From the archives: Trump's first foray into Canadian real estate investment

While president-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, we take a look back at the first time he dipped his toe into Canadian real estate.

It was a simpler time in 2008 (just ignore the fact that we were right at the beginning of economic recession). Donald Trump was doing what he arguably does best – growing his real estate portfolio.

“You’re hired!” the March/April edition of Canadian Real Estate Wealth (then called Canadian Real Estate) proclaimed on our front cover. “Trumps add Canada to real estate resume.”

The cover featured the toothy-grinned future president and “one of the great beauties of the world” (his words as told to Howard Stern, not ours), daughter Ivanka.

All joking aside, Trump did provide some impressive predictions.

“Toronto is a world-class city and it’s only going up,” Trump told CREW at the time. “It’s getting better all the time. With Vancouver, Toronto and to a lesser degree, Montreal, the world is beginning to take notice of the value of Canadian real estate.”

Throughout the feature, the former reality TV star spoke confidently about the Trump Toronto tower.

“We were the first five-star luxury property in Toronto,” Trump said. “When we first opened for sales in 2004, the general consensus was that we were crazy to be asking for $1,000 a square foot. Yet, we were very successful. We proved that the Toronto market was viable and other great brands have followed our success. We’ve now sold over $300 million worth of real estate and are averaging over $1,500 a square foot.”

The investment, however, didn’t work out as planned.

Earlier this month, a bankruptcy judge placed the glass and granite Bay street behemoth in receivership. A mere four months after its launch, the president-elect’s name may soon be wiped clean from the building.

Trump has spoken in equally braggadocios measures about his ability to run a country. It remains to be seen if that venture will prove more successful than his first foray into Canadian real estate.

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