Oh Canada! It is the land above the United States and known for ice hockey and the maple leaf. It is the country of origin of Wayne Gretzky, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Jim Carrey, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams and Ellen Paige. But Canada has its share of billionaire businessmen and entrepreneurs. Here is a list of the top ten richest people in Canada:
10 David Thomson and Family - $17.5 billion
David Thomson made his name and fortune in media. He is the Chairman of Thomson Reuters, an information source and portal for businessmen and other professionals. He is also the chairman of his family’s investment company called Woodbridge, as well as of The Globe and Mail Inc., a media company based in Canada. Thomson also has investments in real estate and is a member of the board of several private companies.
Thomson is also known for marrying actress Kelly Rowan, one of the stars of the defunct television series The O.C. They have since gotten a divorce.
Thomson has a masters degree from Cambridge University. He is based in Toronto.
9 Galen Weston and Family - $7.6 billion
Willard Gordon Galen Weston is the Executive Chairman of George Weston Limited, one of Canada’s leading food processing and distribution companies. Through the family’s holding company, Weston has also maintained a controlling stake in Loblaw Companies Limited, the largest supermarket chain in Canada. He is also known as one of the country’s leading baker as a result of his ownership of Weston Foods. Additionally, Weston is the Chairman of Holt Renfrew, the second largest retailer of luxury goods in the world.
Weston graduated from the University of Western Ontario. He is married and has a couple of kids. Outside the boardroom, Weston has been known to play polo with England’s Prince Charles. He also collects works made by the avant garde artist named Christo.
8 James and Arthur Irving - $5 billion
The brothers James and Arthur Irving come third in the list with total net worth of $5 billion. Their fortune was built on oil and paper products, which they had inherited from their late father in 1992. James was assigned to the paper products business, particularly Brunswick News. Arthur, on the other hand, was tasked to manage the oil business, specifically Irving Oil. They also had another brother who passed away in 2010.
Since then, the brothers have become two of the leading industrialists in Canada. They own more than 600 gas stations. They have successfully diversified their companies into around 300 subsidiaries. The result is a huge conglomerate that has been integrated vertically so that products and services required are usually sourced from a sister company. In other words, they have kept the money in.
7 Paul Desmarais - $4.3 billion
Paul Desmarais had humble beginnings, starting when he bought his father’s bus company in Ontario in 1951. Since then, he has risen to become a leading financier in Canada. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Power Corporation of Canada, or PCC. His company is actively involved in different industries, particularly in the field of financial services, pulp and paper, and mass media.
Desmarais is married and has four children. He has certainly gone a long way as he now hobnobs with the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France.
6 Jim Pattison - $4.3 billion
James Allen Pattison is a successful entrepreneur based in Vancouver. He serves as the president, chief executive officer, managing director and chairman of the Jim Pattison Group, a company that he solely owns. The Jim Pattison Group is the third biggest privately owned company in the country. Among its investments are stakes in several car dealerships, Overwaitea Foods and Save-on-Foods, and television and radio stations in Alberta and British Columbia. He also used to own the Vancouver Blazers, one of the teams participating in the World Hockey Association. He also owns Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the Guinness Book of World Records.
All these investments have allowed him to purchase the Palm Springs home of Frank Sinatra. Pattison is married and has three children.
5 Emanuele Lino Saputo - $3.7 billion
Lino Saputo was born in Sicily, and moved to Montreal in 1954. During his younger years, he used to deliver mozzarella cheese using his bicycle. He maintained his interest in that field and went on to establish Saputo, Inc., a cheese manufacturing company that he still chairs. He also has investments in a trucking company called TransForce, forest products, realty, hotels and golf courses.
4 Barry Sherman - $3.7 billion
Bernard Sherman is the chairman and chief executive officer of Apotex Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in Canada. He seeks to add to his fortune by garnering approval for his company’s controversial morning-after pill. He is not averse to confrontation, as Sherman is also involved in a court battle with relatives seeking a portion of his wealth.
3 Clayton Riddell - $3 billion
Clayton Riddell made his fortune in the oil and gas business. He is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Paramount Resources in Calgary. He is also the owner of Perpetual Energy Inc., Trilogy Energy Trust and MGM Energy.
2 David Azrieli and Family - $2.9 billion
David Azrieli is a Canadian-Israeli who traces his roots to Poland. He is an architect, designer and developer of real estate properties. He is responsible for several building projects involving high-rise residences, office buildings, office towers and shopping malls in Canada, the United States and Israel.
1 Chip Wilson - $2.9 billion
Chip Wilson is the owner of over a hundred Lululemon luxury workout wear shops. That should come as no surprise as he is the founder of Lululemon Athletics, an apparel company inspired by yoga exercises. His wife designed most of the clothes sold in the store. In addition, Wilson has translated his passion for surfing and snowboarding by establishing Westbeach, a reputable international snowboard clothing company.