Need to know: Feds sell London property for $530M

Macdonald House was the home of Canada’s High Commissioner to the U.K.


Canada House in London, U.K. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

The story
When the government says it wants to save money, we often assume job cuts are on the way. Usually, that’s true. But the feds are getting creative as they look to balance the books as soon as possible. They just wrapped up the sale of Macdonald House, a lavish home in London for Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. The current man in the job, former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, says the government will also undertake a massive refurbishment of the iconic Canada House in Trafalgar Square, as well as an adjacent building that formerly served as a Canadian military headquarters. All told, Campbell says he’ll “send home” about $150-200 million. As for his own digs, he’s moving into an apartment that used to house the High Commission’s deputy. Every little bit counts.

The stat
$530 million: the sale price of Macdonald House, purchased by Lodha Group, a large Indian developer

The quote
“It’s a large redevelopment opportunity in one of the best garden squares, in one of the best locations, in probably the most sought after city on the planet. They don’t come along very often.” —Simon Stone, director of national development at Savills Plc, the firm that sold the building


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Need to know: Feds sell London property for $530M

  1. I am amazed they didn’t wait till 2015, when htey will have a fire sale of capital assets to have a one-tim balanced budget during an election year.

    And London rents can be very very expensive. Over time, this may not be the best deal.

    • Further thought – maybe they sell it this year, earmark the funds for something else, re-allocate that spending in 2015 so they can pretend it WASN’T from an asset sale. Sneaky enough for tricky Jim Flaherty.

    • How many centuries of rent could be paid with the $530 million sale price?

      Let’s say they rent an apartment at $120,000 / year (yes, that’s quite high).

      530,000,000 / 120,000 means the revenue from the sale will pay the rent for the next 4416 years.

      So I guess you cant start demanding Harper’s resignation in the year 6429. Or are you going to be complaining about this deal until then? LOL

      • Rick, 3801 comments and counting, obviously you are a narrow-minded individual and have far too much time on your hands or no life Mr. CIBC/CPC. Yes we understand that all Libs are evil and the Conservatives can do no wrong. Enjoy the next 2 years loser!

      • “Let’s say they rent an apartment at…”

        It’s a 7 storey, 135,000-square-foot building, idiot.

      • Ah – did you read the article. We’re not netting $530,000 – Gordon Campbell is spending a whole bunch of money renovating other properties.

  2. Selling off our belongings so Flaherty can get close to election campaign and say he’s slain the deficit. Garage sale of artifacts from national museums and art galleries up next.

    • You really think that Canad should have a $500,000,000 mansion for a civil servant? You believe that’s the best use of that money? And you wonder why people think Liberal’s are fiscally inept?

      • Nobody thinks Liberals (no apostrophe for gawdsake) are fiscally inept. Nobody.

        • Really? Because I do, and I known lots of other people who do. Or does anybody who’s not a hardcore Liberal partisan not count as a person to you?

          • It’s a big bubble?

  3. Penny wise, and pound foolish….small town economics.

    • You Liberals are insane. You complain about running a deficit, but then you complain about selling off a half a billion dollar mansion.

      I suppose a Justin Trudeau Liberal government would have kept the house, and raised taxes to pay down the deficit instead? I’m sure most Canadians wouldn’t have a problem with paying increased taxes just so a single civil servant can live in a half a billion dollar mansion.

      • Mmmm who caused the deficit….the biggest deficit in Canadian history?

        And selling off the Canadian Embassy isn’t going to pay off any deficit…that’s penny-ante stuff….how about canning stupid expenditures….like F-35s?

        Libs left Harper with a surplus, so don’t be blaming them.

        • Everybody with a half a brain know that the global economic collapse caused the deficit.

          And if you’re calling a half a billion dollars “penny-ante stuff”, you’re obviously out of your mind. You’d rather we not have an airforce, just so some schmuck civil servant can live in a half a billion dollar mansion? You’re priorities are so incredibly out of whack, it’s no wonder Liberals like you will never see government again.

          • Give it a rest Ricky…..and cancel your toys for the boys.

          • Give what a rest? Asking the government to be fiscally responsible?

