a Gothic Revival style mansion that is said to be haunted.
Casa Loma’s façade. (Link: https://www.expedia.com/pictures/canada/ontario.d11178/castles-palaces/)
History of Casa Loma
Casa Loma is a historic house museum and a famous landmark but aside from being such, the site is known for ghostly sightings. It has become so popular that it has become the site of ghost tours.
According to reports, Casa Loma was built from 1911 to 1914. It was built in order to become the home of one Sir Henry Pellatt. Sir Henry was knighted because of his great service in the military and became one of the richest during his time because he invested his money on electricity and the railway. Because he was confident of his financial status, he decided to build Casa Loma. The house is estimated to have cost around $3.5 million at that time and 300 workers helped each other to complete the building.
Sir Henry Pellatt of Casa Loma. (Link: https://qormuseum.org/about/sir-henry-pellatt-casa-loma/)
It was the largest private residence in Canada because it had 98 rooms, 30 bathrooms, and 25 fireplaces and was the talk of the town because it was designed by a famous architect. It even had an elevator, a pool, three bowling alleys, and an oven that was so large a whole ox could fit in it. The house was not even completed because of World War I but most of the parts were already done making it a really notable building.
The Oak Room at Casa Loma. (Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oak_Room,_Casa_Loma,_Toronto,_Canada.jpg)
The Conservatory at Casa Loma. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/billy_wilson/6020304811)
However, after the World War I, the City of Toronto increased the property tax of Pellatt from $600 to $1,000 annually. Pellatt suffered from financial setbacks so he decided to auction some of the art and furnishings in his home. Because of this, he enjoyed his life at the luxurious Casa Loma for 10 years before he left in 1923 and sold it to his son.
It is unclear what happened but during the late 1920s, investors operated Casa Loma as a luxury hotel. It also became a popular place to go to for wealthy Americans.
By 1924, Casa Loma was seized by the government because of unpaid taxes. In the 1930s, in an attempt to save Casa Loma from demolition, a broadcaster spent the night at the castle to gather proof that ghosts exist at the building. In 1937, the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma (KCCL) leased the property and it became a tourist destination. KCCL managed Casa Loma for 74 years up to the year 2011.
The Secret History Of Casa Loma
The history above is based on the books but there is reportedly another history that will make your skin crawl.
During World War II, Casa Loma became a military base. The Brits needed to secure their ASDIC device laboratory because such device was able to detect U-boats at a distance of 8 kilometers. U-boats were used by Germans to threaten the shipping services between Britain and North America.
The stables of Casa Loma. (Link: http://robindegroot.ca/newsite/?p=4737)
They then decided to use Casa Loma as the hideout. Casa Loma, however, continued as a tourist destination during that time. They had to use a sign that said, “Construction in progress – sorry for the inconvenience” outside the stables of Casa Loma in order to not create any suspicion from the public.
The Ghosts Of Casa Loma
Many tourists and staff at the Casa Loma said that they often hear strange noises and saw some apparitions of particular people.
First on the list is the ghost of a woman who is said to be a former maid at the Casa Loma. The woman is said to be a White Lady and many tourists and staff claimed that they saw the woman dressed in white haunting the castle.
The first owners of the castle, Sir Henry and Lady Pellatt, are also reportedly haunting Casa Loma. One time, Casa Loma hosted an outdoor function and one boy claimed he saw a man at one of the windows at the second floor. However, when they checked it, the second floor was not accessible because it was locked. The boy described the man he saw and it eerily matched the descriptions of Sir Henry Pellatt. According to the boy, the man looked angry with his arms at his side and a stone look in his eyes. The supervisor later showed the boy a phot of Sir Henry and he said that that was the man he saw.
As for Lady Pellatt, she is not seen as frequently as Sir Henry but she has been spotted by some. Many are saying that the first owners haunt Casa Loma because they loved their castle so much but were forced to leave when they encountered financial troubles.
Sir and Lady Pellatt of Casa Loma. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/casalomatoronto/4627755678/lightbox/)
The underground tunnel of Casa Loma is also one of the places that people claim to be haunted. They said that a playful spirit lives there because he or she grabs the tourists’ hands and pull their hair whenever they walk around the underground tunnel.
The underground tunnel of Casa Loma. (Link: https://www.blogto.com/city/2014/01/a_guide_to_secret_tunnels_in_toronto/)
Casa Loma As A Film Location
Casa Loma is so popular because of its great architecture, furniture, and a great place to shoot films. Many movies like “X-Men,” “Chicago,” “The Tuxedo,” “Warehouse 13,” “Descendants,” “The Pacifier,” and many more were filmed at Casa Loma. The latest movie shot at Casa Loma are “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” as well as “Beauty and The Beast,” the 2017 live action movie.
Casa Loma Now
Casa Loma is now under the management of Liberty Entertainment Group. Today, it serves as the Regimental Museum for The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. In 2014, an exhibit showing vintage cars was also available for viewing.
The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada museum at Casa Loma. (Link: http://torontoareaoutings.com/casaloma/)
One of the vintage cars at Casa Loma. (Link: https://de.citypass.com/toronto/casa-loma)