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Ghost town for sale: picturesque Bradian, B.C. on the market for just under $1m

Into really big renos and got a million to spare? Why not buy Bradian, B.C.? (Photo courtesy of John Lovelace)

Into really big renos and got a million to spare? Why not buy Bradian, B.C.? (Photo courtesy of John Lovelace)

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Want to buy one of Canada's biggest "fixer-uppers"? Well, have we got a town for you! Yes, a town. Bradian, B.C., a former mining community just a few hours from Whistler and Vancouver, currently has a population of zero and is selling for just under $1,000,000. But after four years on the market, no one has yet bought into the dream of starting their own town.

"People have the notion that it would be nice to own a ghost town and fix it all up," Bradian's realtor John Lovelace tells As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch. "Ideas are a dime a dozen, but it's the execution that makes things happen. Quite frankly, there's a lot of execution required in this town. If you wanted to fix it up, you'd have to spend a great deal more than the purchase price."

Back in the 1930s, Bradian was a suburb of Bralorne, a gold mining town. For over 40 years, a total of 4 million ounces of gold and 1.2 million ounces of silver were excavated from the area. Then, in 1971, gold prices dropped and the mine shut down and all its residents moved away.

"[Bradian] was owned by the mining consortium, so they just sold the whole thing," Lovelace says.

In 1997, Tom and Katherine Gutenberg bought the town as a personal project. For years, the Gutenbergs spent their summers and vacations upgrading Bradian. But despite their efforts, the town is still in a state of disrepair. However, the 50-acre residential zone is still connected to power and phone lines.

"There's 22 homes left, they're in rough shape, there's no doubt about it." Lovelace concedes. "The other problem is that, I'd be quick to point out, the services there are built to 1930 standards, and that means they would never pass muster today. So anybody who's gonna go in there is pretty much gotta rehabilitate the whole thing."

For an industrious (and wealthy) dreamer, Bradian is ready to be reborn... if they can get there.

"As the crow flies, it's very close to Whistler," Lovelace says. "In the summer, you have to take what's called the Hurley Pass, and that is not for the faint of heart. That's a four-wheel drive -- mind you it is spectacular scenery to go in that way -- but you know, there's no question about it, it's a tough ride."

"In the off-season, in the winter time -- but also in the fall and spring -- there's still six-feet of snow in there on the first of June. It's unbelievable the kind of snow they get. You have to go around through Lillooet and It's a paved road, and it's not bad... but it certainly adds time to your voyage, that's for sure."

Despite it's challenges, Lovelace says there are interested buyers, including people from as far away as Sydney, Australia.

"For every property there's a buyer," he says, "and we're feeling pretty good that this may be the year that we're gonna actually sell Bradian."

Here are some more views of the town:

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