This abandoned Hillside Estate has been for a long time, the one that got away. I estimate that I had checked on this one a good four or fives times before Zenning with Zay & I finally go to explore it. The grounds are maintained & the property is watched so I always felt I would never get a chance to explore it. In fact on this day I was so certain we would get in I told Zay to park in the driveway while I ran up to check. What I noticed right away was footprints ion the snow were not only from people, but many dogs. The neighbouring house which is right at the property's edge has large dogs which had barked like crazy at me before so I was hoping to avoid that happening again or have them come running at me! Things weren't looking good with everything locked up tight until I tried one last door & it opened!!! I ran back to the car & said "Let's go park....we're in!"
The Abandoned Hillside Estate was built in the 1940's in an area surrounded by farm fields making it an ideal place for total seclusion! It was by itself up until the 1960's when the surrounding was developed. Rumors swirled in the new development about the Abandoned Hillside Estate that there were secret tunnels under it but those were never confirmed & later owners said they found no evidence of such tunnels.
The amazing landscaping was created shortly after the estate was built by an English landscape architect & her husband & business partner. The couple has designed landscapes many private estates & founded a well known nursery which was needed to create the many beautiful landscapes with various shrubs & plants. For many years during the spring, nearby university students in the landscape architecture program would visits to study the grounds.
The family who built the estate immigrated to Canada & once the estate was complete, they named it after their home town in Italy. Several other buildings are on the property including a stone kennel for their Great Danes, groundskeeper's cottage, cabana with complete bar next to an in-ground swimming pool.
The estate has a huge art deco influence which can be spotted throughout. Virtually everything here is from the original build! The elegant winding staircase led to something truly amazing & what made me want to get in to explore. The latest owner's son begged his parents to keep the house exactly as it was when they purchased to save the character. This in turn made it an ideal place for filming as many places like this do not exist. Their son moved on to becoming a professor & chair in architectural history in a Georgian University!
The ballroom! Now this was awesome! The flooring is literally the most expensive that can be installed! Terrazzo, which I had no idea what it was until now consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass chips. It's either poured into to place or precast. Then the white strips are marble! This was truly a work of art accented with the gorgeous staircase & the bar locked in time from when it was first built!
Back up to the main floor just beyond the stair case you step down into a huge living room with a fire place & a walk out to an enclosed sun room. There is also a step up to the dining room which had rounded walls leading in. The dining room had curtains that would separate the living room while the staff set up the table for guests. It was quite an elegant place to say the least!
Interestingly, many of the families who lived in the Abandoned Hillside Estate were champion dog breeders & there is actually a tombstone located near the front of the grounds to honour two of the dogs who had lived here.
The rest of the basement wasn't that interesting until I found out some of the history. I didn't take pictures of every room down there as they weren't really interesting however I need to tell the story! There is a room in the basement that is lead lined. Why? I have no idea nor does any of the extensive history I found divulges the reasoning. There is a secret safe hidden away in a back room. The grounds & the mansion were used extensively in videos, commercials & television shows over the years however these days it sits, quiet. Over the years many events were held at the mansion & even included the likes of Willie Nelson! I sincerely hope that if others do find this place they treat it with the respect it deserves.