Casa Loma, which is owned by the city, has been operated by the Kiwanis since 1937. (Wikimedia Commons)
Published on May 17 2011
The City of Toronto has agreed in principle to take back control of Casa Loma, the historic castle the Kiwanis Club has operated for almost three-quarters of a century.
The city, which owns the castle, has left its operation to the Kiwanis since 1937.
Under the proposed deal, the city will pay the club $1.45 million in exchange for certain artifacts and the right to nine trademarks associated with the castle, including the “Casa Loma” name and the term “Toronto’s Majestic Castle.”
The city will create a new corporation to oversee the operation of the site temporarily before it is turned over to a third party. Under the current plan, five city staff but no councillors will sit on the corporation’s board.
Council’s executive committee will vote next week on the deal, which will then have to be approved by council at large.
The deal comes almost three years after the city decided to grant the Kiwanis a new 20-year contract to operate the castle.
In 2010, council voted to review the relationship after city staff claimed the club failed to complete renovations in a timely manner and voiced concerns about other operational issues.
Entrepreneur Sir Henry Pellatt built Casa Loma at the foot of Spadina Road near St. Clair Avenue West in the early 1900s at a cost of $3.5 million.
When Pellatt went bankrupt, the castle was sold. The subsequent owner failed to pay property taxes, resulting in the city seizing the property in 1933, before handing control of it to the Kiwanis four years later.