An once-in-a-lifetime find, this rare property featuring a masterfully crafted 11,900 square foot mansion, several rentable condos and exceptional equestrian facilities all on 160 acres was once owned by a German aristocrat and is a unique piece of Calgary region’s history. The Canadiana Properties, located a few kilometers northwest of Airdrie, was originally built for Baron Carlo Von Maffei, a horse aficionado who purchased large tracts of land in the Calgary region after arriving in city from Ontario in the mid-1960s. He started out purchasing property for a farm in Braeside before locating to the Airdrie property in 1974 where he raised cattle and horses. He also purchased a property in Beiseker where he grew wheat, barley and oats.
The Canadiana Equestrian Centre was perfect for the Baron’s elite horse operation. The three barns on the property – home to an indoor arena, foaling barn and stabling barn – reflect the solid concrete wall construction found in Kentucky and European horse farms that the Baron was fond of. Though built over 35 years ago the barns, which include multiple stalls, tack rooms, vet treatment areas, horse washing stations, grooming areas and feed storage, remain in excellent shape and the property is fenced with multiple paddocks and two outdoor rings for show jumping and dressage.
The Baron usually had 35 to 40 thoroughbreds, with about 15 being brood mares, stabled at the centre and much of the breeding was done in Kentucky producing very good bloodlines. In fact, one indication of the elite horses he raised was at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Alberta division sale in 1979 at Spruce Meadows where he sold a yearling for $108,000, which is still the highest anyone has paid for a yearling in Alberta. He also raced his horses in Ontario, Florida and California. Although his interests were mostly in horses and land purchases, the Baron was a smart businessman and joined Harley Hotchkiss, one of the original owners of the Flames who helped bring the NHL team to Calgary, as business partners in Sabre Petroluems.
Often described as colourful, flamboyant, eccentric, the Baron, who in actuality was a private person who shied away from the public eye, lived in grandeur hosting royalty from Europe as well as government officials at Canadiana Mansion – an 11,900 sq. ft. bungalow with a fully developed basement that brings the living space to just under 24,000 sq. ft., and six-car garage. Lined with mature trees, fenced and gated to ensure a private setting, the Baron also spared no expense on the having the finest, safest and most secured construction possible, so the home is built of concrete blocks with a gorgeous brick exterior to endure the test of time and all the windows and doors have security bars. The U-shaped mansion, crafted in a, presents a grand look from the outside that extends to the elegant interior from the intricately designed hardwood floor and beautiful wainscoting to the eye-catching 11-ft. ceilings and dramatic 10-ft. doors.
From the front entry you’re greeted by a luxurious lobby/sitting area with lovely views down the entry hall through two sets of glass french doors that open to the rear patio. Off the main hallway, you’ll be awestruck by the sheer size and elegance of the formal dining room and its stunning baroque-style furniture that has been a mainstay in the home. The living room is highlighted by a 4-ft. tall fireplace with marble mantle and the room is so expansive the grand piano takes up only a small amount of the space. At the end of the hall, a large outdoor covered patio with built-in brick fireplace and barbecue area is totally screened in so owners are free to entertain outdoors without being bothered by pesky bugs or inclement weather.
Size: 24,000 Sq. Ft.+
Speciality Items: 5 Fireplaces, Gymnasium, Squash Court, 6 Car Garage, Wine Cellar, Expansive Dining Room, 160 Acres, Eight 1,500 Sq. Ft. Homes, 2,500 Sq. Ft. Barn Manager’s Home, 1,800 Sq. Ft. Rental Apartment, Barns, Paddocks.
Address: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Down the south wing, there is huge den or library with nicely crafted built-ins and further down the hall are two large walk-through closets with four sliding louver doors on each side and built-in storage so you’ll never run out of wardrobe space. The closets connect the main hall to the master bedroom ensuite with its heated floor and cultured marble vanities and tub, and the spacious master bedroom.
In the north wing, you’ll have no problem finding privacy as there are six bedrooms large enough to accommodate both bedroom furniture and space for a sitting area or desk. The main bathroom has triple sinks and there is another bathroom shared by two of the bedrooms. The country kitchen has a dumb waiter that goes down to the freezer, food preparation and pantry area. The basement was designed for entertainment with an indoor racquetball/squash court, wine cellar with a separate cooling system, games room, sauna and shower area, and a billiards room that used to display the Baron’s trophies from his many safaris. A spiral staircase at the far end of the billiards room leads to the upstairs den, and stairs in another corner lead to a huge vault with storage slots for art work and other valuables.
The Baron also provided living quarters for his servants with the Canadiana Condos. The eight, 1,500 square foot, three-bedroom homes (four duplexes in total) have patios, new siding and roofs, and parking in a garage. There is also a barn manager’s home that is 2,500 square feet and it has a 1,800 square foot rental apartment attached. With the living quarters, barns, paddocks and land, The Canadiana Properties is largest property and one of the most luxurious (priced at $12.5 million) ever listed in the Calgary region, and would be ideal for large horse-loving family, anyone who dreams of owning an equestrian operation or as an equestrian training school for young riders who dream of Olympic glory.