A Drone Flies Through A Rotting, Abandoned $17.5 Million Vancouver Mansion; This Is What It Saw

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the past several months we have repeatedly noted a recurring peculiarity of the Vancouver housing bubble: there are numerous multi-million dollar mansions, which rot, abandoned, their owners having long ago disappeared.

Two months ago, we first postulated the hypothetical timeline that starts with the purchase of a Vancouver mansion

  • Chinese investors smuggled out millions in embezzled cash, hot money or perfectly legal funds, bypassing the $50,000/year limit in legal capital outflows.
  • They make "all cash" purchases, usually sight unseen, using third parties intermediaries to preserve their anonymity, or directly in perso, in cities like Vancouver, New York, London or San Francisco.
  • The house becomes a new "Swiss bank account", providing the promise of an anonymous store of value and retaining the cash equivalent value of the original capital outflow.
  • Then the owners disappear, never to be heard from or seen again.

Then we showed a dramatic example of the last step just yesterday in our post laying out the "Curious Story Of The Chinese Tycoon Found "Chopped Up Into 100 Pieces" In A Vancouver Mansion."

But while the mysterious past of Vancouver's abandoned mansions may be increasingly more transparent, their "present" is just is perplexing: after all, they are still the legal possession of someone - even if that someone is a dismembered Chinese tycoon long dead - and as such they may remain a neighborhood blight for a long time.

Another mystery: what is contained inside?

For at least one answer to that question, we go to Corbie Fieldwalker, a 40 year old Vancouver resident who last July stumbled upon a house left to rot in Point Grey, a neighborhood that’s home to some of North America’s priciest real estate and coveted for its ocean, mountain and city views.

Quoted by the National Post, Fieldwaker, said that "we started thinking about the last few years of media coverage surrounding real estate, community and Vancouver’s rapidly changing identity, and how these properties could be used to frame those issue in an emotionally engaging way that may be lacking in the current conversation."

The solution was obvious. Make films.

And so for the past nine months, Fieldwalker has been entering abandoned multimillion-dollar properties equipped with a DSLR camera and drone, shooting them from every angle he can before they’re gone forever.

So far, he’s filmed five properties in Point Grey and a few in the south Cambie area. Many of them sit behind blue fences, the telltale sign a backhoe is on its way.

Fieldwalker said accessing the properties is simple: “We just go up to them and shoot.”

In the following film posted to Fieldwalker’s Vimeo page, the viewer is brought inside a 3,430 square-foot Point Grey teardown on Drummond Drive, which last year sold for $17.5 million.

The property’s overgrown lawn, mossy shingles, smashed windows and missing doors suggest it’s been many years since anyone called it home. It's owner, mostly likely another Chinese tycoon, is long gone.

Inside, the camera pans and dollies slowly over peeling paint, crumbling gypsum and broken glass, up a staircase and down hallways that show no signs of life, save for some graffiti. It would be the perfect set for a horror or post-apocalyptic film.

Fieldwalker said he understands he’s trespassing and takes responsibility for it, but believes that because the properties are on unceded Coast Salish territory, they can’t truly be owned. Many have sat vacant for five or more years as investment properties. "I’ve had no friction so far,” he said.

Fieldwalker said the films began as a personal project, but he now hopes they might facilitate discussion about architecture, history and how the city is valuated. "There needs to be sort of a change in the value of the community," he said, although it is unclear if the community can stand any further valuation upward.

"Right now, it’s about making money – and I understand, because houses are going for a million dollars over offer, and I don’t really blame these people – but it’s destroying the fabric of the city really quickly, I think."

He doesn’t expect his films to change the views of Vancouver residents and the government, but hopes they might preserve memories of the neighbourhoods where they grew up.

"It’s more about an archival record that can be referenced as we develop our understanding and appreciation for this stuff" he said.

He will be busy for a while: as the National Post reports, according to city records there were 974 housing-permit demolitions citywide in 2015. 917 were torn down in 2014, 859 in 2013 and 1,008 in 2012.

The fate of the $17.5 million house which Fieldwalker has decided to showcase is not clear at this moment, but at least viewers can now see the inside of one of Vancouver's most expensive, and abandoned, mansions, through the perspective of a drone.

