Drake is fed up.
Well, he’s most always fed up — “distressed, exasperated and over it” is kind of his milieu — but this time, he’s extremely fed up. People won’t stop materializing and trespassing at his Toronto mansion on the “Millionaires Row” Bridle Path, and it’s gotten so bad that the City of Toronto has granted him special permission to build towering fences around the property … to keep everyone out.
Earlier: Drake’s mansion has come a long way in the last year. Story continues after the video.
The new fences are like a moat for a castle, only instead of sailing over an artificial lake, you’d need stilts or an impressive talent for climbing in order to find your way onto the premises. (Which, obviously, you shouldn’t be doing.)
“The amount of people that try to come onto this property during the day and at night is very, very significant,” Brad Rafauli, vice-president of the Ferris Rafauli Architectural Design Build Group, told North York Community Council on Monday, per CTV News. “Security is really left in his hands.”
Not that the in-progress mansion becoming a local attraction is a surprise. Over the last couple of months, the world has been periodically updated on the new stages of the mansion’s development, eliciting a steady stream of interest that has, at times, bordered on obsession.
Even Drake himself, seduced by his own glamour, has transported us right into his home through Instagram, flaunting Louvre pyramid-esque glass ceilings and lavish indoor basketball courts that would shock anyone into a desire to see in order to believe.
As it stands, the City of Toronto’s bylaws state that residential fences cannot exceed a maximum height of two metres, which makes sense for most people. But when you’re the country’s eminent celebrity export, a flexible understanding of security and privacy concerns isn’t the wildest thing in the world.
Neither, it should be said, is the tacit expectation that as one of the biggest celebrities in the world, people will show up to your home and try to get access, in spite of your diligent 24-hour security.
Drake’s representatives have explained that the updated fence — though it may seem garish and extra to the casual onlooker — is essential to the artist’s safety and his privacy. “Everyone knows where he eats, where he sleeps, and that has really freaked him out,” Rafauli said.
This isn’t Drake’s first effort to build his own singly-populated gated community. Not that you should Google it and plan a day trip — seriously, please don’t — but the mansion is located right on Park Lane Circle, and has already been lined with 20-foot cedar trees (cost: $1 million) as well as a heady combination of gates and columns and walls and fences that try to simulate some sense of privacy.
And to be perfectly to the letter, a staff report from the exemption request clarifies some of the fence dimensions: the one in the front yard is somewhere between three and 4.2 metres, while another 11.2 metre long brick “barrier wall” runs along the edge of the backyard.
To make things more complicated, the property owner who shares a backyard lot line with Drake — yes, he does have neighbours — has already complained about that “barrier wall,” arguing that the intricate network of borders casts an excessive shadow that makes for “an eyesore,” and that “it can be observed from almost every single room” in their residence.
No matter: community council has obliged the rapper’s home makeover project. “There was very little opposition,” Ward 15 Coun. Jaye Robinson told CTV News. Any concerns about how high the fences were, she explained, were mostly curtailed by the sight of the cedars. “There’s nothing lovelier than a whole row of beautiful trees, so we’re very impressed with the actual investment in trees on this particular property.”
But whether those “beautiful” 20-foot trees, elaborate fences, “eyesore” walls, massive gates, big columns, and 24-hour security detail will be enough to keep rabid fans out of the rapper’s hair, and off his 35,000-square-foot property, remains to be seen.