A house may just be a building — four  walls with a roof on top, maybe some doors and windows, too — but a home is so much more. It’s your happy place where you return after a long day. It’s where you cook and sleep, laugh and cry, grow and age.

A home is more than just a house, and nobody knows this better than one real estate agent duo in Canada. Still, when they received some perplexing details about curious Toronto house, they were skeptical it was something anyone could ever call home — until they heard the owner’s story…

In November of 2018, a real estate agent received a call from an elderly woman who asked for help selling her house. When they heard where the house was located, they jumped at the opportunity. But then she told them something else…

The house hadn’t been touched since 1972! The 96-year-old Canadian woman told the real estate agents that nobody had remodeled or updated it in decades, so the realtors weren’t quite sure what to expect once they finally got inside. 

The woman, who introduced herself as Joyce, lived on 148 Jane Street in the Old Mill neighborhood, a beautiful, peaceful area not far from Toronto. The sister team had sold houses there in the past for quite a hefty price — and thus a hefty commission.

However, when they first took a look at the front of the house, the women reacted with skepticism. It seemed like a plain, suburban home that, if in good condition, could be worth an average amount of money. The key words being IF in good condition.

The ladies walked around the side of the house to take a look at the backyard, which was covered in snow and ice at the time. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but the Spizzirri sisters were still wondering what Joyce was hiding inside.

Naturally, Gladys and Carla suspected that an old woman living alone would not be able to keep up a house. If she didn’t repaint, fix plumbing issues, order pest control, or even clean, the interior of the house would surely be a disaster.

Another theory that the realtors came up with was that Joyce might be a hoarder. Why hadn’t she updated her house in so long, even when she was younger? Could it be because it was filled to the brim with old garbage?

Joyce assured them that no such thing would be found inside her lovely home and that the ladies would understand what she meant when they came to view the house’s interior. Finally, their love for the Old Mill neighborhood and their desire to help this woman won them over.

A few days later, Gladys and Carla came over to visit Joyce’s home as planned, and when they walked through the door and glanced around the hallway, their jaws nearly dropped to the floor.

The entire house was preserved exactly in the style of the 1950s! In fact, at the time Joyce had given it her own personal touch with pastel pinks, blues, and greens, antique white furniture, elegant wallpaper, and golden decorations.

Every room reminded Gladys and Carla of a vintage Barbie dream house, in the best way possible. It felt like each and every room was competing with the others to tell every visitor, “See, I look even better than the living room.”

A 1950s house wouldn’t be complete without a bachelor-pad-style basement, complete with a bar and a fireplace for the chilly Canadian winters. This was the only area not completely pastel-colored, as it was meant as a place to relax for Joyce’s late husband.

The home contains three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a breakfast nook, a kitchen a laundry room in the basement, and, of course, the previously mentioned bar area. It’s hard to believe all that could fit in the home, but perhaps it had a touch of magic to it.

The reason why the house was styled to a T was that Joyce was actually a seamstress who already had an eye for design when it came to clothing and linen. She had always wanted to dabble in interior decoration as well. “I’ve always tried to be individual, and follow my own styles,” she said.

“I like soft colors, and I like things to match and flow well together,” she said. “I prefer tone-to-tone to bright colors.” Her taste was obvious: she gave her house an elegant and yet calm and friendly look, with pink, blue, and turquoise themes downstairs and purple and lilac themes upstairs.

You won’t find any modern appliances, furniture, or decor pieces anywhere in the house. The only room that was once updated was the kitchen, but that was still in the 1970s to adjust the space to new appliances that made cooking a little easier.

Unfortunately for those interested in buying the house, it wouldn’t come with its priceless furniture. While the wallpaper, lamps, bathroom and kitchen details remained, valuable and wonderful pieces like the breakfast nook set stayed in the family, as Joyce’s daughter asked to keep them.

And with a little sun, even the backyard has a ’50s theme, complete with swan statues and astroturf. Since Joyce didn’t spend much time in the yard due to her age, it is the only part of the house that looks a bit plain.

While Joyce was sad to sell the house that she has lived in for 72 years and trade it in for a retirement community, she spent many happy years there and hoped that the next owners would too — and that they will at least keep some of her original themes!

Dozens of potential buyers have stood in awe at 148 Jane Street, relishing in the magical work Joyce had put in all those years. A place preserved in time like this is truly priceless, however, sometimes historic homes don’t always have such a happy history…

Madame de Florian was just 23 years old when the Nazis marched on Paris in 1939. She was forced to flee her flat in Paris immediately to seek safety in the south. In her haste, she packed nothing but the clothes on her back and a small purse.

The city was mobilizing for war after the Germans invaded Poland. While the war still seemed far away at this point in September, only months later on June 14th, 1940, Germans officially occupied Paris.

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The young expatriate made her new home in the free zone, outside of Nazi-occupied France. Even after the war had ended, Madame de Florian never returned to her old apartment.

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It wasn’t until her death in 2010 that her family discovered that she had still been paying rent on the apartment her entire life. An auctioneer, Olivier Choppin-Janvry, was sent to inventory her abandoned home, and what he found was beyond their wildest dreams.

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Even decades of dust and neglect couldn’t dull what they found inside the apartment. As they turned the key to the front door for the first time since 1939, they were greeted with priceless art and precious relics offering a very rare glimpse into the past.

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Madame de Florian’s vanity mirror still awaited her, complete with lotions and potions of all sorts. The layer of dust almost seemed like a silk screen over this home that felt so very lived in.

A vintage Mickey Mouse keeps Porky Pig company in one corner, waiting for a child to come play with them once more. A curious insight into Madame de Florian’s personal life. She had no children of her own at this time, so who were these toys for?

