Who wants to own a piece of Canadian history for a cool $3.4 million?
That’s right, the Low-Martin Mansion in Windsor, Ontario is back on the market! This house features an ostentatious design, an interior that I find oppressive (but it has its fans), and large upkeep costs.
Harry Low was an entrepreneur who moved from Ottawa to Windsor to seek his fortune in 1919. Starting out as a pool hall owner and then dabbling in exports, he eventually expanded his business into brewery ownership and shipping alcoholic beverages in speedboats and ships from Windsor’s waterfront. He became a prominent figure during Prohibition and was Windsor’s most notorious Rumrunner.
In the 1920s Low commissioned the building of a house for $150,000. Meant to make a statement, the Cotswold English cottage style home sits diagonally on a corner lot and seems to announce itself to the surrounding neighbourhood. Due to bad investments and legal troubles (including suspicion of murder), Low lost his fortune and defaulted on the mortgage. Only six years after moving in he gave up the house in 1934.
Over the years the house struggled to find buyers. It changed ownership a few times, selling for considerably less than asking prices. Then in 1960 it was purchased by Alice Eleanor Martin, wife to Liberal MP Paul Martin, Sr. Their son Paul Martin, Jr. would eventually become Prime Minister of Canada. They owned the house until 1995.
The house’s history includes playing host to Al Capone and other Prohibition-era criminals, and to sitting Prime Ministers Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau.