Casa Loma

Casa Loma is a Gothic Style house with gardens located in midtown Toronto. It was built over a three year period from 1911 - 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt - who upon its completion only lived there for ten years before leaving. At 98 rooms covering 64,700 square feet (6,011 m2), it was the largest private residence in Canada at the time. It houses bowling alleys, secret passages, stables and grounds, and an oven large enough to cook an ox. 

During the depression that followed World War One, the City of Toronto increased Casa Loma's annual property taxes from $600 per year to $1,000 a month, and Pellatt, already experiencing financial difficulties, was forced to auction off $1.5 million in art and $250,000 in furnishings. Sir Henry was able to enjoy life in the castle for less than ten years, leaving in 1923.

In 1933 the city siezed the castle - which was in serious disrepair - for unpaid back taxes. It was leased by the Kiwanis Club for 74 years after that, until the lease ended in 2011. It was also a secretive testing spot for sonar research during WWII. Today it stands as a tourist destination and the third floor is used by The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. 

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