Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Upscale Casa Loma in Toronto

Situated on a large hill overlooking downtown Toronto with views from turrets that probably rival those from the CN Tower, the mansion on the hill known as Casa Loma is certainly formidable. Finished in 1914 as a private residence, the building has had a varied purpose over the years and is now owned by the City and leased out by an entertainment company. Interestingly the sharp hill was the edge of the former Iroquois Lake which was a glacial lake which created an enlarged Lake Ontario. So not only is Casa Loma a massive mansion, it is also a lake front property - just 13,000 years too late.

Casa Loma Stables from the Casa Loma Parkette
Spadina Museum
Spadina Museum greenhouse
Stone fence and round, rock pillars at Spadina Museum

Right next door is the also impressive Spadina Museum and grounds, separated by the old road allowance for Spadina Road that has a beautiful stairways and platforms that run between the Spadina Road sections and named the the Baldwin Steps.

Baldwin Steps leading to Spadina Road
Baldwin Family Spadina plaque
More of Baldwin Steps overlooking downtown Toronto - see the CN Tower?

The earliest buildings in the residential neighbourhood north of the castle date from the early 1900's and the homes on the tree lined lots are certainly grand. We parked on a road (Ardwold Gate) with more recent homes, though none the less grand than their neighbours.

A few small homes on Ardwold Gate road

Cutting through the north end of the ritzy area is Nordheimer Ravine and the adjacent park Sir Winston Churchill Park. The ravine follows the path of an old stream whose source of water have been diverted. Now the ravines are used for recreational and park purposes while sewers run under the ground. You can look up the hill and see two above ground structures (valve house and the lower portal building) associated with the City's St. Clair Reservoir built in 1930.

Spadina Bridge over Nordheimer Ravine
Some graffiti under the bridge deck
Valve House and Portal Building (lower) of the St. Clair Reservoir

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