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This stunning Belle Epoque-era painting of Madame de Florian’s mother Marthe was painted by the Italian legend Giovanni Boldini who lived and worked in Paris for most of his career. He was famous for his flowing style of portrait paintings.

The painting of Marthe ended up selling for $3.4 million at auction. A juicy revelation emerged that the two had been lovers before the war. This new belief only strengthened interest in the piece.

The entire apartment is a step into a time capsule— a lovely and tragic monument to a bygone era. It’s only such a shame that the war destroyed so much of it, but because of the war, there are hidden treasures like this all over France that are still being discovered.

Florian Michaud is an urban explorer from Paris, France who loves finding and photographing abandoned and run-down old buildings from France’s long and interesting past.

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One of his most recent finds was a derelict old mansion that was still filled with remnants of the previous owner, who appears to have been a military fanatic and collector of old war artifacts and memorabilia!

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Florian has not divulged the exact location of the mansion for two reasons. The first is that he puts a great deal of time into finding places other explorers haven’t found. The second is that he wants to make sure the mansion stays preserved in its current state.

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This memorabilia-filled mansion is the ultimate find for urban explorers like Florian because it looks as if the previous owners simply vanished. It freezes their possessions and living area in time, whereas most abandoned buildings simply lay empty.

Florian just happened to stumble upon the old chateau when he was investigating another property, and luckily he had his Nikon-D750 on hand to get some marvelous snapshots of the old place!

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Inside, Florian found shelves upon shelves of books containing works of classical literature as well as many volumes of military histories, war memoirs, and other similarly-themed tomes.

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On the walls of the once stately living room hung flags from all over the world, especially from colonies and protectorates of the British Empire, and on the table sat a dusty old globe surrounded by history books.

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While most of the flags were British, including one from the Royal Navy, on one wall there was a United States flag containing far fewer than fifty stars, meaning it probably dated to sometime around the turn of the 20th century!

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The living room had plenty of impressive antique furniture, portraits, and other artworks, but the find that blew Florian’s mind the most was the giant 19th-century cannon sitting in the corner!

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The cannon almost looks quaint today, in an era marked by high-tech warfare like machine guns and unmanned drones, but in its time, it was undoubtedly both a well-crafted piece of machinery and a highly deadly weapon.

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Florian also photographed the mansion’s giant bedrooms, where curtains still hung over the windows and ornate quilts still laid on the bed. In one of them an empty violin case sat on the bed as if someone had just taken out the instrument to play.

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In another room, a display cabinet held a very old crown, as well as other ornately decorated items. Florian wondered whether these pieces might give some hint about the lineage of the mansion’s original occupants…

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The mansion also contained a billiards room, complete with a roulette wheel and a pool table! Additionally, there was a very old map laying on the pool table, a torn map on the wall, and even more maps scattered on the ground…

One of the more eerie items that Florian found in the chateau was an antique clock enclosed in a glass case. Its hands had stopped moving just past 12, as if at that exact moment, time had frozen in the old house.

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One of the more remarkable aspects of the chateau was a mural painted on the wall that was extraordinarily well-preserved. Strangely enough, the mural features people in Renaissance-era dress, though what precisely it depicts is still a mystery.

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Even more mysterious might be the hollowed-out book Florian found in one room. Inside a compartment carved into the pages, there was a contraption made of wood and wires. He didn’t dare touch it for fear of some unintended consequence…

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Florian’s photographs certainly give the impression that the property has been abandoned for a number of years, but that hasn’t stopped many on the internet, even other urban explorers, from accusing him of staging the photos.

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To many, the lack of debris or evidence of animals living in the abandoned place are a red flag, and others argue that the placement of many items in his pictures is just a little too perfect to be real.

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Florian hasn’t responded directly to any of these criticisms, but he insists that it’s his extensive research and persistence that allows him to find the remarkable abandoned buildings that other urban explorers miss.

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Describing the thrill he gets from finding a perfectly preserved building like this old chateau, he says: “It vibrates with something powerful and out of the ordinary that triggers in me an overwhelming flow of creative ideas and awakens an urge to simply catch the moment.”

Apartments and mansions are cool and all, but this abandoned castle outside of Paris really takes the cake! The stunning castle, named Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, was built around 1400 as a citadel for the Baucay family. Since then, it’s had several owners.

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The castle was captured twice by the British, who used it for extravagant parties, toward the end of the Middle Ages. Can you even imagine being invited to a party at a castle that looks like it’s straight for a Disney movie?

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Unfortunately, the castle was destroyed during the French Revolution; in 1809, but not too long after, wealthy French entrepreneur Francois Hennecart purchased it and began restoring it.

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Sadly, in 1932, its then-owner inadvertently started a fire while installing central heat. Rare books, furniture, and paintings all perished, and the castle has been empty ever since.

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There have been attempts to restore it, but none have lasted very long. The castle is clearly massive and it would take more than a small fortune to bring it up to modern living standards.

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Today the castle has a somewhat eerie feeling to it as trees and other vegetation have taken up residence. In its current condition, the only one fit to live here would be Dracula himself. Apparently, he’s more of a Transylvania type…

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Still, the castle remains as hauntingly beautiful as ever… much like the perfect setting for a story. Here’s the chapel. Just take a look at the incredible detail of the stained glass windows!

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The castle boasts many extravagant features that modern architects don’t take the time to invest in nowadays. Take for example this elaborate spiral staircase. The entire thing is hand-carved out of stone.

Admittedly, some parts of the castle have seen better days but thankfully, an association has formed to help preserve the castle and eventually begin its restoration. Here’s hoping that one day it’s restored to its former glory!

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It’s unbelievable to think that a place like this could just be sitting there! Come on, rich people of the world, forget couture, pool some money together and get this place fixed up so we can visit!