After years of being abandoned, things are finally happening at one of Northern Ontario’s most infamous eyesores.
The Grant Mansion on Lake Temiskaming in Haileybury is said to be the largest house in Canada, but it was never completed.
Now he is ready to star in a new reality show called impossible mansion.
“It’s creepy, it’s scary, it’s destroyed. It’s a mess,” producer Theresa Kowall-Shipp said of the interior of the 65,000-square-foot home.
Forestry magnate Peter Grant envisioned a sprawling lakefront mansion when his company bought the land for $110,000 in 2004.
Plans were made for a huge underground boathouse, a golf course and a moat outside, while the inside would feature waterfalls, an art gallery and just one bedroom.
Listed for $25 million in 2010, it was sold to a Toronto-based corporation that has done little to the property other than put up fencing and security cameras, though that hasn’t stopped vandals and curious visitors from trespassing.
“People come to town and want to know where it is and if they can come take a look,” said Temiskaming Shores Mayor Jeff Laferriere.
Kowall-Shipp says a Texas businessman named Chris Fischer, whom he describes as “bold, irreverent and a master of sarcasm,” recently took possession of the home through a private seller mortgage repayment agreement with the numbered company .
“It’s looking at a lot of different possibilities for what this property could become, what this house could become. That’s a big part of the story we’ll follow,” he said.
impossible mansionwhich is currently being marketed on television networks and streaming services, would also tell the “fish in the water” story of a Texas family who moves to northern Ontario to take on this major renovation project, which is expected to take several years to complete.
“The plan is that we will follow them to the house in the spring and observe and record what happens when they get in there,” Kowall-Shipp said.
“Right now I’m looking at the building from my office,” Mayor Laferriere said.
“You know, just watching it rot has been a challenge.”
He says people in Temiskaming Shores are excited to finally see something happen with the house and “it’s going to be a challenge, but at the same time, what a great idea.”