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Abandoned Houses

Canada’s current real estate market could quite easily be called crazy, with a shortage of homes available for rent or sale, an investment grabbing war (with a side order of confusion: is it a good time to invest or a good time for sale?), and a stop on foreign real estate investments. With all this going on, let’s take a step back and look at something that doesn't seem to fit the current market at all: abandoned homes.

Shockingly, there are abandoned homes all over Canada. Some are the dilapidated properties you expect to see in horror movies, but some are pristine, million-dollar homes.

Where Are The Abandoned Properties in Canada?

There are abandoned homes all over Canada, but it appears that most of them are in Ontario.

“Recognized as the largest abandoned home in the entire country, this absolute beast boasts 65,000 square feet of (now unused) space and sits on 43-acres of prime lakeside real estate in Haileybury, Ontario, about 5 and a half hours north of Toronto.” (

Why Are These Properties Abandoned?

Canada is the ideal place to purchase investment properties. According to, Canada’s notoriously low property tax rates and cheap money make buying here easy. Add to that, no inheritance tax and the difficulty in finding out who owns a property (which is a major glitch to stopping foreign investors from investing in Canadian property), and the vacant properties are making money by just sitting. Empty or not.

The Red Room, hidden inside an abandoned waterfront mansion in Burlington, Ontario. Image courtesy of

Can These Properties Be Purchased or Repurposed?

Technically, abandoned properties could be purchased or repurposed, but being abandoned does not mean they are not owned. Finding the owner for an abandoned property can be incredibly difficult. More expensive properties are often purchased by a corporate entity rather than an individual, making it difficult to find the right person so you can make an offer on the home.

A second issue with “abandoned properties” is figuring out whether they are in fact abandoned. “CensusMapper defines unoccupied dwellings as being either unoccupied or temporarily occupied by a person with a primary residence elsewhere in Canada or abroad. Similarly, Statistics Canada described an unoccupied dwelling for the 2016 census as a private dwelling fit for year-round living, but no one was residing there on May 10, 2016.” (

So, while abandoned properties are fascinating (so much so they’re going viral), they may not be the best option to consider as an investment. There are plenty of options for good investments still available in Ontario, despite the reports on lack of housing. If you’re interested in making such an investment, get in touch with Regalway Homes today.


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