The City of Toronto may own the building called Casa Loma — but they don’t own the name, says the chair of the Kiwanis Club board of trustees for the famous castle.The Kiwanians mounted a vigorous attack Monday on the report of an advisory committee that says Casa Loma should be turned over to a newly created Casa Loma Trust that would manage all aspects of the building.
The city owns Casa Loma, but has allowed the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma to operate the castle for the past 70 years. The city is still responsible for maintaining the building’s exterior.
The advisory committee says a more clear-cut arrangement should be set up, and management wouldn’t necessarily be left in the hands of the Kiwanians.
Richard Wozenilek of Kiwanis harshly criticized the report today at a meeting the city’s economic development committee, saying the report is full of “innuendo and distortion.”
Speaking to reporters afterward, Wozenilek said that the Kiwanis Club owns the trademark of the Casa Loma name, which it would retain even if the city were to hand over management to another group.
The city “would have to come and speak to us” in order to get permission to continue calling the castle Casa Loma if new managers took over the castle, he said.
Wozenilek said Kiwanis owns the trademark to several other names such as “Toronto’s famous castle” and “Canada’s famous castle.”
Rita Davies, the city’s executive director of culture, said city lawyers have looked at the issue of who owns the Casa Loma name, and they say the city maintains rights to the name of the building.
An opinion from the legal department says the city has the right to register a name for a building that it owns, she said, and the existing Kiwanis trademarks do not restrict the city’s actions.
The city took over the castle in 1924 when the original owner Sir Henry Pellatt couldn’t pay the taxes on it. Kiwanis has run the castle since 1937 under a license agreement with the city.