This Gothic mansion turned museum and cultural landmark in Toronto offers tours, dining and seasonal events. 

Every once in a while, you want to feel like royalty, and at midtown Toronto’s Casa Loma, that’s taken quite literally. With 100-year-old turrets towering just miles from city skyscrapers, the 98-room, 180,000-square-foot property is a Gothic mansion turned museum and cultural landmark. Constructed between 1911 and 1914 for notable military officer and investor Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, the castle now welcomes guests year-round for self-guided tours of the fortress.

Gawk at the original snarling gargoyles, get lost in the beautiful 5-acre flower garden and marvel at the two-story wine cellar. Make sure to save room for dinner, too. Come nightfall, the property’s old outpost transforms into BlueBlood, a top-rated Toronto steakhouse. Enjoy expertly prepared beef and fresh seafood alongside wines in an elegant setting. Lounge in custom-crafted booths underneath the castle’s authentic antler chandeliers and admire art from around the world.

While adults love the mansion’s charm and cultured feel, it captures the imagination of kids, too. They can climb the spiral staircases, walk the secret tunnels and play prince or princess in the gardens. Casa Loma has also hosted Hollywood film crews within its walls, and the historic structure takes on a wonderfully spooky feel as the calendar turns to October each year. Throughout the Halloween season, classic tours are put on hold in the evenings and the property is transformed into a dwelling for some of history’s scariest characters.  

1 Austin Terrace, Toronto, Ontario, 416/923-1171, casaloma.ca