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wee-weed up's picture



Next Detroit... Chicago... Newark... Compton... etc.

In other words, all the cities destroyed by many years of Liberal Socialist rule.

"Yes We Can"

"Hope & Change"

"O-ba-ma... O-ba-ma... O-ba-ma..."

But somehow... methinks the MSM won't have the balls to go there...

Four chan's picture

just needs a few hundred of those chinese slaves at 10c an hour to whip it into shape.

old naughty's picture

as east so west...

ghost city in BC,


zeronetwork's picture

Most probably its the value of the land and permits.

Son of Loki's picture

A $17 million rotting mansion---only the best for the Chinese Money Launderers while the Canadian and United States gubmints look the other way.


Too bad they have priced the locals out of a house. As long as the beer-drinking, football-watching lazy diabetic Americans and Canadians don't complain, the farce will continue and taxpayers will continue ot be bilked for indicting climate change deniers, whistleblowers and foreign soccer officials.

erkme73's picture

I passed out watching this BORING video.  Is there no way to fast-forward to the "drone" part?


ETA:  cursor key to the right will skip ahead.  Hint:  There isn't a single second of drone video.  I feel cheated.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) erkme73 Apr 15, 2016 8:25 PM

Location, location, location.  Who wants to be the next lucky Chinese owner at $25 million?

zeropain's picture

so who is paying the yearly taxes on the property?

McCormick No. 9's picture

17.5 mil... a definite real estate bubble. 1.3 billion greater fools in China?

Laowei Gweilo's picture

legally it's actually owned by a BC company

1784 DRUMMOND DRIVE HOLDINGS LTD - registration number CABC1039365 on date 2015-06-10 (02:36 PM PST)


have at it if you wanna try search for a register owner or at least a mailing address


Motasaurus's picture


Damn! If I was going to build a $17.5million house it would be built out of materials that aren't going to crumble into dust inside a decade, no matter how neglected they might be.

A real sign of the world we live in right there. Nothing is built to last. 

Bokkenrijder's picture

"Drone footage?" Isn't the word "drone" simply used in order to cover up that someone illegally entered someone else's property?

Didn't know that the remote control radio frequency that these 'drones' use, would go straight through thick walls allowing someone to control the 'drone' from the outside of the house...

Matt's picture

The radios are pretty good, and you can get goggles to fly from drone's view. Here's some guy doing stunts through a giant cement and brick structure without loss of signal:

EDIT: Can you get FM radio inside your house? Drones don't run on Bluetooth. 

try_it's picture
try_it (not verified) Matt Apr 16, 2016 10:55 AM

Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $100 per hour. I work through this link... www.earnmore9.com

smithcreek's picture

C'mon, stop it with the over the top hyped BS.  That reason some Chinese person bought that property is becuase the house (not mansion) was already a piece of shit.  You can clearly tell it was not a new home by the outdated wrought iron in the living room.  Problably some cheap crap house built in the late 60s early 70s.  The house was a heap of crap, but the property is valuable.  The owner can now let it rot and not lose a dime.  Mystery solved.

try_it's picture
try_it (not verified) Matt Apr 16, 2016 10:55 AM

Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $100 per hour. I work through this link... www.earnmore9.com

ebear's picture

Some good drone footage here. Really thick walls too!


swmnguy's picture

Who's paying the taxes?  You are, if you're Canadian.  Here in the US the mortgage scamsters did the same thing.  Nobody paid the taxes.  Mortgage transfers among the banksters were never properly recorded either, so the fees weren't paid and the chain of title is iffy at best.  And since government doesn't pay for itself and its costs go up rather than down in dealing with deadbeatism, everybody else is paying more.

jeff montanye's picture

first the interest rates are pressed to zero or beyond and then bonds are sold to raise funds to bridge the gap in revenues.

so in some sense the short-changed savers are paying for some of this.

i realize it rains, snows and rots more in vancouver but the shingles look older by far than five years.

and yet the structure doesn't look beyond saving.  guess any heirs are still in china, if any exist.

at least the guy in pieces is clearly dead, unlike the "disappeared".

