HISTORY OF CASA LOMA
The sightlines and majestic beauty of the Avenue Road Hill have, over the years, inspired many of Toronto’s wealthiest citizens to build their homes here.
The one home that stands out above all the others is Casa Loma, a real life medieval castle. Casa Loma was built in 1911, by Sir William Henry Mill Pellatt, a prominent financier, industrialist, and military man.
It took three hundred men nearly three years to build Casa Loma, at a cost of $3,500,000, which at that time was an unprecedented amount of money to pay for a home. Sir Henry enjoyed his dream home for less than ten years before mounting debts forced him to turn Casa Loma over to the City of Toronto.
In the 1920’s, shortly after Sir Henry’s departure from Casa Loma, the extensive grounds and greenhouses to the north of the castle were subdivided, and the current neighbourhood began.
CASA LOMA OVERVIEW
The striking silhouette of Casa Loma provides a romantic backdrop to this posh Toronto neighbourhood.
Nestled on the brow of the Avenue Road Hill, and surrounded by ravines and parkland, this residential enclave looks and feels more like an enchanted forest filled with storybook homes, than the big city neighbourhood it really is.
HOMES IN CASA LOMA
Casa Loma’s large Tudor, Georgian, Edwardian, and English Cottage style homes were built mostly between 1905 and 1940. The houses on the south side of Lyndhurst Court enjoy a spectacular view of Toronto’s skyline and Lake Ontario. Many homes in this neighbourhood back onto the Nordheimer ravine, a virtual forest of mature oak and maple trees. In addition to single family houses, the Casa Loma neighbourhood contains a mix of duplex and triplex houses, luxury townhouses, condominiums and co-ownership apartment buildings.
SCHOOLS IN CASE LOMA
(P) Hillcrest Jr. School, 44 Hilton Avenue, (416) 393-9700
(PH) Oakwood Collegiate Institute, 991 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 393-1780
(PH) Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, 730 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 393-1860
(PR) Bishop Strachan School, 298 Lonsdale Road, (416) 484-4325
(PR) Upper CanadaCollege, 200-220 Lonsdale Road, (416) 484-4325
(C) St. Michaels College, 1515 Bathurst Street, (416) 653-3180
(P) Public School (PH) Public High School (CA) Catholic School (PR) Private School (PC) Private Catholic School (PJ) Private Jewish School (C) College (U) University
LIFESTYLE IN CASA LOMA
The closest shopping for Casa Loma residents is the Bathurst and St. Clair shopping district. These are mostly convenience type stores that cater to everyday household needs.
Gourmet food shops, high end boutiques, and all kinds of professional services are available on Spadina Road, north of St. Clair, in the heart of Forest Hill Village.
RECREATION IN CASA LOMA
Sir Winston Churchill Park is located at the south-east corner of Spadina Road and St.Clair Avenue. This park has ten floodlit tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a popular makeshift running path that skirts the perimeter of the park.
Wrapped around Sir Winston Churchill Park is the Nordheimer Ravine. This quiet oasis features a rustic wood path with many excellent picnic spots, and a large variety of trees, plants and wildlife.
Wells Hill Park, contains a children’s playground and a wading pool. Across the street from this park is the Wells Hill Lawn Bowling Club and the Wychwood Public Library.
The local community centre operates out of Hillcrest School and includes an indoor pool and a gymnasium.
TRANSPORTATION IN CASA LOMA
The Casa Loma neighbourhood is well served by public transit. There is regular bus service on Bathurst Street and streetcar service on St. Clair Avenue West. The St. Clair West subway station is a short walk from the homes in this neighbourhood.
For motorists, the main arterial roadways are Bathurst Street and St.Clair Avenue.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE CASA LOMA AREA
Wychwood Barns Park – 76 Wychwood Avenue
This location is the park area that surrounds the former Toronto Transit Commission Barns on three sides. Park features include a children’s play area, an open sports field with a natural ice rink in winter, a fenced in off-leash dog area, a beach volley ball court and picnic tables. In addition, approximately 150 trees, 1,500 shrubs and 900 perennials and grasses have been planted. There are circulation paths in the park aligned with the surrounding streets, such as Helena between Wychwood and Christie on the east-west axis and Slade on the north-south axis, as well as meandering paths, some of which follow the former streetcar tracks. The layout is intended to complement and create as few barriers as possible, both physical and conceptual, between the park and the buildings and between indoor and outdoor environments.
Sir Winston Churchill Park – 301 Saint Clair Avenue West
An 8.6 hectare park on St. Clair Ave W at Spadina Rd this park features ten lighted outdoor tennis courts, a large off leash area and a children’s playground.
Roycroft Park – 150 Boulton Drive
Cawthra Playground – 355 Albany Avenue
A small tree lined park near Davenport Road and Bathurst Street featuring a children’s playground.