Amidst the struggle and financial restraints brought by the pandemic, the number of Canadian billionaires this year increased compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic started.
According to Forbes, 64 Canadians made it to this year’s list, while only 45 achieved such feat in 2019. Such data definitely piqued our curiosity as to who they are, and for this reason, we made a list of the richest Canadian families and individuals.
Here are 10 of the richest Canadian families.
1. David Thomson and Family
If you watch the news constantly, you must have heard of Reuters, a company owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. The family-owned company drifted to the media industry when David Thomson inherited his British title and the Thomson Corporation from his father. He, the Baron Thomson of Fleet, then turned Thomson Reuters into what it is now, a multinational media giant. David Thomson and his Family currently possess a net worth of 50.6 billion U.S. dollars.
2. Galen Weston and Family
When I think about breakfast, I always associate it with Wonder Bread. In Canada, the brand of this infamous bread is owned by George Weston Limited. The company is mainly a food processing and distribution business with three operating segments, namely Loblaw Companies Limited, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, and Weston Foods.
For over 100 years since its foundation in 1882, its ownership remains to the Weston Family. With Galen Weston as the family’s patriarch, they have a total net worth of 8.3 billion U.S. dollars as of 2020.
3. The McCain Family
Eating comfort food during a lazy Sunday afternoon is a relaxing experience, especially with French fries. And I think it’s safe to say that a list of well-known brands of fries will not be complete without the McCain French Fries. Its manufacturer, McCain Foods Limited, assures the brand quality of this frozen food. Hailing from New Brunswick, Canada, brothers Wallace and Harrison McCain founded McCain Foods Limited in 1956.
Together, the McCain brothers built one of the largest frozen foods companies in the world. However, family discords that are a tale as old as time struck Wallace and Harrison during the 90s. Their prolonged legal dispute led to the brothers falling out, with Wallace and his son Michael ousted from McCain foods. The total wealth of Harrison McCain during 2018 was worth $3.79 billion, while Wallace McCain’s estate was 4.51 billion U.S. dollars.
4. Jean Coutu and Family
Even if the Coutu name literally translates to ‘knifemaker,’ it will always be tied to drugstores in Canada. That’s right; I am talking about the Jean Coutu Pharmacy. Founded by Coutu himself, the billionaire in a white lab coat opened his first eponymous pharmacy in 1969.
The main selling of his business was the low prices of products merged with customer service and extended hours. With his leadership, the company grew by acquiring many of its competitors. The company was once a leading shareholder of U.S. drug store operator Rite Aid. The Coutu Family’s net worth is currently around $2.9 billion.
5. Emanuele ‘Lino’ Saputo and Family
If you’re a cheese lover, then you must have heard of Saputo cheese and dairy products. Founded by Guiseppe Saputo in 1954, the Montreal-based company is now one of the top ten dairy processors globally.
The company grew in its home region of Quebec and then expanded mainly through mergers and acquisitions. Emanuele, aka Lino, chaired his family’s company from 1969 until his retirement in August 2017. Lino Jr., the president and CEO since 2004, succeeded his father as the chairman. Today, the net worth of Emanuele ‘Lino’ Saputo and his family is $5.8 billion.
6. James Richardson and Family
Founded in 1857, the James Richardson and Sons started from humble beginnings. James Richardson Sr. had a tailor shop where he took payment in grain. Due to this, he had no choice but to enter the grain business.
Richardson became successful in this industry, and his descendants took after him, owning major shares in real estate management, financial, and oil and gas businesses. The Richardson family was declared the 26th wealthiest family during the late 90s, close to $6.55 billion.
7. Edward S. Rogers Sr and Family
The media industry would not be as innovative as it is today without the Rogers Vacuum Tube Company. Built from the ground up, Edward S. Rogers Sr., an inventor and pioneer in the radio industry who invented the altering-current radio tube, founded the company after his last name.
Rogers Sr. brought radio to the masses. Aside from owning Rogers Communications, one of Canada’s largest communication conglomerates, the Rogers family also owns the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2018, the family’s total wealth was $11.57 billion.
8. The Irving Family
When K.C. Irving started a small service station in his hometown of Bouctouche, New Brunswick, the company started in the 1920s. The humble service station turned into one of Canada’s gasoline distribute known as Irving Oil with enough perseverance.
K.C. Irving’s sons, James and Arthur, rightfully got their father’s business acumen. James Irving owns J.D. Irving, a conglomerate with more than twenty frozen foods, retail, shipbuilding, transportation and more, while Arthur Irving inherited the family’s business. As of today, James and Arthur have a total combined wealth of $6 billion.
9. Paul Desmarais and Family
Quebec has a lot of heritage and history-filled bloodlines. One of them is the Desmarais, a wealthy family, and they have Paul Desmarais to thank for it. Paul’s grandfather started a bus company, and years later, it started to plummet down. So he, right after graduating from college, bought the company on the verge of bankruptcy for a dollar.
