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Casa Loma Revitalization

I don't have a strong interest in the decision either way but I agree with Tewder that Casa Loma is not an appropriate venue to be a museum of Toronto. It is actually a really bad idea to consolidate the two concepts. Casa Loma should be Casa Loma. It is entirely appropriate for it to be an event venue for instance but as a museum what do you do start gutting the rooms to install display cases?

Furthermore, from a strategic perspective housing a museum of Toronto in Casa Loma is an exercise in consolidation of amenities. Toronto, I feel, lacks museums and amenities, it doesn't have a surplus. Something like Toronto's old city hall is a far better venue to be re-purposed as a museum of Toronto. Casa Loma stands on it's own as the grand vision of a strange man.
 
I don't have a strong interest in the decision either way but I agree with Tewder that Casa Loma is not an appropriate venue to be a museum of Toronto. It is actually a really bad idea to consolidate the two concepts. Casa Loma should be Casa Loma. QUOTE]From the audio guide, Pellatt had intended Casa Loma to become a museum upon his death, having including very thick concrete flooring on the main level sufficient to support large military and other artifacts.
 
Adm Beez:

Pellatt's intention is one thing; appropriateness of the site as a museum is another (and that goes far beyond whether the structure is designed to handle museum level loading). The only thing I see as a positive regarding the site is the proximity to the City of Toronto Archives.

AoD
 
I saw a tweet last night from Councillor Matlow about a public consultation meeting underway concerning new uses for the northern part of the Casa Loma complex including the stables and the pottery shed. One of the items was incorporating a City of Toronto Museum which seems to be a good fit to get this project of the ground. Baby steps!
 
Why can't it just be a better version of what it is, i.e. a grand historic house open to the public? Like we have so many of them??
 
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Why can't it just be a better version of what it is, i.e. a grand historic house open to the public? Like we have so many of them??

I think the point is to make it more relevant to the lives of people in the city today. It just doesn't pull enough visitors in as an old house - and it was built with grand-scale entertainment in mind. If we've learned anything from Downton Abbey it's that these types of great old properties must adapt to changing times in order to remain profitable & relevant. If anything I think Casa Loma should have a lot more programming than less (while preserving the architecture and historical integrity)!
 
Why can't it just be a better version of what it is, i.e. a grand historic house open to the public? Like we have so many of them??

Unfortunately it is not grand or interesting enough just as a historic house to attract enough tourists.

It is not far from Neuschwanstein (12 euro or $17) but charges $24. I visited it for free with the free museum passes and usually advise others against visiting it for the price it charges. Simply not worth it. Fro Christ's sake it's almost as expensive as Sagrada Familia.
 
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I think the point is to make it more relevant to the lives of people in the city today. It just doesn't pull enough visitors in as an old house - and it was built with grand-scale entertainment in mind. If we've learned anything from Downton Abbey it's that these types of great old properties must adapt to changing times in order to remain profitable & relevant. If anything I think Casa Loma should have a lot more programming than less (while preserving the architecture and historical integrity)!

Perhaps part of the problem is the way it's being run, or the fact that it isn't getting enough exposure/marketing/branding etc? It has fallen off of people's radar. That said, I do agree that they need more interesting programming... and yes, the price of entry is ridiculous.
 
This appears to fit here.... See: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2022.GL32.34

General Government and Licensing Committee consideration on July 4, 2022
GL32.34
ACTION​
Ward: 12​
Next Steps for Casa Loma’s North of Austin Terrace Properties - Creating a Public Vision for a Public Heritage Site
Origin
(June 17, 2022) Letter from City Council referring Member Motion on Next Steps for Casa Loma’s North of Austin Terrace Properties - Creating a Public Vision for a Public Heritage Site​
Recommendations
Councillor Josh Matlow, seconded by Councillor Mike Layton, recommends that:

1. City Council direct the City Manager to fulfill Part 6 of City Council's Decision on Item 2013.EX35.2, and to report to the General Government and Licensing Committee in the first quarter of 2023.​
Summary
City Council on June 15 and 16, 2022, referred Motion MM45.25 to the General Government and Licensing Committee.

Summary from Member Motion:

Since being selected as the operator of Casa Loma, the Liberty Entertainment Group has unquestionably revitalized the heritage site. However, there is still a need for community consultation to create a vision for the North of Austin Terrace site.

The item at City Council that awarded the Request for Proposal to Liberty in 2013 was EX35.2 - Casa Loma Request for Proposals - Operator for Main House and Grounds. The Staff Recommendations for the item clearly delineated the North of Austin Terrace as a separate entity, intended for a different use and/or operator:

6. City Council request that the Casa Loma Corporation review options for the north portion of the Casa Loma complex, including consideration of issuance of an Request for Expressions of Interest, and in doing so:

a. identify a vision and uses for the north portion of the Casa Loma complex

b. ensure the vision and uses proposed are complimentary to the heritage, tourism and event uses at the Main House and Grounds

c. preclude the sale of City owned lands

d. provide that the review process includes significant community and key stakeholder consultation

In advance of awarding the Request for Proposal for the North of Austin Terrace site in April of 2015, Staff cited a lone public consultation meeting on February 26, 2015 in response to City Council Item IA43.1. This does not meet City Council direction as cited above in Recommendation 6 Executive Committee Item EX32.5 (2013) and ignores Recommendation 8, which obligated Staff to report back to City Council on Recommendation 6 prior to moving forward with a Request for Proposal:

8. City Council direct that Casa Loma Corporation, through the City Manager, report to Council on the review process for the north portion of Casa Loma; and that the City Manager report back on the appropriate future governance structure for the Casa Loma complex no later than the spring of 2015.

In short, the vision for the site was supposed to be set by the community and Council prior to the Request for Proposal being issued. This was not done. That’s why this Motion seeks to rectify this error by directing Staff to move forward with the process laid out in 2013 for the North of Austin Terrace Site.​
 
I'm happy with what Liberty have done with the place, having multiple businesses inside is a great way of engaging the community. They've added a few odd additions as of late to the front, but they're minor things more pointed toward the businesses they run.
 
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