Toronto audio tour: The Stately Houses of the Casa Loma District

The Stately Houses of the Casa Loma District

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

Join me on a casual stroll through one of Toronto’s oldest forests. Together we’ll explore the area just west of Casa Loma, Toronto's castle on a hill. In 1910, this area was in high demand because of its grand view of the city. Wealthy industrialists competed for the finest homes by hiring the best architects. This easy walk will take you to some of the neighbourhood’s most famous houses and tell you about the characters who inhabited them.

Some of the highlights along the way include:

• Discovering the story behind the famed Neilson house and the Maclean's magazine house.
• Hearing about Marshall McLuhan and the origins of the phrase “global village”
• Finding out about the early settlers of Casa Loma
• Seeing where Ernest Hemingway got his start as a writer
• Walking along the oldest beachfront in the city

This 45 minute tour starts at Casa Loma and finishes at St. Clair West subway station.

Tour Producer


Jonathan Spencer

I like exploring. I've wandered through cities all over the world, looking for stories and sights that aren't in the guidebooks. By day I launch ventures with non-profits. Way, way back I was a radio host for four years. A print version of this walking tour is available through Squashed Fly Press (ISBN 978-0-9952440-0-9) at [email protected]

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Major Landmarks

  • MacLean House

  • Neilson House

  • Lenwil House

  • Connable House

  • Dinwoody House

Directions to Starting Point

Standing in front of Casa Loma, look carefully before crossing the street, then turn left and walk west along Spadina Road to the little triangular parkette at the corner.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Wells Hill Park has picnic tables, washrooms and drinking fountains in summertime. The tour ends at the St Clair West subway station.

Best time of day

The streets are shady in summer, and the rabbits sometimes come out in the evening...


A note on accessibility: the area has ramped curbs at each intersection, and tactile paving at most intersections. Traffic lights at St Clair West have audible signals. There are sidewalks throughout, but only on one side of certain streets. Please do not enter the gardens or properties as these are private residences.


Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
The Stately Houses of the Casa Loma District