The salvation was successful, and they ventured to other companies like Power Corporation of Canada. When Paul died in 2013, his net worth was 4.3 billion dollars. The family’s total wealth is around $8 billion, making them the 7th richest Canadian family.
10. The Pattison Family
In 1961, Jim Pattison founded a company after his name. Jim Pattison Group would then become the largest privately held company in Canada. The conglomerate owns food companies, TV and radio stations, Ripley Entertainment, Guinness World Records and many more. With over 45,000 employees, Jim Pattison and his family have $12.6 billion worth of wealth.
Of course, this list will not be complete without the richest people in Canada who are wealthy in their own rights.
Here are the 10 richest people in Canada based on their total net worth.
1. Tobi Lutke
E-commerce transactions boomed exponentially during the pandemic. If you’re an online shopper, then you might’ve heard of Shopify. The Canadian e-commerce firm helps companies set up and run online stores. Tobi Lutke is one of the company’s cofounders, and he currently owns close to 7% of the company’s shares. Lutke’s total net worth is $13.2 billion.
2. David Cheriton
Most of the time, investing in new companies can be risky, but when you hit the jackpot, you hit it really hard. The same happened with David Cheriton when he invested in Google back when the company was starting.
The “Professor Billionaire” is a co-founder of 3 companies, namely Arista Networks, Granite Systems, and Kealia. He also became the chief data center scientist at Juniper Networks after acquiring his company Apstra in 2021. David Cheriton, as of 2021, has a total net worth of $11.4 billion.
3. Joseph Tsai
You probably heard of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. As one of Amazon’s competitors, Alibaba Group hosts three main e-commerce websites – Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com. Joseph Tsai is a co-founder of Alibaba Group and is the second-largest shareholder next to Jack Ma.
Tsai is the current owner of the Brooklyn Nets National Basketball Association team as he bought 51% of the organization in 2018 and the remaining 49% the following year. Joseph Tsai is the 240th richest man in the world with a net worth of $9.9 billion.
4. Anthony von Mandl
Mark Anthony Group is a well-known booze maker and distributor. And the man behind its success is Anthony von Mandl. He began his career in the Canadian wine business as an importer in the 70s at age 22.
Von Mandl created the ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages White Claw Hard Seltzer and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. With a net worth of $7.3 billion, Anthony Von Mandl is paramount in Canada’s alcohol importing and distribution sector.
5. Huang Chulong
Huang Chulong is the current chairman of Galaxy group, a privately held business based in China. Huang’s business ventures span shopping malls, hotels, office leasing, parking-lot operation, and real estate development. The real-time net worth of this Chinese billionaire is $6.8 billion, making him one of the richest Asians that operate in Canada.
6. Chip Wilson
Dennis Wilson, aka “Chip,” is the founder of Lululemon Athletica. The company started as a single sports apparel store in Vancouver. Chip Wilson took the company public in 2007, and then he removed himself from the business in 2015. However, Chip still holds the largest share at Lululemon with an 8% stake, and his family now operates a holding company called Hold it All.
With stakes at different Chinese activewear companies Anta Sports and Amer Sports, Wilson has a total net worth of $6.1 billion.
7. Alain Bouchard
Convenience stores are a real necessity in this fast-paced world. This, among other reasons, is why Alain Bouchard’s convenience store became a multinational conglomerate with more than 10 subsidiaries. He started his company, Alimentation Couche-Tard, as a single Quebec shop in 1980.
Bouchard, now the retired president and CEO, is still the executive chairman that boasts $54 billion annual sales. He now owns more than 14,000 convenience stores worldwide, justifying a net worth of $5.4 billion
8. Mark Scheinberg
With the pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives, the gambling industry took a big hit when most casinos were forced to shut down due to a lack of customers. The casino patrons then shifted their focus to online gambling, and one of the well-known online gambling sites is the PokerStars. Founded by Mark Scheinberg and his father in 2003, PokerStars became the worlds’ biggest online gambling platform.
Scheinberg once owned 75% of parent business Rational Group where he was rewarded with more than $3 million from the sale. He also has real estate investments such as the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, a historic Madrid hotel, and a Costa Rica luxury resort. The Canadian billionaire has a total net worth of $4.9 billion.
9. Daryl Katz
Daryl Katz, like Coutu, made a fortune in the pharmacy business. He bought the Canadian rights to U.S. franchise Medicine Shoppe in 1991. Rexall, a struggling pharmacy, was bought by Katz and expanded to the U.S. market. The Canadian billionaire currently has a total net worth of $3.6 billion.
10. Peter Gilgan
Peter Gilgan helped more than 90,000 families to build their dream homes. He founded Mattamy Homes in 1978, and since then, he remains the CEO of the business that racked up $3 billion in revenues this year alone. As one of the famous Canadian billionaires, he has a net worth of $3.6 billion.
As we learn about the success stories of these Canadian billionaires, we tend to ask the question, how did they get rich? An article from Ceo world Magazine wrote that Canada is not a favourite tourist spot, so tourist attractions might not be the way to go unless it’s a ski resort built in the north. However, the northern part of Canada is not as populated as the south. Therefore, should you desire to enter bigger industries, opportunities await in that part of the country.
