How could I possibly drive past this fabulous pile without stopping the car? Inspired by King Ludwig II’s Bavarian castle Neuschwanstein, this Mississauga mansion happens to be for sale so naturally I contacted listing agent Matthew Regan who was kind enough to give Mike and I a tour.
WOW is really the only word that comes to mind. Tucked into a cozy half-acre lot on affluent Mississauga Road in the Port Credit area, the home is more than 5,000 square feet, contains five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and sports three turrets, a wrought iron spiral staircase, a secret passageway, gargoyles and parking space for 15 cars. There’s nothing Mc about this mansion, which has been on the market since last fall and is currently listed at $2,195,000.
“The house will appeal to a very small segment of the market,” acknowledges Regan, “but the buyer who does come forward will be getting a very special house at an exceptionally good price. You could NEVER build anything like it today for this price—the wood and stone work, the stained glass, fixtures and moulding details, they’d cost a fortune to replicate now.”
Naturally, my first question was, “Who built the place?” Historian Matthew Wilkinson from the Mississauga Heritage Foundation could tell me only that the home was constructed around 1920 by someone named Anderson. “Many additions have been made to the structure over the years,” he says, “but our guess is that it probably started out as a two-story Georgian manor, which would have been a typical style for this area at that time.”
“There’s certainly nothing else like it in Mississauga,” he confirms, “and the only thing that compares to it in terms of its architectural references is Casa Loma in Toronto, which, of course, is in a class of its own.”
Stepping inside the front door, I immediately thought of Wayne Manor, the old-money home of TV’s original Batman. The only thing missing was Alfred the butler. A polished fieldstone floor spreads out beneath a superbly carved, coffered ceiling. The generous foyer contains an ornate staircase and ample entrances to adjacent rooms including a mind-blowing reception area with an enormous carved fireplace and vivid, ceiling mural.
The reception area leads onto a garden room, below, with opulent stained glass windows that overlook a swimming pool. Also on the main floor is a bright marble kitchen with adjoining butler’s pantry and a formal dining room with a striking, wine-coloured ceiling.
On the second floor are three spacious bedrooms, each with ensuite bath. A powder room features a pull-down ladder staircase that looks up, up, up into the tallest of the three turrets.
Like a dramatist directing a scene, Regan ensured that one doorway remained closed as we made our way across the landing, then, with a flourish, he pushed back the door to the master bedroom, below. I’m guessing that just about everyone has the same reaction when they step into the space: “Oh my God!” Mike and I chimed in unison. The airy room features a rib vaulted ceiling, a beautiful paint treatment, elaborate windows and Gothic-arch doorways. Another large bedroom with a kaleidoscope of peaked ceilings is tucked into the eaves on the third floor.
More WOW was waiting for us in the basement-level library, a darkly masculine space with carved oak ceiling and wall panelling and a large stone fireplace. Regan took obvious pleasure in demonstrating the secret passageway stowed behind a sliding bookcase–surely the entrance to the Batcave. We stepped through the opening and into a sunken billiard room with more stained glass, a sizeable portion of which opens up to reveal a portrait of the original Neuschwanstein castle.
Elsewhere on the basement level is a tiled wet area with a walk-out to the pool. Another bedroom surprises with a wall-sized reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
What a tour! My sincere thanks to Matthew Regan for letting us see the home and witness for ourselves how some rather eccentric Canadians, whoever they were, chose to decorate their private retreat. Extraordinary!