MANvsMACHINE's picture

Does anyone here know a really rich Chinese dude who would like to buy my house for $20 million. I would throw in my personal guarantee to continue to live in the house for another 10 years and I would pay the taxes.

Sounds like a better deal for the buyer and it would certainly be a good deal for me.

I would maintain the property AND pay taxes on the house for the next 10 years or maybe more, and the buyer would be holding an asset that's going to retain its value, albeit not $20 million in value, but the objectives will be met.

Restorative_Ally's picture

"Viral" advertising for a movie perhaps? Yard doesn't have enough overgrowth and small trees to go along with the decay on the interior, along with the ever-present "melt" and then later "meltone" or "melt one." Also, drawers don't get and stay in broken windows on their own. Just saying.

Laowei Gweilo's picture

most of these property sales are generated huge profit for the government.


BC is the only province in Canada with about a $1b surplus AND low operating debt/debt-to-GDP... AB, ON both probably closer to $8-9b deficits. QC is the only other prov. with a surplus but their debt-to-GDP is like 55% while BC is 17%

big reason for this is the recent 5-6% annual propertry taxation growth which grew to almost +15% (or an extra $500 million) last budget.

income taxation also grew 14% last year.

there's a lot of issues with housing, but generating huge budget windfalls is not one of them. BC municipal government from construction permits, rezoning fees; universities from tuition; provincial from taxation are all at their best financial performances in 20-25 years.

(not speaking to whether or not it's worth it, nor if they're spending it the right way -- just pointing out that relative to the rest of Canada, BC state financials are booming)

Canadian Renegade's picture

I've commented on this briefly before. The government for the time being has no real interest on preventing this bubble since they are profiting so much from it.

The flip side is though that these property values cannot be maintained without ever expanding debt and Chinese money. As soon as that stops Vancouver and probably Be as a whole is fucker. Just like Alberta is without oil money.

In fact Edmonton household Median GDP is higher then Vancouver's yet our real estate is much lower and dropping. Should clue people into the eventual demise of Vancouver. Although in this crazy world with potential NIRP it could be more of a Japanese style collapse over 20+ years. As far as I know their real estate peaked in the early 90's and has been deflating ever since.

Pumpkin's picture

This is what happens when the servant takes the throne of the master.  You have no unalienable rights, just ask your public servant in government.

Mr. Magoo's picture

Looks like a job for the property brothers

MontgomeryScott's picture

You were looking for a video that shows a DRONE, perhaps?

DRONE videos are CLASSIFIED (you need to go hang out at Groom Lake, to watch Raptor or Predator drones take off and land). Of course, NOW we have 'drone submarines' as well (you'll NEVER see THEM coming).

Your flag has only 15 stars. According to Obama (whom I trust and obey) <s>, we have 57 states now (NOT <s>). You might want to update your 'avatar image', erk.

erkme73's picture

The description talks about drone video from a DSLR mounted camera.  What is shown in this video is someone walking through the house.  There is no wind on curtains, debris, or other material getting kicked around.  This video is NOT filmed from a drone... at least not one that is flying.   Misleading advertising, that's all.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

You can clearly perceive the rocking of the drone on the exterior approach shots to "Melt".

Also -- how in hell do you think he got the rising shots in the stairwell?  Do you think he took a camera crane in there with him?

monk27's picture

That's no drone filmed video ! It's a human operator who just doesn't want to risk being charged with breaking and entering. The "drone" thing is his cover...

Four chan's picture

lol you have hit it on the nose right there me thinks.

boattrash's picture

Maybe Corbie Fieldwalker would like some help equipping his drone with incendiary capabilities.

Fester's picture

It would be a tear down either way.

Fugly house and boring vid

Condition 1SQ's picture

Contractors must be making a killing in Vancouver.  Sure, the raw land is expensive, but if I bring up a crew of Mexicans to do the framing and truck all the materials in, it would be hard to not turn a profit.  Residential plumbing is pretty easy these days with PEX and ABS.  Electrical is the same with romex and MC.  Seriously, if the Chinks keep throwing money at Vancouver, you really can't lose ..

Freddie's picture

Just needs a coat of paint, some spackle plus some curtains and it is a flip.

