Our Ontario Trip plus Communities in Bloom Symposium 2003
originally were coming to Stratford for the Communities in Bloom Symposium
(ICanGarden.com is one of the national media partners), but knowing that
this was also prime time to visit some places we had never been to before,
our little three day trip ended up from September 22nd to September 29th and
there was still more we could have seen!
arrived in Toronto to rain and decided to exchange our convertible for
something else because it called for rainy weather the whole week. We ended
up with a vehicle we hadn’t even heard of until we were sitting in it – a
Toyota Sequoia. Well, I have to tell you we were impressed. For you who own
one, I am sure you love it…you feel so safe and comfortable. The sun roof
was an added bonus because when it did shine, we just opened it up to enjoy.
started our trip by visiting Casa Loma. All the times I have been to
Toronto, I had not visited this place. I am usually there just for Canada
Blooms, then head off to either the Philadelphia Flower Show or the Boston
Flower Show and really March is not a good time to visit the gardens anyway.
Casa Loma was indeed a wonderful surprise.
a partner in Pellatt and Pellatt, Sir Henry was a business visionary. In
the same year that Thomas Edison developed steam-generated electricity,
Sir Henry realized that supplying electricity could be extremely
profitable. He founded the Toronto Electric Light Company in 1883. By the
time he was thirty, the Toronto Electric Light Company enjoyed a monopoly
on the supply of street lighting to the city.
1892 his father retired, enabling Sir Henry to invest with more risk.
Despite vigorous discouragement from his friends he purchased stock in the
Canadian Pacific Railroad and in the North West Land Company. As with
steam-generated electricity, his intuition was right on target. A liberal
immigration policy led to opening of the Canadian west which led to
healthy profits from his investments in both the Canadian Pacific Railroad
and in the North West Land Company.
1901, Sir Henry was chairman of 21 companies with interests in mining,
insurance, land and electricity. In 1902, he and his partners won the
rights to build the first Canadian hydro-generating plant at Niagara
Falls. He was knighted in 1905 for his military service with the Queen's
Midas touch continued through most of his business life. In 1911, armed
with a fortune of $17 million, Pellatt drew up plans to build his dream
castle with Canadian architect E. J. Lennox. The land on which he planned
to build had been given a name by its previous owner: "house on the hill"
or Casa Loma.
Loma took three years and $3.5 million to build. Sir Henry filled Casa
Loma with artwork from Canada and around the world. Casa Loma stood as a
monument to its creator - it surpassed any other private home in North
America. With its soaring battlements and secret passageways, it paid
homage to the castles and knights of days gone by.’
took quite a few pictures and Tom even went to the top to get some pictures
of the view and the huge beams that were used – he put his pen leaning up
against one to give you an idea of the size…and the shower was one of the
first in Toronto…surround water!
their site and read up on this wonderful Castle and Gardens. Thank you to
Lou Seiler for providing us the opportunity of visiting this piece of
Spadina House was just across the street from Casa Loma, we decided to walk
over there but since it was after 4 p.m. the house was closed but the
gardens were still open to take a peek at. This grand Victorian home was
built in 1866, by James Austin. His granddaughter, Anna, who lived in the
house from 1942 until 1982, gave Spadina and its six-acre property to the
city. It opened as a museum in 1984, complete with much of the Austin
furnishings. It is maintained today by Heritage Toronto.
Pronounced "spa-dee-na," as the avenue should be but never is, this
1866 house is filled with arts and artifacts of the James Austin family,
prominent in the natural gas, railroad, and banking businesses. Members of
the family lived here from Victorian times until 1982, when it was turned
over to public ownership. The 50-room house has been restored with period
wallpaper, upholstery, and furniture, and crystal chandeliers burn softly
with natural gas. Docents tend the magnificent gardens and the small
orchard; they make jam in summer and bread in winter and give guided tours.