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.
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.
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.
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.
Wells Hill Park off St. Clair Avenue is conveniently situated at the gateway to this neighbourhood.
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.