Abandoned Houses

Peter Grant Mansion in Haileybury – Canada’s Largest Mansion

Talking Walls Photography

Talking Walls Photography

At 65,000 square feet, this vacant mansion goes by different names – Haileybury House, Peter Grant Mansion or simply “Canada’s Largest Mansion”. It was built along the shores of Lake Temiskaming in Northern Ontario by Peter Grant Junior.

Peter Grant grew up in the New Liskeard area. He started as a plant manager for Elk Planning Mill Limited and became president of the company in 1976. The same year he became president of the Grant Lumber Company Limited. which held partial ownership of the Elk mill until 1995.

Mr. Grant started Grant Forest Products in 1980, making him the 87th richest person in Canada by 2004. His company was North America’s third largest supplier of oriented strand board. Peter built his own private nine hole golf course named Frog’s Breath. He used his money for philanthropy, raising millions for charity through the Frog’s Breath Foundation.

In 1998, he held the first of many annual fundraising events, raising $523,000. In 2005, $500,000 raised was split between the Temiskaming Hospital and the Englehart and Area Community Complex. In 2006 the foundation was able to donate $750,000 towards the Kirkland District Health Centre.

Over a period of 9 years these golf tournaments raised over $12 million dollars with the help of hundreds of volunteers, community supporters and the generosity of Grant Forest Products Incorporated who matched the event proceeds.

By 2007 however the tournament was cancelled, citing the financial downturn in the lumber industry.

Construction of the mansion began in 2005, which was to be used as both Peter’s home and a corporate office. The house was to feature an art gallery, waterfalls, golf course, and squash court. It has two elevators, a boat house big enough for a 40-foot yacht, an indoor pool, a giant hot tub and 30-foot fireplaces in the master bedroom and living room.

By 2009, the American housing market downturn led to the company filing for court protection from creditors, with a roughly $600,000,000 debt. All of the company’s assets, including the mansion, were put up for sale. Construction of the house stopped in 2008.

In 2010 the property was listed for sale at $25,000,000 and sat idle for a few more years until being purchased by a Toronto company. For three years the company failed to pay the taxes on the property and the town of Haileybury put the property up for sale. In the final hours before the sale, the company came forward and paid the taxes owing.

It’s estimated that the property would need $1 million just to complete the construction. The mansion sits in disrepair. The floors are still plywood, electrical wiring hasn’t been completed, the walls were left unfinished and the property has an industrial look to it rather than a home.

The property has been fenced off and No Trespassing signage posted.

Several other abandoned mansions can be found on my blog – right here

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11 Comments

  1. That mansion is somwthing i been looking and waiting to go take some.photos!

    Any info on how to get there or tips and tricks? I would like to come summer if it is possible.

    Any other cool places you can recommend to a fellow photographer 🙂

    1. I live right near it. There is no real trick to getting in. Just walk through the big open fence. Walk up to the house. Open any door and walk in. Hundreds of people do it on the regular. Kids party in there all the time. People also often come in from the lake wide with their small boats. You can literally drive your boat right into the open boat house and tie off, get out and walk around. It is not much to see these days. Stupid people have vandalized it beyond recognition. If you have a good imagination though you can kind of picture what it could have been. It is still quite impressive.

    2. This mansion is completely hated by the town of Haileybury that it sits just out of town. The town is beautiful, I grew up there. It’s an old town with alot of the older town with gorgeous big homes with a lot of brick. They sit facing the lake as well. This mansion is an eyesore, even if it were to be completed. It doesn’t fit in with the towns around. He also built it on a favoured fishing area for the locals, that thought was very unfair. If you have the money to finish it, perhaps minds would change eventually. This person is not doing a job of explaining it. It has a helepad, office areas, set away from the living area. 2 elevators and a huge cement staircase. If it’s something that you could run a business out of, as Peter had envisioned, it would help the economy by employing people. I would move back for a job for sure. Then absolutely thoughts might change. The windows are all shot out. The lake freezes over and people vome from across which is Quebec. In summer lots of boats on the lake, I had one. Gteat fishing. Yhe lake is 5 miles wide and is the head of the Ottawa river, fed by the Montreal river. Getting a spot on the lake front is very favourable. Just thought I would give you a bit of a heads up and a breaf history of how the town feels. Best of luck if you plan on buying it. Would certainly be a beautiful home that you could work out of, with helecopter accessibility. Take care. Pauline.

  2. We’re is Mr Grant’s family? I’m sure they would have wanted to making something out of this to assist people. I will pray that the Lord will see over the financial and use this in his Grace. Amen. Blessings JS

    1. My name’s Brent, I’m a recovering addict. I don’t know how but I feel God gave me vision and purpose a month ago to spare my life. He just confirmed with me seeing your post that this will happen if I listen and follow his will. I’m kinda freaked out! I have nothing except the power of the living God behind me.
      I praise his grace. Please add to your prayer to help my relationship get stronger so this can happen soon. Brent

      1. Brett. Not sure what your deal is. Glad you got clean. But god, I assume a Christian god or any god, ain’t real.

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