Globe and Mail, January 27, 2012
Len Barrie was finally kicked out of his opulent mansion near Victoria.
HSBC Canada, which had mortgages on the 12,500-square-foot house for more than $14-million, finally had to resort to a court order to remove Barrie from the property on Thursday. The bank was supposed to take over the house on Jan. 16 but Barrie and his family were still living there, which prompted the bank to obtain a court order evicting the former co-owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s one of those things,” Barrie told CHEK television in Victoria. “It’s disappointing but you move on. Now there’s some closure.
“We finally settled everything with the bank. It’s been three years and everything’s settled.”
Even if everything is settled with HSBC Canada, Barrie is still facing legal problems on a number fronts related to the collapse of the Bear Mountain golf resort and real-estate development in the fall of 2010. Barrie was in charge of the development, which went into bankruptcy protection after its debts grew to more than $300-million. Most of that money was owed to HSBC, which took over the development.
Barrie is the subject of a criminal investigation by the RCMP’s commercial-crime unit on Vancouver Island as the result of a complaint filed by Sean Burke, a former NHL player. Burke is one of 18 current and former NHL players who lost a total of more than $13-million when Bear Mountain went into bankruptcy.
In addition to numerous civil lawsuits related to Bear Mountain, Barrie is also facing one from The Bellagio, an upscale casino and hotel in Las Vegas. The Bellagio wants $2.2-million in unpaid casino credits, interest and legal fees.
Barrie’s former house is on Skirt Mountain, which overlooks Victoria. As shown in this report from CHEK News, it is a spectacular property with six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and an amazing swimming pool.
The Victoria Times Colonist reported the house is now assessed at $8.49-million and is up for sale. The asking price was recently lowered from $13.9-million to $9.99-million.