Inside the Peter Grant Mansion, Canada's biggest abandoned house | – lovePROPERTY

Once set to be the largest mansion in Canada, this huge home has been left to rot and decay over the years. Via images captured by urban explorer Freaktogrophy, we examine the fascinating history of this abandoned building. Dubbed the Peter Grant Mansion, to be filled to the brim with luxurious features, such as a waterfall, small golf course, two swimming pools, indoor boat garage, squash court and an observation lighthouse. But today, all that remains is an empty shell left open to the elements. Click or scroll to take a look inside an extravagant mansion that was never completed…
Peter Grant, the multi-millionaire owner of Grant Forest Products Corporation, began work on his dream home way back in 2005. He had made his fortune in wood after setting up his company in 1980; it soon became North America's third-largest supplier of oriented strand board. Grant bought a 43-acre plot of land on the picturesque shores of Lake Temiskaming in Northern Ontario for CAD$110,000 ($88k/£65k) and made plans to build a huge custom mansion. 
However, even as Peter Grant's dream mansion neared completion, construction halted in 2008. The global economic recession had financially crippled him and in 2009 – after filing for court protection from creditors, with roughly CAD$600 million ($479m/£353m) of debt – all of the company's assets, including the mansion, were put up for sale. 
The project was so far along when construction halted that most of its exteriors are complete, leaving the solid shell of the building standing. Grant had planned for the building to serve as both his personal home and corporate office. After his company's 2009 downfall, the property sat idle until it was put on the market in 2010 for CAD$25 million ($20m/£15m). 
At the height of his career, Grant was Canada's 87th wealthiest person, with a net worth of CAD$381 million ($304m/£224m) in 2004. However, within a few years of his fall from grace the remnants of his titular mansion-to-be had been snapped up by an unknown Toronto company. Still, there were hopes that the mansion might finally be finished in accordance with its intended glory. 
But the costs of completing the mansion and making it a home were estimated at CAD$1 million ($800k/£589k). The company that had purchased the property reportedly failed to pay taxes on it for three years running, so the town of Haileybury moved to put the proposed Peter Grant Mansion on the market. However, in the final hours before the sale, the mysterious Toronto company paid their debts, and are thought to still own the home today. 
Now inhabited solely by security cameras dotted around the grounds and the main building, the infamous Peter Grant Mansion still remains untouched to this day. As you can see from this room, the property is in an uninhabitable condition. 
Rather than the home it was conceived as, the mansion currently has an industrial feel to it, doubtless a result of being left abandoned for over a decade. The building is haunted by potential and the thwarted promise of what it could have been. For example, what could have been a stunning feature fireplace surrounded by a brick wall has been left empty in this living area, yearning for a new owner to come and make use of it.  
Much of the building's glass exterior has been damaged by vandals, although there are places where it remains untouched. But in a room that should have been filled with luxury furniture, all that's left today in this particular space is a single discarded chair.
With reports suggesting that the home occupies a sprawling 65,000 square feet, it requires only a little imagination to envisage how amazing the mansion could have been, had it been finished. The statement stone walls are complete, though this corner has been left without flooring and has a red cross beside one of the doors and you can see evidence of damp forming on the floor. 
As with much of the rest of the house, the floors are still unfinished along this long corridor. The plywood is exposed, the electrical wiring has not been completed and many of the walls remain incomplete. However, one can easily imagine this stylish brick wall serving as a focal point of the home. 
At the turn of each corner, you'll find equipment leftover from when the mansion was still being built. This small empty alcove had the potential for many purposes but is instead being used merely as a storage space for old materials. 
Heading further into the home, a foreboding vibe is set by a message of "Do not enter" alongside this corridor entrance. Whether left by the long-vanished building crew or the vandals who've since prowled the property, we're not sure we'd walk any further along the wooden corridor, no matter how luxurious it seems!
The swimming pool is hidden in the depths of the unfinished mansion. Instead of being filled with turquoise waters, as planned, it now contains debris and discarded wood left over from the abruptly curtailed works. Peter had envisaged the building serving as both his home and workplace, and this pool could have been the perfect place to unwind after a hard day's work. 
One of two indoor swimming pools in the building, it's not hard to imagine how luxurious the finished room might have been. A small, curved set of stairs would have led into the shallow end of the pool, while windows offered views out across the scenic lake. 
The ultimate fixer-upper, every corner of the home needs a helping hand. Towards the back of the pool room sits this spiral staircase. The Peter Grant Mansion could have been a work of art; instead, it's a concrete shell in dire need of a big cash injection to realise the architect's vision and turn it into a luxury lakeside home.
Ascend the spiral staircase to the mysterious first floor, and you'll discover the upper level is just as barren as below. Its concrete walls are decorated solely by a small graffiti mark left by one of the many visitors who have passed through uninvited over the years. 
Along with the spiral staircase, an empty lift shaft suggests what would have been an alternative way to reach the deepest corners of the sprawling mansion. However, with the elevator itself not having been installed before works ceased, all that remains is a plywood box surrounded by unfinished walls. It's more of a hazard than anything. 
With the contractors seemingly having upped and left in a hurry, many of the rooms are littered with the building materials of yesteryear. For the most part an empty shell, only the stunning wood-panelling on the back wall offers a hint of the intended vision for this abandoned room.
The upper floor is even more empty than the lower level. This huge atrium boasts towering ceilings and is flooded by light from the huge windows. However the walls are yet to be built. One can't help but wonder what material would have been used? 
This hallway was set to be a real focal point of the home. However, left draped in plastic sheeting and with a bare staircase, there's nothing opulent about it. What's more, the window has been damaged, only increasing the bill for repairing and completing the home, which already stands at upwards of CAD$1 million ($800k/£589k). 
The upper level still offers hardy visitors some panoramic views. A peaceful spot amongst the debris and decay, this space would have been sure to impress Grant's guests. 
However, further along the corridor the chaos and mess returns. This small room is dotted with dirt and debris left by the vanished workers. On the other side of the wall we can spy rare evidence of life: a small green mug perched upon an upturned table. 
Conceived as a playground for the super-rich, the home ended up a partly-finished relic of hubris. The massive mansion was supposed to come complete with a massive boat dock. Now frozen over with ice, the space is left wasted and unusable. 
From the outside the effects of the neglect are clear to see. Peppered with overgrown grass, this courtyard space has definitely seen better times. The door has been left ajar, allowing anyone to enter the home. 
This was intended to be a flowing waterfall, but has long since dried up. Starved of necessary electricity, the outside area is only a shadow of what it could have been, and has been left to decay for years. 
However, if you look up, the main building is complete, with wood cladding on the exterior offering a taste of what to expect inside. And even in this state, it's possible to get a sense of the property's limitless potential. We can't wait to see what the future holds for the unlucky mansion. 
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21 January 2022
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