Casa Loma

Historic Building in Yorkville & the Annex

Toronto's only castle may have never housed royalty, but it certainly has grandeur, lording over The Annex from a cliff that was once the shoreline of the glacial Lake Iroquois, from which Lake Ontario derived. A variety of themed guided tours are available. If you're in Toronto around Christmas, a visit is a must. Check the website for details. To reach the casa, climb the 27m Baldwin Steps up the slope from Spadina Ave, north of Davenport Rd.

The 98-room mansion – an architectural orgasm of castellations, chimneys, flagpoles, turrets and Rapunzel balconies – was built between 1911 and 1914 for Sir Henry Pellat, a wealthy financier who made bags of cash from his contract to provide Toronto with electricity. He later lost everything in land speculation, the resultant foreclosure forcing Hank and his wife to downsize.