On a recent road trip, Zenning with Zay & I decided to explore the Abandoned Peter Grant Mansion! We had both been well aware of this massive abandoned mansion but never really wanted to check it out for ourselves. Why? Well to be honest, none of the pictures I have come across made me think it was worth the trip. Most pictures I saw were crappy cell phone shots. With social distancing now being a thing we decided to check it out!
This was the perfect place for me to put my drone to the test! Its such a unique mansion & massive that the only way I could really capture it all is from the sky! I was able to get some great shots but the wind was pretty strong so I couldn't go as high I wanted too.
The mansion was built by Peter Grant as a combination home and office for his now defunct company Grant Forest Products. The mansion was built on a 43 acre lakefront property & is a massive 65,000 square feet in size. This is the biggest mansion in Canada & is about 20,000 square feet bigger than The White House!
We started the explore on the top floor of the mansion. It was a weird area which probably was built to be an observation deck to look out over the lake & across to Quebec. Surprisingly this was where majority of the graffiti in the mansion was. It was terrible too.
The second level down seemed odd. It was significantly bigger than the top floor but was set up like offices. While doing my research I found out that it was indeed an office as Mr. Grant had planned on using it for his headquarters & not just a living space. Everything was just so huge here!! We weren't really that excited about this area as it was pretty bland & had no idea what else was in store for us.
We had finished the top three floors of one area of the Abandoned Peter Grant Mansion however there was still the basement as well as the northern wing! This is where things really became interesting & amazing! I assumed that one side was likely a museum for his own collection, however after some research it turns out this was the main living area!
The wings were connected but a corridor with floor to ceiling windows. Most of the mansion was unfinished however this wing seemed to be the closest to being complete. There was so much amazing brickwork throughout. I especially enjoyed the window room which I would assume made a sweet breakfast nook! The Abandoned Peter Grant Mansion was really just so unbelievable!
The above shots are from the master bedroom! The bedroom has an absolutely huge gas fireplace! A local realtor said it was 30 feet across but I would disagree & say its at most 20 feet. Either way that is one sweet fireplace! The master bedroom was pretty fancy however the view of the lake is unbeatable! There was also two doors leading out to a large balcony that wrapped partially around the room.
We then headed down to the basement of the south wing. This was amazing with a massive indoor pool & hot tub. I know i keep mentioning it, but everything here was so friggin massive. The massive steel spiral staircase that went from the top floor to the bottom felt more like something you would find in a hospital, however it was still pretty photogenic!
We were unable to find a way to the north wing basement therefore we had to head outside. The main back patio featured a waterfall into a pool! This was pretty damn amazing to say the least!
This area was probably my favourite spot of the entire mansion. There was some decent decay starting from water making its way in! One wall featured an incredible mosaic with some green algae growing on it! Behind that room was what I can only imagine was a wine cellar. Two areas here had ares where you could look up to the main floor so obviously I had to capture that. It was probably a good 60 feet from the floor to ceiling in these areas!
There was one final area of the mansion we hadn't explored, the boat house. This massive room could accommodate a 40 foot yacht & could be completely protected from the elements.
Founded in 1980 by Peter Grant, the family-owned business expanded rapidly as the housing bubble grew in the United States. At its peak in 2004, Grant operated six mills – two in Ontario, one in Alberta and two in South Carolina – and was North America's third-largest maker of oriented strand board (OSB), a product similar to plywood that's used to build walls, floors and roofs.
The success prompted Mr. Grant to branch out. He started building a golf course in nearby Earlton, Ont., acquired a 65-foot yacht made partly made out of OSB, and snapped up acres of land around Timmins.
In 2005 he started work on the Haileybury house, hoping to use it as an office complex, living quarters and a showcase for Grant products. The monster-home dwarfs everything else in the area and was supposed to come complete with a small golf course in the surrounding acreage.
By 2007, Mr. Grant's fortunes turned. The housing market in the United States began to collapse, dragging down OSB prices and forcing Grant to cut production. Within two years, OSB prices had fallen by two-thirds and Grant's sales had dropped from $500-million to $184-million. Even worse, the downturn came just after the company had launched a costly expansion project at two mills.
The company tried to keep going but by June, 2009, it succumbed and filed for court protection from creditors, citing nearly $600-million in debt. The mills have since been sold by the monitor, Ernst & Young, and all remaining assets are up for sale.
Mr. Grant abandoned the Haileybury project in 2008, leaving a partly finished relic. If he could have hung on just a bit longer, the company might have survived. By 2010, the housing market began to turn around and China started snapping up Canadian forest products. Prices for OSB jumped 34 per cent last year and Toronto-based Norbord Inc., one of the largest OSB makers still standing, reported a profit for the first time in four years. Even more telling, Atlanta-based giant Georgia-Pacific, which bought three of Grant's mills, recently announced that it is close to reopening the mills to take advantage of the upturn in the market.