Regina George, meet Hotline Bling.
Spring strode into Canada this year with bulletins aplenty about a new dream manse that Drake, the nation’s number one rap-export, is building in his hometown—a plot, as it happens, situated in the same posh precinct as lived in by Rachel McAdams’s superbitch Mean Girls character, shot in Toronto.
Cady (Lindsay Lohan) remarks on how nice the sweeping grand stone pile is, to which Regina’s response is, “I know, right?”
Over to you, Drake.
His own zeitgeist-friendly incursion into the hood comes via a green light just issued to a new 21,000-square-feet home being constructed on Park Lane Circle in this patch of town where the facades suggest the palaces of Europe, and the hum is of the hyper wealthy.
Dubbed the Bridle Path—a name echoing back to the elaborate system of equestrian bridle paths in its earliest days—it’s just north of the city proper, and has been circled as Canada’s wealthiest, if slightly nouveau, neighborhood, with the average household income straddling a million.
The plans for Drake’s pad? They jive nicely with his most recent Forbes net worth listing of $60 million USD (replacing 50 Cent this year as hip-hop’s richest).
The main floor alone, as the Globe & Mail reported, is expected to a boast a grand foyer flanked by powder rooms, a library, a piano room, a room marked “awards,” a security suite (just off the “mudroom”), and, naturally, a pool. (“I’m obsessed with residential pools,” the musician confessed to Rolling Stone in 2014. “One of my goals in life is to have the biggest residential pool on the planet.”)
A grand master upstairs, complete with steam shower: check. Four other boudoirs: check. A rooftop terrace with Bachelor-friendly hot tub: you got it.
Unlike at least one of the other tony homes down the street, there do not seem to be any plans for a next-level “driveway snow melting system” at his home, complete with $16 million price tag. Yet.
“It’s the Beverly Hills of Canada,” boasts Shane Baghai, a developer who not only lives a few houses down from where Drake’s address, but is also the uber-luxe builder behind some of the homes in the area.
And though two other neighbors initially voiced concerns to city zoners about the build—apparently concerned about the scope of the project, but then satisfied when the plans were scaled back—Sharon Baghai, the developer’s wife, muses, “I wonder which neighbors opposed this! Honestly, we believe anyone should be able to build anything they wish on their property within reason. We support this build, of course.”
Should Drake need to borrow a cup of sugar, the Baghais may just be his bet.
As far as neighborhoods go, The Bridle Path—never, ever The Bridal Path, as some arrivistes make the mistake of misspelling—isn’t exactly unacquainted with boldface.
Most notably, the late, great Prince lived there. After marrying his Toronto bride, Manuela Testolini, the icon set up shop in the enclave, even doing much of the recording work for his 2004 album, Musicology, in their home.
Though the marriage lasted only last five years, the house lives on, and, incidentally, is yours for the taking, currently, for $12.7 million (Cdn).
Still whistling tunes in the neighborhood, meanwhile: 77-year-old Gordon Lightfoot, of ‘You Could Read My Mind Now’ fame. His monster home isn’t exactly the spread you’d expect Canada’s most iconic folk troubadour to be living in, but there you have it.
The handsome, rags-to-riches star of TV’s Shark Tank, Robert Herjavec, is another resident. Initially moving into the area with his one-time optometrist wife, and mother of his three children—the mogul was in the news recently for falling in love, and getting engaged, to his Dancing with the Stars partner Kym Johnson—his house comes with the requisite Westminster Abbey-high ceilings.
Plus, there’s a “teahouse in the backyard bigger than most Toronto bungalows,” as one write-up gamely described it.
Size matters, too, at the spread of Stanley Ho, the “Casino King of Macau,” who transformed Macau, near Hong Kong, into a gambling mecca. After making headlines for paying $5.5 million (Cdn) for home on the Bridle Path in 1987—a record at the time—his family continues to own the house.
The house in the area which has probably seen the most action, playing host to everyone from Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger to Elton John and Prince Philip, is the decades-long home of infamous fallen media baron, Conrad Black.
The one-time proprietor of a world-spanning newspaper empire—one whose flagship publications included The Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post, and the National Post—Black became front-page news himself when, after a sensational trial, in 2008, he was sent to a Florida penitentiary for 37 months after being convicted on counts of mail and wire fraud, as well as obstruction of justice.
Indeed, before Drake’s decision to hitch his wagon to hood, the Bridle Path was in the news the most this year for Black’s decision to put his nine bedroom, eleven bathroom house on the market. It was later revealed that Lord Black of Crossharbour—his full British moniker—was fighting two liens placed on his Toronto mansion that claim that he owns more than $15 million in unpaid taxes.
As far as mixers go, Drake—who’s essentially the un-official mayor of Toronto these days—may just give Black a run for his money, when his house is complete. Instead of Thatcher, though, expect BFFs like Rihanna and Serena Williams.
Who knows, maybe Rachel McAdams might drop by, too.