Abbotsford residents have long wondered why and how 159 Gipps Street had fallen into a state of disrepair, with its shattered and boarded up windows, colorful graffiti and piles of rusting machinery in the backyard.
The house’s ramshackle appearance had given it some notoriety in recent years, and it was regularly discussed on the social media platform Reddit.
Posters speculated whether the house, now for sale with a target price of $2.3 million to $2.5 million, was abandoned and whether it would soon be developed into units or townhouses.
Peter Moore, brother of the 76-year-old owner Raymond, said Raymond planned to build new houses on the property himself.
“He would have loved to develop it, but he wasn’t capable over the years,” said Moore. “When you’re between 60 and 70, you don’t have that energy anymore. The process takes too long.”
Instead, Raymond had decided to sell the three-bedroom house when his health took a turn for the worse in 2017, Moore said, but he put off cleaning up the yard. The 686 square meter block served as storage for his excavation company.
Moore said his brother lived in the house until he was hospitalized last year, and it took seven people six weeks to clear the property adjacent to the railway and prepare it for sale.
About nine dumpsters were removed from the site and many of the machinery and tools were put into storage.