With a $38-million price tag, the cost of renovating the prime minister’s historic residence at 24 Sussex Drive costs more than it would have to tear down the building and erect a new structure in its place, according to Mike Holmes of HGTV Canada
’s “Holmes on Homes”.
“You could take the house down and build a brand new home,” Holmes told CTV News
. “If it was me, that's probably what I would do.”
The reality TV star and home renovation specialist acknowledged that such a course of action would be unrealistic in the current regulatory regime that prioritizes the preservation of such dwellings.
“That's a huge amount of money… but this is a heritage home,” Holmes stated, adding that the actual cost would be higher due to the need to ensure the PM’s security. To get it right, the project will require an “awful lot of older talent that knows how to do this.”
“If it's done right the first time it'll last a lifetime,” he said.
Holmes, who offered to renovate the residence last year but was rebuffed, noted that other additions that will lead to the cost of the renovation ballooning include a pool, a sun room, a new annex with private quarters, and next-generation windows and doors, along with the need to refurbish the main building and the electrical system—all without sacrificing the character of the home.
"There was a lot of red tape around it, and I get it," Holmes said. “Do I really want to put myself in that position? [Ottawa] is a world that I really don't want to play in, but if there's anyone good in the country that can do this, that’s me.”
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