          • Cons govts are never fiscally responsible. It’s always a mess because you have rubes out of their league.

            So give the lying a rest.

          • Rubes out of their league? Sounds like Justin Trudeau’s in over his head.

          • Rubes get all flumgusted over money…anything past a buck ninety-eight and they’re gasping for breath.

            Unless it’s for wartoys of course….then they can tell all their old stories down at the legion again.

          • BTW, the last time a Conservative government balanced a budget for
            Canada was 101 years ago in 1912. The Prime Minister was Robert Borden
            (originally a school teacher, incidentally). He too inherited his
            from a Liberal predecessor, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. But he managed to
            maintain it for only one year before dropping into deficit.

          • Read the post, Ricky – most of the money is staying in England. No doubt friends of Gordon Campbell will be awarded the contracts.

          • Will see it next election,cons have no chance.

        • Over 16 years (1968-1984) with Pierre Trudeau as prime minister, Canada’s national debt skyrocketed by 1,200 per cent, from $17 billion to more than $200 billion. [The reference for that is Canadahistory dot com.]

          a) Now Emily, the inflation factor from 1984 to now is approximately 10. That is something costing 10 cents in 1984 now costs $1.

          b) Emily the United States in population is approximately 10 times larger than Canada and right now US population is about 320 million. Canada is about 32 million

          c) So Emily if we translate Trudeau’s 1984 debt of $200 billion into today’s terms.(x10) Pierre Trudeau left us with debt of $2 trillion

          d) Emily as we speak the US Federal Debt is $17.2 trillion.
          [The reference is usdebtclock dot org]

          e) In Canadian terms with a population 1/10th the size that is a debt of $1.7 trillion.

          Pierre Trudeau left us in 1984 with more debt per capita than an almost bankrupt United States has at this moment.

          So your complaint against Harper is nonsense.

          • LOL good one, Q!

          • a) Liar.

            Inflation factor from 1984 until now is 2. Not ten. Go see for yourself: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/related/inflation-calculator/
            A basket of goods costing .10 in 1984 would cost a whopping .20 now.

            b) Liar.
            Population of US is 313.9 million (2012 figures from Google)
            Population of Canada is 34.88 million (2012 figures from Google)
            A factor of almost exactly 9, not 10.

            c) Liar. 200 billion in 1984 is equal to 400 billion, in today’s terms. see above.

            d) Holy crap, you got one right. I guess that’s why you let us have your source on this one and not the other ones.

            e) In Canadian terms 17.2 trillion with a population 1/9th the size is a debt of 1.91 trillion

            Pierre Trudeau left us in 1984 with less than 1/4th the debt per capita that the US has today.

            Care to try again?

          • First off you’re not going to scream liar at me you little two-bit, sequined junction twad. Thwim, it calls itself. Who named you, your cat?

            Nevertheless, the rule of thumb price multiplier for that period of time is 10, regardless of what the Bank of Canada claims it is. (Although it’s pretty interesting to find them flogging the idea that prices have only doubled since 1984. Everyone I know will be having a laugh today over the load of cr*p on that government website.)

            One of the things you fail to recognize is the relative quality of the items measured in any Statscan basket of goodies. I can promise you there’s a substantial difference between a British manufactured can opener from 1984 and the piece of Chinese junk from 2013. Down at the Thomas Edison winter laboratory in Fort Myers Florida you will see a Thomas Edison light bulb that has been burning continuously for over a hundred years. The dirty Chinese light bulb you pick up at the dollar store is as likely as not to burn out the second you turn it on.

            Another thing you fail to recognize is relative package sizes in any Statscan basket of goods.
            (i) Low income people ( and we have thousands upon thousands more of those due to Chinese job displacement) have much higher costs than do than the Sunshine List Bozos working at Statscan. The unemployed guy can’t go to Costco and buy Chicken Noodle soup for the next 6 months at 50 cents a can, he’s stuck buying one can at a time from the 7/11 for S3.29.
            (ii) The big grocery store trick over the last couple of years is to keep item prices constant but reduce the package sizes

            In 1984 if one was renting an apartment, the rent included
            electricity, water, and television, either cable or antenna. That of course is no longer the case anywhere. A quick look at the electricity bills here in my office shows that the per kwh charge including all the BS delivery is approx 20 cents per kwh. That’s an increase of 20% over that of a year ago.

