Casa Loma : Michelin's recommendations
This enormous sandstone castle, completed in 1914, was the lavish 98-room residence of prominent industrialist Sir Henry Pellatt. Maintained since 1937 by the Kiwanis Club, the Medieval mansion is a popular tourist attraction. Casa Loma's creator amassed a fortune from hydroelectric exploitation of Niagara Falls. Edward J. Lennox combined sketches of castles Pellatt drew as a youth during world travels to design a home to the owner's liking. Three years and $3.5 million later, the interior was still not finished; nevertheless, in 1914 the Pellatts moved in, staying less than 10 years. High upkeep plus a reversal in Sir Henry's enterprises led to his losing Casa Loma to the City of Toronto for back taxes. The "house on the hill," as its Spanish name translates, stands on the crest of Davenport Ridge-the edge of glacial Lake Iroquois, which existed after the last Ice Age. Seven storeys in height, the castle boasts two towers-one open-air, the other enclosed-which offer good views of the city; secret passageways; and a 244m/800ft underground tunnel to the magnificent carriage house and stables. The palatial residence includes 21 fireplaces, a great hall (22m/70ft ceiling), a marble-floor conservatory, an oak-panelled drawing room and a library for 10,000 books. Especially well appointed are the Round Room with its exquisite Louis XV tapestry furnishings, the Windsor Room and Lady Pellatt's suite. Awash in conveniences uncommon in pre-World War I homes, the estate features an unfinished indoor swimming pool, 52 telephones, an elevator, a pipe organ and concealed steam pipes.