Earlier this year, Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy (that’s Alexis Rose for those not in the know) delighted fans by auctioning off the gown she wore to her inaugural red carpet event, the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards. While the auction is now closed (Ew, David!), die-hard Schittheads shouldn’t be deflated as a few other items related to the beloved Pop original series are currently up for grabs. Not only is Murphy also auctioning off the paper plate on which she wrote the lyrics to “A Little Bit Alexis” before recording the song in the studio, but two of the show’s most iconic locations have hit the market, as well!
Hockley Motel, the Mono, Ontario lodging that masked as the Schitt’s Creek/Rosebud Motel throughout the show’s six-year run can now be yours for just under $1.6 million. And for fans with a bit more disposable cash on hand, the mansion where video store tycoon Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) and his family lived before they were taken for a ride by their business manager and forced to relocate to Schitt’s Creek is also for sale!
The colossal pad, which is being offered at $15,735,119 (CAD 19,880,000), consists of an almost unbelievable 14 bedrooms and 16 baths spread across three stories and 24,000 square feet. Located abutting Saint Andrews Park at 30 Fifeshire Rd. in the St. Andrew-Windfields neighborhood of Toronto, the residence is repped by Khoren Mardoyan of HomeLife/Vision Realty Inc.
The over-the-top estate was the brainchild of Toronto condo developer Van Lapoyan, who custom-built the place himself in a project that took more than five years to complete. He initially purchased the 0.55-acre corner plot where the mansion now sits in 2008 and proceeded to demolish the one-story ranch-style house that stood on the premises (which can still be seen via historic Google Street View imagery). The manse’s design process subsequently consumed two years and the construction work an additional three and the property was finally finished in July 2013. Lapoyan named his new home “La Belle Maison,” French for “The Beautiful House.”
The pad attracted attention from the start, long before its appearance on Schitt’s Creek. As Van explained to Bloomberg, “It is a landmark, everyone knows it’s a landmark. They come every day to take pictures of the house. During construction, I had a lot of accidents in front of it because drivers were all just looking at the house instead of the road.” The distraction to passersby is understandable. The largest home on the street by a long shot, the residence stands out amongst its more modest neighbors and, with an ornate limestone exterior that seems to cascade along its large corner lot, is a definite attention-grabber.
The property’s design was inspired by 17th Century Parisian architecture, which Lapoyan witnessed firsthand while studying in Paris during his university years. But the developer made sure to incorporate a multitude of modern creature comforts, as well. He told the Toronto Star, “I personally supervised every facet and design of this home. Living here, we are surrounded by old-world European elegance and charm, as well as state-of-the-art modern amenities. The home is adorned with magnificent murals and frescoes, painstakingly crafted by the highest level of artisanship. As well, there are many modern touches like a home theatre, a sauna, and a spacious lower-level ballroom.”
One only needs to step over the manse’s threshold to witness the sheer grandiosity of the interior, which is centered around a striking bifurcated marble staircase topped with a massive dome swathed in murals inspired by those of the Sistine Chapel.
Frescoed to within an inch of its life, ceiling murals adorn pretty much every corner of the property, truth be told. But an oversized painting of Lapoyan and his family à la the Roses is, surprisingly, nowhere to be found on the premises, though such a piece would be very on-brand with the rest of the décor.
The rococo opulence only continues throughout the rest of “La Belle Maison.” In fact, the kitchen more closely resembles the lobby of Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace than it does a place where one might “fold in the cheese.”
Along with the aforementioned movie theatre and sauna, additional luxe amenities include a double reception room, a gift-wrapping room (à la Candy Spelling), an elevator, a third-floor guest suite complete with a full kitchen and a heated BBQ room for those cool Toronto winters.
The basement level is what really sets the residence apart, though! An entertainer’s paradise, the space, which also has the feel of a swanky Vegas hotel, is mainly comprised of a central 2,200-square-foot ballroom that can host up to 150 guests.
The ballroom is surrounded by a slew of luxuries that even some of the finest resorts lack, including a billiard/game room, a golf simulator, a wine cellar, a steam room, a fitness center, a jacuzzi and a 30-foot-long indoor pool capped by a magical dark blue ceiling outfitted with thousands of fiber-optic lights fashioned to look like stars.
There’s also an outdoor pool on the premises for those who prefer to swim al fresco under actual stars. Considering all that lies within the property’s confines, the new owners will likely find little reason to ever leave, which is perfect for both the ongoing quarantine, as well as anyone “trying very hard not to connect with people right now.”
So why is Lapoyan giving the place up? The cold Toronto winters have him looking for a warmer climate to retire. The pad is proving to be a tough sell, though. According to Zillow, it was originally listed in 2018 for $17,331,155 (CAD 21,788,000) and has flipped and flopped on and off the market ever since. But Van maintains it’s a great buy. As he told Bloomberg, “Modern houses today are very in vogue, and people like it, but classical houses never go out of fashion. Whether it’s now or in 10 years or in 50 years, you’re still going to love that house.” Not to mention, the hefty filming revenue that comes with the place. Per Bloomberg, the pad has more than 25 film and television credits to its name. Its most notable cameo, though, was in Schitt’s Creek.
While its appearance is brief, La Belle Maison very memorably pops up in the opening of the series premiere episode, “Our Cup Runneth Over,” as IRS agents descend upon the place to repossess all of the Rose family’s belongings.
Of choosing the mansion for the role, Schitt’s Creek location manager Geoffrey Smither told the Location Managers Guild website, “It was very over-the-top. It was a new build in the beaux-arts style with some rococo elements, trompe l’oeil ceilings and gilt, and it was super ornate. I knew about it because I’d driven by it at the urging of another homeowner in the same area who found it, ummm, remarkable. Other shows had filmed there prior to my knocking on the door so the owner knew about filming.”
Though only featured in the first three minutes of “Our Cup Runneth Over,” the episode showcases quite a bit of the property, including Moira’s (Catherine O’Hara) wig room, which, in reality, is a circular sitting room situated off the second-floor landing.
The Roses learn the fate of their living situation in one of the residence’s three family rooms. Eagle-eyed fans have likely taken note that the model sailboat that was carted off the premises in the scene is an actual décor element of the mansion! It is currently on display in front of the fireplace above.
Only the interior of La Belle Maison appears in “Our Cup Runneth Over.” The overhead exterior shot shown at the beginning of the episode is actually of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump’s former mansion. Once located at 50 Beverly Park Way in the exclusive Beverly Park community, the property was destroyed by a fire in 2017 and no longer stands.
The Schitt’s Creek cast and crew returned to La Belle Maison to film some flashback scenes for season four’s “Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose.” It is in one of the family rooms that Moira and David (Dan Levy) famously treat their friends to a rousing rendition of “Silent Night” in the episode. The actors also posed for some promotional photos on the grand staircase during the shoot.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Rose mansion from Schitt’s Creek is located at 30 Fifeshire Rd. in Toronto.
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