10 Canadian government properties you’d swear belonged to the rich and famous

Terri Coles
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[Canada’s official residence in Rome is no longer for sale, according to a report. COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL]

The Canadian government will hold on to Villa Grandi — its official residence in Rome — after all, according to a news report.

A spokesman for Stéphane Dion confirmed to the Globe and Mail that the property was taken off the market and would stay as it was for the time being. The newspaper reported that other properties that the previous government planned to sell were under review and could also end up going off the market, according to a government source.

The decision counters the efforts of the former Conservative government to offload the Rome property, along with many others owned by Canada. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper argued that the upkeep costs for Villa Grandi and other properties were too high to justify holding on to them.

Ultimately his government did sell many of the Canadian properties around the world, including some in Norway, Mexico and the United States. Others are still around, either because they hadn’t yet sold or because the government decided to hold on to them.

Below is a gallery of some prestigious properties that have sold and others that are still for sale.

Sold properties

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[Canada’s official residence in Oslo/COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL]

Oslo: The government’s official residence in the capital of Norway sold for $12.5 million in 2014, two years after it went on the market. That’s considerably less than the $20 million the Harper government initially sought for the property.

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[Consul-general residence in Miami/Realtor.com]

Miami: This mansion, an official Consul-General residence, was put up on sale because Harper said the government wished to buy something of a more appropriate size. it sold in May 2015 for about $2.7 million, according to Realtor.com.

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[Consul-general residence in Denver/Realtor.com]

Denver: Canada’s Consul-General could host visitors at the fire pit in the backyard of this four-bedroom Colorado home, which was put on the market for an asking price of $1.7 million. It sold last year for $1.8 million, according to Realtor.com.

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[Consul-general residence in Texas/Realtor.com]

Dallas: In Texas, the Consul-General also enjoyed a Canadian residence with a swimming pool — just one featured of this government property, which was put on the market for $2.55 million. It sold in March 2015 for $2.23 million, according to the Global Affairs ministry.

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[Consul-general residence in Atlanta, Ga./Realtor.com]

Atlanta: One of several Canadian-owned properties in the U.S., this residence of the Consul-General in Georgia was listed for an asking price of $2.6 million, and sold for about $2.5 million last year, according to Global Affairs.

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[The Canadian ambassador’s residence in Stockholm/Google Street View]

Stockholm: The former residence of Canada’s ambassador to Sweden, located in that country’s capital, was put up for sale for $3.3 million and sold for $2.74 million in February 2015. You’d likely pay more than that in Vancouver for a property with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a swimming pool.

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[Canadian ambassador’s former residence in Denmark/eltoftnielsen.dk]

Copenhagen: The former residence of Canada’s ambassador to Denmark, built in 1935, was put on the auction block for $3.15 million and sold for $2.67 million in March 2015.

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[Villa Grandi residence in Rome/Colliers.com]

Rome: The previous government put Villa Grandi, located in the ancient portion of Rome, on the auction block in 2013. An offer by a Venezuelan diplomat for the property, which includes a four-storey villa house, was rejected for being too low, the Globe reported.

Properties still for sale

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[Canadian ambassador’s home in Helsinki/Etuovi.com]

Helsinki: A house for an ambassador in Finland just wouldn’t be complete without a sauna. This residence, with a current asking price of $3.75 million, has that along with an indoor swimming pool, four bedrooms and six bathrooms.

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[The official residence in Brussels/Google Street View]

Brussels: Just $8.25 million for a 16-bedroom house in Belgium? Sounds like a bargain for this official EU residence if you’re used to Toronto property prices.