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Sir Henry Pellatt:

 

King of Casa Loma

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When Sir Henry was born in Kingston, Ontario his father, a banker, had already fallen on hard times and was virtually personally bankrupt.
 
 
As a youth Sir Henry was a noted athlete, winning the one mile championship of America in 1879. Starting his financial career at 15, Sir Henry laid the foundation of his fortune by his shrewd investments in stock of the Northwest Land co. at a time when few businessmen had any faith in the west. He became known as the only many who would buy Northwest stock at any time at any price.
 
Sir Henry enjoyed reading about the knights of bygone days and admired the ancient castles he saw on trips to England and continental Europe.Sir Henry rose through the ranks of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada to become commanding officer and during his tenure he took the entire regiment to England in 1910 at his own expense, to participate in the British Army maneuvers (saber rattling) that year. .
 
The castle took three years to build and from 1900 to 1914 he poured $3.5 million into the building. Toronto architect E.J. Lennox, the same person who built the old City Hall and many, many other buildings in Toronto, constructed the castle from sketches of European castles.
 
During WW11, the stables and carriage house were used by Corman Engineering Ltd., of Toronto, to assemble ASDIC, the sonic apparatus used in the war, most effectively by ships to detect U-boats.
 
In 1924, Toronto's greatest auction sale was held at Casa Loma and the treasures which Sir Henry had accumulated for his castle were sold to the highest bidder.
 
From 1928 to 1929 the castle came to life when an attempt was made to run it as an apartment hotel.
 
On his 80th birthday, January 6, 1939, Sir Henry was honored at a dinner given by 225 men who made the trip to England with the Queen's Own Rifles.
A few months later he was dead, dying in the home he was staying in with his former chauffeur's family, leaving an estate of only 35,000 dollars. .
       
 
 
 

 

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