Casa Loma: A place of beauty, history, and Pokemon Go

OK, I admit it. I got sucked into playing Pokemon Go this summer. Actually, it was all very professional: as soon as I heard that churches were somehow involved, I had to try it for myself. I started with an American account, but it wasn’t long before I was Canadian again. I discovered that our church is a gym. Also, it is a game that works best if you leave your house and go to places like Casa Loma.

Pokemon Go wasn’t the reason I ended up there this summer. At a charity auction (my husband and I seem to go to an awful lot of those!) we bought a pass to Toronto attractions that included places like the Toronto Zoo and the CN Tower. The kids enjoyed some of them, but my beloved and I were glad to have a day to poke around the castle we haven’t been to in years. It was much nicer than we remembered, especially the gardens.103If you’ve never been there, Casa Loma is the former home of Sir Henry Pellat, a businessman who began building it in 1911 (it took three years to complete) and lived there until bankruptcy forced him out in 1924. It has grand rooms and secret passageways, a conservatory, billiard room and smoking room. There are stables, a garage and several different gardens, all sitting on four acres of property.086Why we climbed all the way to the top of a turret on a #*%! hot day is beyond me. But at least we were rewarded with a lovely view of the gardens below. (I didn’t even drop my camera when I took the picture.)

Getting to see that garden close up was lovely. It was set up for a corporate event, which made it hard to get close to most of the perennial beds. On the other hand, it looks like a gorgeous place for a tea party!102After we popped in to see the potting shed (which was actually a bright and beautiful building with pretty period details) we met up with one of the gardeners. She was getting ready for that night’s event, too, picking rose petals to be used in the kitchen. How does one get invited to that sort of thing, anyway?106The property is filled with long, sweeping perennial borders and winding wooded paths. There is a lovely blue fountain, too, surrounded by benches to sit and enjoy the sunshine. Everything was immaculate and there wasn’t a weed in sight (I spied a number of gardeners quietly tending the beds. Obviously they are doing a great job).  097It was a beautiful day. We did exactly what one should do on a day set aside for rest: we wandered down beautiful paths, shared a drink on the patio and admired the flowers. Also, I caught my first Gastly, a dark Pokemon with big fangs and a cloud of poisonous gas. A little weird, maybe, but a nice day all the same. Thanks for everything, Casa Loma.100

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