Earlier this week the company I work for had our annual Fall manager’s meeting at the historic Casa Loma. The last time I visited Casa Loma was on a school trip when I was about 9 or 10 years old so I probably didn’t appreciate the details of the castle that much then – but boy did I this time….
clockwise from top left: ceiling in the library / floor detail in one of the bathrooms / close up of ceiling in library / more beautiful floor details in another bathroom
I’m a huge history buff. I love learning about the past. About the way people lived 40 years ago or 400 years ago or 4000 years ago (hence my love of ancient Egyptian history). I am endlessly amazed that I can basically walk in the paths and sit in the rooms that people who lived decades (centuries!) before me did. That I can see things with my own two eyes that they did. [My sister things that makes me a bit of a dork but I always ask her “how can you not be excited by that?!?!” (and she’ll respond by looking at me wide-eyed and in disbelief and say “you really are excited aren’t you???” while she shakes her head in pity lol).] I’ll have all these questions and thoughts running through my mind about the people who lived there, who worked, who visited there…ugh, it’s so amazing. And the details in this castle are breathtaking. Do you see those floors? I’m saving those photos for inspiration for when I own my own home because I want floors like that somewhere in my future home. While at the castle I also participated in the Hollywood tour (where the very knowledgeable guide also told us a bit about the man who had the castle built and what became of him) and learned about some of the many movies that have been filmed there.
Do the following two pictures look at all familiar?
If you’re a fan of the X-Men series (like I am) then they should!The interior of Casa Loma was used in the filming of the movies (I think just the first and second movie and then they filmed in Vancouver…so they must have used a recreated set or something) as the interior of Professor Xavier’s school for the gifted – aka the X-Men Headquarters!
Remember when Storm was teaching her class? That took place in the conservatory. And I couldn’t find a good photo from the movie, but if you remember any hallway scenes – particularly in the first movie when Wolverine was on the medical table and Dr. Grey was looking over him for the first time and he tore off all the monitors and ran through the halls? Yup! That’s the exact hall above. I’ve known the movie was filmed there for years now but this was my first time being there since knowing that…so it was kinda cool to walk into the room and be like, “this is where Storm taught!” or “this was Professor X’s office!” Haha. I kinda am a dork.
Our meeting ended just after 5 pm and the castle closes to tourists & visitors at 5 pm – so we were the last to leave. As I was leaving I said to one of the staff that I was hoping they closed later because I would have loved to wander around a bit and they very kindly allowed me to explore until their shift ended at 5:30. Have you every wandered a 100+ year old castle by yourself? Well, almost by yourself except for a handful of staff. It was incredible. I wandered into what was originally the library and was then used as a ballroom in the 20/30s (if I’m remember what I learned correctly) where one of the employees was playing the piano. You could almost envision the grande balls that were probably had in that room. It was hauntingly beautiful.
At any rate, although I was there for the entire day most of it was spent in a meeting and I would have loved to explore more – this visit definitely whetted my appetite and I will definitely be returning for a proper visit and tour – if not later this season then in the Spring (because I expect the gardens are beautiful). If you’re ever in Toronto I’d highly suggest you visit it too.
Happy Friday and have a great weekend! And Happy Thanksgiving Long Weekend to my fellow Canadians!!