CBC News-Toronto’s Casa Loma immortalized on commemorative coin

(Original link at CBC News.)

Casa Loma $20 coin

The coin is a tribute to the stained glass McCausland dome that covers Casa Loma’s conservatory. (CBC/CBC News)

Published on Tue Aug 05 2014

Casa Loma, billed as Canada’s “most famous castle” and also often the centre of debate, has been immortalized on a commemorative coin.

The coin, made by the Royal Canadian Mint and unveiled on Tuesday, was created to celebrate the historic landmark.

The coin is a tribute to the stained glass McCausland dome that covers the building’s conservatory.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the coin is a fitting tribute to Casa Loma, which he describes as a “gothic revival jewel” celebrating the “highest form of architectural craftsmanship.”

It’s covered in translucent and opaque enamel to reflect light in the same way as stained glass.

Oliver says the “striking new coin” will serve as a tribute to one of Canada’s “artistic treasures.”

The silver Casa Loma coin, which has a face value of $20, is being sold for just under $130 by the mint and only 7,500 will be made.

Casa Loma

A commemorative coin minted with the image of Casa Loma was unveiled Tuesday.

Plagued by money issues

Casa Loma, essentially Spanish for hill house, was the creation of Sir. Henry Pellatt at the turn of the 20th century.

Pellatt, new money known largely for his role in bringing Hydro-Electricity to the area, bought the land for the castle in 1903 with construction beginning in 1911.

The castle was built by 300 workers over a period of three year at the cost of about $3.5 million at the time, which regarding inflation would be about $70 million today, according to Richard Fiennes-Clinton, a local historian and the founder of Muddy York Walking Tours.

Pellatt and his wife lived there for about 10 years before financial issues forced them to leave.

“Taxation went up; Pellatt’s property tax went from being $600 a year to $1,000 per month so he was driven out of the house.” Fiennes-Clinton said on Metro Morning Tuesday.

The castle then became a luxury hotel, host to a live band and popular among wealthy Americans in the times of prohibition.

Because of a high amount of back taxes the city took procession of the building in 1933 and in 1937 it was leased to the Kiwanis Club until 2011.

After expensive restoration and continued debate, in 2014 the lease went to Liberty Entertainment Group, which agreed to do more updating restoration.

Listen to Richard Fiennes-Clinton talk more about Casa Loma’s history here, or by clicking the icon on above.

With files from The Canadian Press

(Back to Casa Loma Trust website.)

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