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Gigantic Abandoned Home to be Transformed for Reality TV Show

Canada’s largest house, the neglected Grant Mansion, is set for a transformation, documented in the reality TV show ‘Mansion Impossible.’ The series will capture the renovation journey of a Texas family in northern Ontario.

By Beth Snider · February 10, 2024

The Peter Grant Mansion

After years of neglect, Canada’s largest house, the Grant Mansion on Lake Temiskaming in Haileybury, is about to transform, and it’s all set to be documented in a proposed reality TV show titled “Mansion Impossible.” The 65,000-square-foot mansion, owned by forestry magnate Peter Grant, was never completed and has become a notorious eyesore in northern Ontario. However, Texas entrepreneur Chris Fischer has recently taken possession of the property, and plans are underway for a major renovation project.

The Grant mansion, known for its sprawling lakefront location, design, and colossal size, was originally envisioned to feature two adjoining structures connected with a glass bridge. One section was intended to be Mr. Grant’s residence, the other for a corporate office. Before being abandoned, the mostly built structure, with two swimming pools, towering windows, an indoor boat garage, elevators, and an observation lighthouse, stoods as one of the largest abandoned residences globally.

The structure was planned to be a residence for Mr. Grant and a corporate office space  Bright Sun Films/YouTube

Grant Forestry Products faced financial setbacks during the 2008 global recession, leading to bankruptcy and liquidation. Construction of the mansion was nearing completion when the company revealed it was over $600 million in debt. The property went up for sale in 2010, listed at $25 million, and eventually sold to Crown Capital Corporation for an undisclosed amount. Neglect and unpaid property taxes culminated in the city’s control, with a public auction starting at $152,700 garnering no offers and the property remained abandoned, attracting vandals and curious visitors.

The view from the planned master bedroom  Bright Sun Films/YouTube

In the fall of 2023, Chris Fischer, described as an “audacious, irreverent, master of sarcasm,” acquired the property through a private vendor take-back mortgage agreement with the previous owner, and now has a new makeover in its future

Mansion Impossible” aims to follow the journey of Chris Fischer and his family as they tackle a massive renovation project. The show, currently being pitched to TV networks and streaming services, promises to capture the challenges and triumphs of turning the derelict mansion into a livable space.

Producer Theresa Kowall-Shipp, who is spearheading the reality show, described the mansion’s interior as “spooky, scary, destroyed” and explained, “He’s looking at a lot of different possibilities for what this property could turn into, what this house could turn into. That’s a big part of the story we’ll be following”. The show will focus on the renovation process and explore the cultural clash as a Texas family immerses themselves in northern Ontario life.

"It's going to be a challenge, but at the same time, what a great idea."
Haileybury Mayor Jeff Laferriere

The series gears up for production in the spring, and residents of Temiskaming Shores eagerly await the positive transformation of the once-infamous northern Ontario eyesore.