Frozen food magnate Michael McCain is selling his Lawrence Park home

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Published on: September 20, 2016

Michael McCain, scion of the McCain family food empire and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, has lived in the Lawrence Park area since at least 1995, when he and his ex-wife, Christine, bought a home on Riverview Drive. In May 2013, shortly after reaching a settlement in his divorce, McCain spent $4.2 million on 111 Rochester Avenue, less than a kilometre south of the marital home. Earlier this month, he put the property on the market for $4,750,000.

McCain’s home on Rochester is luxurious, but it’s not the palatial retreat that we might expect of a man whose net worth has been estimated at half a billion dollars. It has five bedrooms spread across roughly 5,000 square feet of living space. A large, 70-foot lot leaves plenty of room for a richly landscaped backyard, complete with a swimming pool and a cabana with a built-in barbecue. McCain’s listing agent declined to comment on the sale, citing client confidentiality.

510 College Street. 510 College Street.
 Image from Google Street View

It’s unclear why McCain is selling, but there’s evidence to suggest it’s to facilitate a change in lifestyle. In July, he paid $9.95 million for one of downtown’s most distinctive homes: a townhouse at College Street and Palmerston Boulevard that used to belong to developer J.F. Brennan and his partner, Daniel Greenglass. The freehold home is one of four that Brennan and another developer, Matthew Kosoy, began carving out of the former College Street Baptist Church, a Romanesque Revival building that had fallen into disuse, in 2007.

McCain’s townhouse is the fanciest of the four. According to a 2015 Globe profile of the space, the front door opens onto a grand entrance, where the walls and central staircase are clad in white travertine. The home incorporates the church’s large, south-facing arched windows, as well as its bell tower, which can be accessed through a staircase hidden behind a bookcase in the library. All of this is located just a few steps north of Kensington Market. As post-divorce pads go, it’s a good one.

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