Peter Gilgan is the new owner of Toronto’s most expensive condo

Peter Gilgan is the new owner of Toronto’s most expensive condo

Peter Gilgan. Photograph from the Peter Gilgan Foundation

The 55th-floor penthouse at the Four Seasons Residences, in Yorkville, has a colourful past. The property’s first owner was a corporation that turned out to belong to Robert Oesterlund, a Finnish businessman who made his fortune running internet businesses that were repeatedly investigated by U.S. authorities for alleged deceptive marketing practices. After Oesterlund closed on the penthouse for about $23 million (before HST) in 2014, it became a bargaining chip in his divorce from his wife, Sarah Pursglove, who reportedly won full ownership of the property last year as part of a confidential divorce settlement.

Pursglove put the penthouse on the market for a staggering $36 million—about $4,000 per square foot—an unprecedented price for a resale condo in Toronto. It’s possible to buy an entire Bridle Path mansion for much less money. And yet, the Four Seasons penthouse found a buyer in a matter of months. On December 15, a corporation called Three Kingdoms Property Holdings Inc. closed on the property for $31 million—a relative bargain, at $5 million under the asking price.

There isn’t much information available about Three Kingdoms Holdings, but, in the company’s public filings, it identifies a person named James Richard McGill as its chief financial officer. McGill’s various professional biographies identify him as the head of the Peter Gilgan Family Office, the corporate alter-ego of Peter Gilgan, the billionaire founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes. McGill is also listed as a director of Gilgan’s charitable foundation. Toronto Life has confirmed independently that Peter Gilgan is the condo’s ultimate resident.

The Four Seasons. Image from Google Street View

Gilgan founded Mattamy in the late 1970s. Initially, he built small batches of custom homes, but by the mid-1980s he had grown his company into a large-scale housing developer. Mattamy was responsible for remaking large swaths of Oakville’s Glen Abbey neighbourhood into low-rise subdivisions. The company successfully weathered the market downturn of the early 1990s and, by 1999, had become the GTA’s most prolific homebuilder. Mattamy now has projects across Canada and the southern United States.

Gilgan moved Mattamy’s head offices downtown in 2015, and may have been looking for a condo nearby. He picked a good one: Oesterlund and Pursglove made millions of dollars worth of renovations after buying the unit as a concrete shell, and now it’s a sky mansion. The interior has 12-foot ceilings and four bedrooms, including a master bedroom with two ensuite bathrooms. The suite takes up the entire top floor of the Four Seasons’ west tower, giving it a 360-degree view of the city. And although the property is a great deal more costly than the average Bridle Path estate, it definitely beats the Bridle Path on location, with Yorkville just a quick elevator ride away.

Gilgan declined to comment on his purchase. If he’s planning to make major changes to the penthouse’s interior, he hasn’t started yet: there are no active building permits on file with the city—although he does have a permit to knock down some walls in the penthouse’s combined parking and storage area, in the tower’s basement.