Grand Duchess OLGA ALEXANDROVNA was born into the richest monarchy in the world, residing in a 200-room mansion with 70 servants. As the younger sister of Tsar Nicholas II, she was driven out of Russia when her brother abdicated and was executed. She fled to Denmark, then to Canada, dying in poverty in TORONTO in 1960 at the age of 78 – a riches to rags story if ever there was one.
This is where she ended up – living in a tumbledown unit over a beauty parlour in TORONTO’s east end. The building still stands at 710 Gerrard Street East, and the Grand Duchess’s apartment is now up for sale at a listed price of $539,000. (I assume the storefront is part of the deal.)