One of my favorite stops was Casa Loma. It’s a huge castle in Toronto with 98 rooms, 33 of which are bathrooms! The owner, Sir Henry Mill Pellant, was extremely rich and extravagant in building his castle. He was the owner for less than 10 years. It took 300 men nearly 3 years to complete the building. Unfortunately, Sir Henry lost most of his money in the stock market crash and was never able to finish all his ideas for the inside of Casa Loma. The bank repossessed the Casa Loma and sold most of the things inside it to try and help recoup some of its money. Sir Henry died in the 1940’s.
I saw many ostentatious and fantastic things in Casa Loma. Sir Henry had two secret passageways from his study. One was to the upstairs and the other was to the wine cellar! His extravagant (never finished) swimming pool was lined in marble and had gold swans all around it. He also highly valued his horses. When one of his horses had teeth problems he had the vet replace the horse’s teeth with gold dentures!
We also visited Fort York. Our tour guide was a British soldier dressed as they would have been when Fort York was in use. He told us that Lake Ontario used to come right up to the edge of Fort York until it was pushed back. We learned that the officers were treated a lot nicer then the common soldier. We were also treated to a sugar cookie that they were making in the kitchens. At the end of the tour the British soldier/tour guide walked us through loading a musket and then he shot it off for us.
I was terrified that I would get seasick, but enjoyed the harbor cruise with no trouble at all! From our boat we saw swans and their five cygnets. They had a nest in the Toronto Islands. The people who lived on the islands owned their houses, but had signed a lease with the city for the land that the houses were on. After 99 years the city can repossess the land. The ferry that goes across the harbor takes 32 seconds to travel from the islands to the mainland.
One of our free evenings we went to a mall across from our hotel. There were many different stores then I was used to in our mall back home. My mom and I each got a set of earrings. I chose a set that had a dangling mouse on one side and a triangle of cheese on a post on the other side. I still have them and still get comments on them. Some people try to tell me that I’ve lost one earring and others just laugh when they see the mouse perpetually chasing the cheese on the other side of my head!
To be continued…
Read Part 1!
Read Part 3!