Located at the corner of Davie and Nicola Street, the Gabriola House greets passersby with it ominous presence.
In 1900, Sugar king, Benjamim Tingley Rogers hired renowned archetect, Samual Maclure to build Gabriola, which gets its name from the distinctive sandstone exterior quarried from Gabriola Island.
When the premises was finished at a cost of $25,000 it was said to be double the next nicest home in town at 17,327 square feet, located on an entire block with landscaped gardens, stables, greenhouses and beautiful views of English Bay.
When Rogers died in 1918, his widow Mary moved out and the mansion was turned into a rental apartment house call 'The Angus' in 1924. In 1978 it was transformed into the high-end steak house, Hy's Mansion, then into Romano's Macaroni Grill in 1994.
The home is the site of numerous ghost sightings. Every year in fact, many people say that they've seen ghosts in the window. Further, many claim they've seen multiple ghosts in the residence.
When the mansion was a restaurant, staff claim they encountered ghosts on a regular basis, and some have claimed that utensils, such as cutlery, actually floated in the air.
The mansion was also the site of a horrific murder in 2016. Specifically, the body of a japanese student named Natsumi Kogawa was found inside.
Since Romano's Macaroni Grill shut down, the home has sat vacant.
The property was recently purchased for $6.72 million, and plans are underway to convert the property into rental condos and 4 townhouses. While the home is being converted, final plans do not include tearing down the structure. Instead, the building will undergo renovations.
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