Historic Homes in Toronto to Visit with Mom This Mother’s Day, Including a Late Icon’s Old Mansion
- May 7, 2016
Nothing takes your breath away quite like the style, elegance, and charm of an old Victorian manor. Walking through one can take you back in time, make you fall in love again, or simply let you dream of the high life and living. Toronto is no stranger to these fantastic homes, nor is it in short supply. All of them located in the heart of the city, they are all easily accessible and can provide a great way to spend this upcoming mother’s day. You can book a reservation to spend the night at most locations, and every location has available guided tours, letting you get the full experience of each location.
Simply dubbed, Toronto’s Camelot, Casa Loma serves as a premiere attraction and event space for the city. Built by Sir Henry Pellatt in 1914, it took 3 years and $3.5 million dollars to build (that’s approximately $80 million today with inflation). The city of Toronto seized Casa Loma from Sir Henry Pellatt after he went bankrupt in 1933, to repay some $30,000 in back taxes. After many failed attempts to turn Casa Loma into hotels, nightlife hotspots, school and art galleries, it was opened as a tourist attraction in 1937 and still flourishes as one today. Still owned by the city of Toronto, but run by the Liberty Entertainment Group, the castle is open to the public for guided tours, events, and the recently started escape challenge. For mom, the castle has stunning gardens, massive grounds to walk with winding paths, and 4 floors of stunning architecture to explore. Casa Loma is open to the public from 9:30am to 5:00pm and entry will only cost you $24.00. With a Café and Terrace Grill, you can dine in elegance and rest your weary feet once you have seen all of the castle. And to remember the day, you can grab a souvenir on your way out at the gift shop.
Looking to just send your mother out for a night on the town but need a place to book a room. Look no further than the Victoria Mansion. Located in the Church Street Village, the Victoria’s Mansion Guest House offers a unique way to spend the night, alternative to the usual hotel accommodations. Raised in the 19th century, this Victoria home was converted into a guest house, but retains the true feeling of Victorian charm. It is located close to the Royal Ontario Museum as well as other notable theatres, museums and galleries. Although breakfast is not included, you are a stone’s throw away from great local dining opportunities, and will receive a 10% discount while staying at the Victoria’s Mansion. Rates start as low as $69 a night, and rooms are all restored to original design, but also include common amenities such as cable television, a microwave, and a mini-fridge. Wow mom with a night’s stay in this old Victorian home, and allow her to explore the city, knowing she will rest in royal style.
Mackenzie House and Spadina Museum
Both locations built in the mid 1800’s the Mackenzie and Spadina houses are loaded with history. Mackenzie house, belong to the first Toronto mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, it has been restored and rests in downtown Toronto. It was awarded to him in recognition of his many years serving the community as mayor. Although his time in politics was widely regarded as controversial, he is still a prominent part of Toronto’s history, and the house stands as a symbol of Toronto’s urban Victorian past. The Spadina Museum was restored to represent the 1920’s and 1930’s. Today, the museum interprets the period between the wars, and boasts an impressive collection of period specific artifacts, furnishings and décor. The museum has been open to the public since 1984 and showcases a period of time when the city of Toronto dramatically changed. As well, Spadina Museum has recently opened a “Downton Abbey” style tour, letting fans of British television experience the shows on a more personal level. Both houses are open to the public and are a part of Toronto’s Historic Sites, where visitors and take guided tours and connect to the past. Daily tours run by the city are less than $10 and run from 12:00pm to 5:00pm daily.
The late, and great, Prince once resided in Toronto. Along the Bridal Path, tucked away next to other residences of the rich and famous, behind closed gates, was Prince’s mansion. The stunning Toronto home was purchased by the symbol in the early 2000’s, and it’s rumored to be the location to where he composed the album Musicology. As the house is now up for sale, anyone can request a tour of the mansion, and see what $12.7 million can buy you in today’s market. The mansion has its own tennis court and swimming pool, and is littered with floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights. Most of the home is decorated with marble floors and counter tops, and carries a more neutral tone, with the exception of a few rooms. Take your mom this mother’s day to a place she wished she could have visited 15 years ago, on a tour of Prince’s former mansion, with a quick stop in the bedroom.
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