Monday, June 10, 2013


362 Bay Street South, Hamilton Ontario
This house is nothing short of spectacular. Unfortunately the multi-million dollar buyer pool in Hamilton is limited. Price is this property's only vice since first being listed nearly 2 years ago. First making its appearance at $3.6MM, the property is now down to $2.5MM.



Fig. 13: Watercolour perspective of
The original property - Highfield preparatory school for boys.
Built in the 1930s by an heiress and her husband who had ventured to France and wanted to replicate a chateau they had seen during their travels through the Normandy countryside.
  • The homeowner inherited her fortune from her brother, who was a chemical engineer. He invented no-knock gasoline, sold the patent, to an oil giant, and died soon after collecting his wealth. The year was 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression.

  • It took two years to build and is rumoured to have cost over $200,000 to build, a great deal of money in 1933.
  • The heiress and her husband went to great lengths to fulfill their vision: The roof tiles and the craftsmen who installed them were brought over from Wales; wood carvers and stone masons made a special trip from England.
  • But the property at 362 Bay St. South has a much longer history than that of the current house. The original mansion was used as a summer residence by Lieutenant-Governors of Ontario during the 1800s.
  • Around the turn of the 20th century, the property was put up for sale. The buyers were educators who established Highfield as a preparatory school for boys.
  • A severe fire broke out in 1918 and the damage to the building effectively ended the boarding program. In 1933 that structure was replaced by the current house.
  • Hillfield-Strathallan, the successor school to Highfield, is located just up the hill.

  • 3.85 acre estate in prestigious south west Hamilton overlooks both the city and the bay
  • Approximately 11,000-square-foot Normandy Style stone castle
  • 18- to 24-inch thick masonry walls
  • A baked tile roof was imported from Britain along with the workers to install it
  • Hand-carved millwork woodwork was crafted by workers from England
  • Three log-burning fireplaces
  • The foyer has beamed ceilings and a gracious staircase
  • The formal dining room seats 18 people without crowding (the prime minister of Grand Cayman is one of the many guests who have dined there over the years)
  • There is a library with built-in bookshelves
  • There is also a built-in wine cellar, a sauna, a billiard room and six bathrooms



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