'Red paperclip' trader wants to unload Sask. house
MONTREAL - Just two years ago, Kyle MacDonald managed to barter a red paper clip into a two-storey home in a rural Saskatchewan town.
Now, the master trader is itching to move on, although he admits he has no idea what he can fetch for the three-bedroom, two-bathroom, fully furnished home on Main Street in Kipling, Sask. The web-savvy former Montrealer says it is a tough decision to move, but the right one for himself and his wife.
"I realized I didn't just want to stay somewhere, I wanted to keep moving and keep trading," MacDonald, 28, told The Canadian Press in an interview in Montreal on Tuesday.
"I'm going to put it out there for the world and see what happens. It worked really well last time so hopefully it will work well this time."
MacDonald and his Quebec-born wife, Dominique Dupuis, decided last month it was time to trade the home in the farming community, preferably to someone who plans to live there full time or open a business.
They are accepting offers until July 11 and hope to seal a deal the following week. There will be no year-long trading session this time around, MacDonald said.
"If there was some sort of opportunity I could trade for before that date, I would definitely consider it," he said.
MacDonald said his wife has accepted work in Montreal and that the couple rarely live at the home, splitting their time between Quebec and British Columbia, from where MacDonald originally hails.
"We realized we're not going to spend a lot of time in Kipling and it would be sad to leave the house empty," MacDonald said.
So the potential to find a permanent resident - and make another trade - was too much to pass up.
MacDonald masterminded a series of exchanges in 2005 and 2006 that saw him start with a red paper clip and end up with the house.
He wrote a book about his adventure and chronicled his exchanges on a blog which attracted worldwide attention.
The two-storey home is located not far from the world's largest paper clip, a monument of sorts to MacDonald who put the town on the map with his wheeling and dealing.
Kipling was granted a Guinness World Record in January for being home to the world's largest paper clip. The clip, built in Saskatchewan, is about five metres high, one metre wide and weighs some 1,400 kilograms.
MacDonald initially swapped the paper clip to a B.C. woman for a pen and traded the pen for a doorknob.
That was followed by a series of trades that included a Coleman stove, a power generator, a keg of beer, a snowmobile, a trip to Yahk, B.C., a cube van, a recording contract, a year's free lodging in a Phoenix bungalow, an afternoon with rock icon Alice Cooper and a KISS snow globe.
Actor Corbin Bernsen, an avid snow globe collector, served up a role in his new movie for the KISS keepsake. The town of Kipling then got into the act and offered MacDonald the house in exchange for the movie role, which he accepted.
What MacDonald's departure means for Kipling's quirky fame remains to be seen, but he says he wants nothing but the best for the town of 1,140, a two-hour drive southeast of Regina.
"My primary interest in this whole thing is something really good happens to the house for the town," MacDonald said.
"I don't want anything personal. It's making a move so that the town can benefit."