Gold Dog's picture

That's no mansion! Less than 4,00 sq.ft.

Must be an Upper Middle Class crrok.



CoonT's picture

Just don't put them in charge of the cement mixer..

Hugh G Rection's picture

Larry Silverstein should buy it, along with a $34 million insurance policy.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Move the structure to San Francisco -- fill it with 350 plywood boxes and you've got an apartment building.  Not sure where you would put it though.

obimk2's picture

Did your education actually explain what the difference is between, socialism, communism, capitalism, fascism, oligarchy is?


And which 'socialist' US governments caused the demise of Detroit, Chicago Newark and Compton?


iAmerican's picture

It is the divide-and-conquer Fascism demarked by Rome's logo nailed by its faithful to the front wall of the U.S. House after their victory in the "Civil War" and assassination of Pres. Lincoln, which is the source of the Organized Crime unionization, off-shoring, racism, and de-industrialization of America which has destroyed those cities.

shastatodd's picture

"cities destroyed by many years of Liberal Socialist rule"

while it is popular to blame "them", the limits to growth are not political, just simple math.

monk27's picture

It's worth every penny... /s

DeadFred's picture

I'd buy it for 10K in a heart beat. Keeping out the tweekers will be a chore but I can see it looking nice with about three years hard work. I've worked on some dumps before but this one is quite the pick.

MontgomeryScott's picture

I recently inherited a trust fund account. I was reviewing it last night, and saw a fair portion invested in 'Mortgage-Backed Securities'. It was supposedly a 'conservative' investor. i was horrified (people have SUCH SHORT MEMORIES in the financial business!).

I called the broker this morning and told him to sell it ALL and send me the cash (it was paying 5%, and my savings pays .1%). I actually had a teeny bit of internal nagging (did I do the right thing?).

MY MBS account was probably backing this McMansion in Vancouver (as well as others). YES, I did the right thing. Perhaps I'll buy a few square blocks of houses in Detroit (sight unseen). Do I have to be from China to do this? I could find LOTS of houses there that have 3,500 S.F. for a HELL of a lot less than 17.5M (might have to re-wire them and stuff, since the scum of the EARTH have sold it all for scrap to CHINA). 50 or a hundred bucks each, like it was a couple of years ago.

Lots of heroin users there in Vancouver, I guess (looking at the way that house was decorated). Well; I guess they aren't any worse than the crackheads in Detroit...

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) MontgomeryScott Apr 15, 2016 10:15 PM

The West is committing suicide.

One thing I always noticed online is that Jews when you expose their crimes

tell you to kill yourself.

They are satanic, nothing more, nothing less.

iAmerican's picture

"Subjected" to real person Moses' Torah, pretending affiliation with history's actual Hebrews for centuries, after Rome's extermination of the Hebraic Jews, and the impalement and chattal slaving work dried up, some Khazars have "reinvented the wheel" of consciousness of the present, perfect Creator to a degree: Christ-like and quite "human," though yet failing to recognize Christ Immanuel actually was God Incarnate as prophesy had foretold. https://www.facebook.com/MedabrimEnglish/videos/843882459014665/?pnref=s...

With the Talmudic "dispatching" of the need for God, as the jesuitical have dispatched the Creator from the Constitution, those "Jews" who tolerate the continued execration of the very Gentiles prophesy said would "found Zion" and remain silent in the face of the patently obvious Talmud/papist/homosexual pedophile Beast of Gog and Babylon which has obviously created False Zion and continuously attacks Isaiah's actual "Israel," America - by Torah teaching are part of it.

"Those who know of a conspiracy and do nothing to stop it are part of it" - so saith God's Torah.

Praise be to the Lord.

iAmerican's picture

Fake "Jews" - the satanic core of the "Problem" - hate the truth, and God consequently.

Catch one in person and point out the several explicit signs - spelled out for every eye to see as God intended, which prove America rather than the "State of Israel" is "Zion," and he'll pull out of his ass the "Secret Torah" not to be shared with the Goyim. lol

They are victims of satanic cult psychosis, inculcated from birth. Plain and simple. This imbalance is why they all end up as sex perverts like established rape fantasist, Sayanim Bernie Sanders, with the fale smile "tell."