Becoming rich is not an easy task if you will start from the bottom. However, while these Canadian billionaires excelled in different industries, they all have one thing in common: their persistence, creativity, and strong business acumen developed by experience.
Richest Families in Canada
Bloomberg L.P. maintains a daily ranking and wealth analysis of the U.S. and the world’s richest people with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, updated to New York at the end of each trading day.
According to annual financial publications, the total wealth of Canada’s richest people reached a new record high of $96.4 billion in 2019. Its latest change in net assets shows a rise from $571 million (YTD increase) to $2.91 billion. In addition, Canadian Business Magazine publishes a full annual ranking of Canada’s 100 wealthiest individuals and families each year, with an annual guide to the country’s 100 wealthiest families, how much they are worth, where they made their fortunes and which companies brought them there.
Richest Canadian Families:
- Thomson – Thomson Reuters
- Weston – Weston Products
- Wilson – Lululemon
- Tsai – Alibaba
David Thomson, CEO of Thomson Reuters, claimed the top spot with an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion. A fifth of the total, $5.3 billion, went into the hands of Canada’s wealthiest family, the family of David Thomson, heir to Thomson Reuters “Media Empire ” whose estimated net worth increased from $10.4 billion to $52.5 billion at the time. The Weston family came in second, while Lululemon founder Chip Wilson posted a $3 billion profit.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is up 6 percent this week, after hitting a record high. Property prices are soaring in many countries, including Canada, with strong gains at the top end of the market.
Digital billionaires, in particular, have seen their wealth skyrocket, with Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos adding $100 billion to his personal wealth this year. He is also the first person to reach a net worth of $200 billion this year. The richest individuals and families in Canada in 2020: total wealth in billions of dollars (chart).
CEOWorld Magazine published its Canada Rich List Index 2020 yesterday, which lists the richest Canadians of 2020. The magazine found that the total wealth of Canada’s ten richest people reached a new record high of $185.2 billion this year. Predictably, the list includes some familiar names, both British and Colombian.
Canadian Business has published a list of the 100 richest people in Canada. Although they all are in the club three-comma, they are not all multimillionaires or billionaires (see below). This year David Thomson of Toronto, chairman of Thomson Reuters Corp, is top of the list with a net worth of $39.5 billion. With a net worth of $9.5 billion, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. is the second richest Canadian and 147th richest.
While there is an outcry for Canada’s richest 1 percent, little is known about them. The person with the highest wealth in Canada is David Thomson, who lives in Ontario. Men Sherry Brydson is one of Canada’s richest women at 43 Canadian dollars.
The wealthiest Canadians living in Toronto are the Thomsons, but as Trump and others at the Thomson wealth management firm, most people don’t even know they exist. According to Bloomberg, they hold a 23 percent stake in the Thomson family’s Woodbridge investment firm, which is worth a whopping $12.1 billion (14.64 billion euros).
According to a new report of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), there are 1,600 more Canadian families with at least as much wealth. Going through the list, there are 700,000 Canadian families with assets of at least $25 million, according to the latest PBOs report released Wednesday. To break it down, at least 1,000 Canadian families have a net worth of $1 billion, of which 2,000 are over $500 million.
At the other end of the wealth spectrum, there are 1.26 million families or 80% of the entire population, making up the remaining 26.2% of all Canadian families without assets. Of those, about 40 percent are Canadian families ($63.7 million) with a net worth of at least $10,000, according to PBOS data. Here’s a look at the longest of Canada’s richest families, from the richest Canadian to the fifteenth richest.
The evidence points to an inequality gap growing in Canada. For example, between 2012 and 2016, the average net worth of the richest Canadians increased by 37%, and the average net worth of all Canadians increased by 15% over the same period. Here’s a look at how long some of Canada’s wealthiest families were Canadians, from the richest to the 15th richest, showing how close they are to the top and how long they tended to live in the country.
With a weak Canadian dollar and a stock market plagued by the Coronavirus-induced market crash, Canada’s richest people are poorer than last year. Even before the crash, some of the White North’s wealthiest billionaires saw their fortunes plummet. In fourth place – Joseph Tsai, Huang Chulong, Mark Scheinberg and Newcomer Anthony von Mandl – their wealth rose in the ranking, including 44 Canadians.
As you can see, they not only live coast to coast but are also billionaires. According to Forbes, the Thomsons are the ninth richest family globally, and you’ll see a few of them on this list. You will also see a few other members of the Thomson family listed below.
Peter Thomson is co-chairman of Woodbridge, which manages the Thomson family’s investments. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for 2021, he is worth $74.9 billion ($90.6 billion) and owns a 14% stake in Woodbridge. Woodbridge manages investments for Thomson, Reuters, Bell Media, Globe and Mail and others.
Joe Joseph Tsai, vice chairman and co-founder of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., who holds a Canadian passport, owns 49 percent of the NBA team of the Brooklyn Nets.