An opulent and not entirely attractive mega-villa west of Calgary on Highway 22 has been a mystery to the Albertans since construction began in 2014.
A recent article by Jen Gerson of Macleans Magazine delves deeper into the McMansion and aims to answer some of the questions we all have about the property.
The French chateau-style building may look like a poorly located hotel, but it is actually an 11,000 square foot private residence. Lot 242131 Range Road 42 sits on 80 acres overlooking the Rocky Mountains … and the freeway.
Gerson notes that the main problem with the house is not its size, nor is it uniquely ugly, but how exposed it is. This area is known for large houses; Most, however, are tucked away or tucked away by impressive landscaping while this is clearly visible from the busy freeway.
A row of trees “[doesn’t] do a lot to protect the house from the prying eyes of your intrepid Maclean journalist, who shamelessly pulled on the shoulder of the autobahn for a look through binoculars, ”the article says.
According to Gerson, the front door of the impressive residence is protected by statues of life-size golden horses led by a golden chariot driven by a huge winged man who is also (you guessed it) gold.
The land is home to a nine-car garage and two guard houses.
“It has been called an ‘eyesore,’ ‘hedonistic,’ and most harshly, a” grotesque and narcissistic tribute to the owner’s ego, “” the article reads.
The owner remains a bit of a mystery, but the name on the land title is Ernest Hon. According to a profile on Alberta Venture, the Hon family immigrated to Canada in 1988, shortly after Ernest was born, after investing heavily in Hong Kong real estate.
The Hons are well-known Calgary developers today, best known for the Guardian, a 44-story building in Victoria Park that is currently the tallest apartment tower in the city.
The Alberta Venture identified Ernest Hon as the main spokesperson for large residential projects in downtown Calgary and frequently offers research on real estate.
“I see the future of cities as very urban,” Hon told Alberta Venture just before the prairie mansion was built. “People are more interested in life in the city center. Calgary is late, but you’re seeing the downtown revitalization after the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s – 30 years of neglect. “
They wonder why he built a house 35 minutes from downtown Calgary.