            – Housing costs in the major centres, in relation to quality
            of construction have increased substantially more than 10x since 1984. Ask anybody over 12 years old.
            – Ask any university student what his tuition costs look
            like in terms of the summer job wages he might find to cover them. Zero available wages in most cases.
            – In 1984 there was no GST added to the cost of everything.
            – In the 1980-1984 period of time, market oil prices were as low as $9 a barrel. This morning the price is $93 down from $110 in September.
            – Your population complaint (10x, 9x) is immaterial, picayune and stupid

            So you’re out to lunch buddy. That goofy fish face communist monster Pierre Trudeau left us worse off in 1984 than the United States is at this very minute.

            The only thing new in the world, is the history you don’t know.

          • LOL. Funny stuff. So who named you, the dairy cow or the maid? “Marmalade is tasty, if it’s very thickly spread.”

          • LOL.. that quite a bit of twisting you’re having to do to try to prove you’re not an idiot. Too bad it failed.

            If you’re just picking random things that went up in price and using that to say inflation is x amount, you’re an idiot. Because I could similarly pick random things, like a 30″ TV set, or the computer I’m typing this on, and to get something equivalent in 1984 you would have had to spend 100x as much or worse. So going by your logic, we’ve actually had 100x deflation. Fortunately for you, I’m not a moron, so I go by a representative sample of prices averaged from across the country. Handily provided by the Bank of Canada.

            Arguing that the quality of item x sucks is no argument, because that just illuminates how you’re an idiot when you shop too. Homes today are actually better quality than in 1984, just look at wiring regulations. 1984 you could still find homes built using aluminum wiring, for goodness sakes.

            Arguing that certain people don’t get to take advantage of the low prices we have now because they’re in bulk so it shouldn’t count just shows how you’re an idiot. Bulk buying has always existed, and what the bank of Canada looks at, both then and now, is an average of the prices across Canada. You see, unlike yourself, they realize that to get a real sample, they have to do more than cherry pick a few things to support an erroneous point of view.

            As to the population complaint.. I see that even you couldn’t twist enough to come up with any counter-argument, so you just try to hand-wave it away? I mean, you were specifically talking about how the per-capita debt compared between the US and here, and using *that specific multiplier* to demonstrate your point that Trudeau left us with more. Yet the exact figure of the multiplier is immaterial, picayune and stupid? But that figure is what forms the whole of your argument.. so the only way it could be immaterial, picayune, and stupid is if your whole argument is imma…


            Okay. That makes sense then. Nevermind.

          • Go on back to your Fluffy Mitt

            The factor is 10 and the Fish Face Freak, fully indoctrinated by Harold Laski, left us in worse shape in 1984 than the United States is this morning.

          • Ahaahaha.. “Cause I said so!”
            Christ, I’ve seen five year olds with better logic skills.

          • Ahaahaha Ahaahaha Ahaahaha Ahaahaha
            Oh Thwim , Thwim , Thwim, little cursing Thwim

            Is the little Marxist baby poo having trouble finding words to use without cursing?

            Little cursing Thwim. Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap. And not a clue about what’s going on.

  4. Now if we could only retrieve the billions lost by Campbell during the BC Rail scandal. Put that liberal slimebag in jail already!

  5. Selling off assests: the only way the Lib-Cons know how to pretend to balance a budget.

  6. If Canada ever grows-up and moves out of its parent’s house (Britain) we could save a lot of money and (finally) gain our independence too! After all, we did get rid of the Union-Jack in 1965 so when Queen Elizabeth II finally passes away, that would be the perfect time to become an independent country and form a direct democracy so that we as Canadian citizens, could actually vote on important issues and have a meaningful say in our destiny. As it stands now, all decisions are made for us, but not by us and that really does need to change because the collective wisdom of the people can never be heard when we are always “subject” to the British Parliamentary System of top-down government and overbearing control. – Instead, WE WANT TO VOTE ON ISSUES!

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