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Casa Loma – a Canadian Castle
While we were planning our trip to Toronto, my sister told me that she wanted to visit a castle in Canada. I looked at her funny and said ‘um ok – plan it!’ thinking that this would just be a quick drive by on a hop on hop off tour.
The day we were planning to visit the castle, we woke up, and the weather was foggy and gross, so the family decided that we were not going to do the typical hop on – hop off tour and just go straight to the castle. I’m glad we did because even though we spent almost four hours touring Casa Loma, we enjoyed every minute of it.
Accessibility around Casa Loma
Knowing that this was going to be an older building, I was worried about accessibility to the different floors of Casa Loma. Their website gave me a complete list of what was accessible and what wasn’t. We did push the limits (as we always do on vacation) for what mom could maneuver but all in all the castle is mobility friendly, and if you are on crutches or in a chair, you are one of the few people who get to ride in the oldest elevator in a private home!
Luckily there are a limited number of wheelchairs available, but we brought out own transport chair.
Tour of Casa Loma
We toured Casa Loma on Saturday, December 2, 2017, and arrived around 10 am – thirty minutes after it opened. The first thing that we did was to take photos outside of the castle. It was a dreary day; there was not much competition to get the perfect shot; however, the lighting was terrible.
After spending a few moments enjoying the cold outside, we proceeded to go inside to purchase our tickets. The tickets to Casa Loma are $30 per adult, or you can get a discount if bought through Toronto City Pass. Parking is an additional $10. Each ticket also includes an audio tour which I highly recommend using!
Getting Around Casa Loma
We were able to successfully navigate around Casa Loma’s three floors, basement, and most of the tunnel with mom’s transport chair. The first floor was smaller and easy to navigate. The only time we had to get out of the chair was to go outside to view the gardens and to visit the atrium dome area.
We were able to navigate the entire second floor without any issues. My favorite sections of the second floor were seeing the different bedrooms for the family members and guests. Since I visited during the holiday season, each room was elaborated decorated with Christmas trees and other holiday décor. If you can visit Casa Loma during this season, it is worth the extra effort to see all the gorgeous decorations.
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Elevator Access in a Castle
One of the coolest thing about visit Casa Loma was using its elevator. The elevator was put in because Lady Mary Pellatt often needed a wheelchair in her grand home. The lift is a manual elevator that only the staff can operate. Only those with accessibility issues can use the elevator.
Even with only staff and those with accessibility issues using the elevator there were still times that there was congestion and waiting for the elevator. Luckily, we were a party of three so if the elevator took a long time, either my sister or I would go to the main floor to catch someone to assist with the lift.
The longest we had to wait for the elevator was when we were in the basement, and no staff had seen us. The reason why we had to wait so long was because the elevator was bringing cookies to the third floor and a character needed to use the elevator to go to another level. Eventually, the staff was able to assist. Overall using the lift was an easy and smooth experience.
The Castle Towers
Unfortunately, mom couldn’t climb up the stairs to the two towers. I also don’t suggest taking up these stairs if you haven’t eaten in a while because I got super dizzy walking up and down the stairs.
If you have some time, climbing up both towers is worth the scenery and view. You will notice that there is a lot of graffiti in the towers. There was a period where the castle was abandoned. Even though some of the dates are current – do not vandalize this castle. All guests are under surveillance, and I would hate to see what would happen if you got caught.
Castles in Canada
Casa Loma was my first Castle ever, and I am so happy that my sister decided that she wanted to go! I hope I can explore older, and more historical castles in future travels.
Have you ever visited a castle? If so let me know in the comments below where!
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