Wealthiest Canadian Families

Who are the top 25 wealthiest families in Canada? The ones with a net worth of billions of dollars? Yes, that would be Canadian dollars, but they’re still very, very rich. And are there many first-generation immigrant families among the top 25 wealthiest families in Canada? The answer to that last question is not many, but there is a handful. In fact, 2 of the top 10 wealthiest families are based on businesses founded by first-generation immigrants. Want to know who got off the boat and founded a business that would one day be worth billions? Let’s check out the top 25 richest broods of Canada.

 

Where They Live

Wealthiest Canadian Families by Place of Residence

Not surprisingly Ontario takes the lion’s share of plutocrat predators. Quebec and Alberta fight it out for second place, while B.C. and Nova Scotia share the 3rd spot as far as Canadian places of residence. Manitoba and New Brunswick split 4th place between them. Finally, the USA and Europe each have 2 top 25 wealthiest Canadian families. 

 

Getting Started

As with your average skilled immigrant, it usually takes a few generations to establish a successful business in Canada. Especially one that ends up with a net worth in the billions of dollars. Here’s a look at how long Canada’s wealthiest families have been Canadians, from the wealthiest to the 15th wealthiest family. 

Generations in Canada for the Wealthiest Canadian Families

What this shows is that the closer to the top of the list, the longer the families have tended to live in Canada. It also shows how long they lived in Canada before the founding generation. If the orange line is equal to the blue line – for example in the case of the Richardson and Saputo families – then the first member of that family to immigrate to Canada also started the family business. 

 

Who Owns What

While some families have their name right on the product – like Saputo Dairy products or Rogers mobile – others are associated with products that you might never associate the family name with. Here’s a list of 10 products. See if you can guess which of the families and individuals listed below owns (or owns a part of) the company or companies that make the product:

  1. Loblaw’s President’s Choice
  2. Globe & Mail
  3. eBay
  4. Canola Harvest cooking oil
  5. Guinness Book of World Records
  6. London Life Lock and Roll Mortgage
  7. Royale Tissues
  8. Poker Stars
  9. Ferriprox
  10. Schneider’s All Beef Wieners

(Answers listed below)

 

How Much Are They Worth?

Here is the list of the top 25 wealthiest families with the estimated value of their net worth:

Family and Rank Net Worth Family and Rank New Worth
#25: Aquilini CAD$2.8 billion #12: (Estate) W. McCain CAD$3.68 billion
#24: M Edwards CAD$2.83 billion #11: H. McCain CAD$3.79 billion
#23: D. Cheriton CAD$2.89 billion #10: Fidani CAD$4.58 billion
#22: F. Stronach CAD$2.94 billion #9: J. Skoll CAD$5.01 billion
#21: Sobey CAD$3 billion #8: Richardson CAD$5.05 billion
#20: Zekelman CAD$3.1 billion #7: Demarais CAD$5.58 billion
#19: D. Azrieli CAD$3.12 billion #6: Saputo CAD$6.24 billion
#18: J. Coutu CAD$3.21 billion #5: Rogers CAD$7.4 billion
#17: M. Scheinberg CAD$3.23 billion #4: J. Pattison CAD$7.88 billion
#16: Mannix CAD$3.4 billion #3: Irving CAD$8.23 billion
#15: C. Riddell CAD$3.41 billion #2: Weston CAD$11.38 billion
#14: B. Sherman CAD$3.5 billion #1: Thomson CAD$30.74 billion
#13: D. Katz CAD$3.59 billion    

As you can see, not only do they live from coast to coast, but they are all billionaires. While they might not be world-class billionaires – with the exception of the Thomson family – they are wealthy beyond our dreams and have mostly managed to steer their companies through changing times and fortunes. And that’s never been more true than nowadays, when companies can rise and fall within a single generation of owners. You have to hand it to our humble little group of Canadian top 25 wealthy families: they’ve managed to paddle through more than a few rapids over the years and never let their well-laden canoes lose their precious cargo. Or if they have, they know how to right the canoe and portage a ways until they see smoother waters. But guess what? They also know there’s a whole new generation of Canadians – many from abroad – who are coming downstream behind them. It’s not easy to get established in Canada, but the rewards for persistence and talent and courage can be overwhelming.

 

Who Got Off the Boat and Built an Empire?

Of the top 25 wealthy families, here is a list of those owning companies founded by first-generation immigrants:

Family Corporate Holdings Immigrated From
Aquilini Aquilini Investment Group founded in the 60s by Luigi Aquilini and headquartered in Vancouver Italy
Stronach Magna International founded in the late 60s and early 70s by Frank Stronach Austria
Azrieli Azrieli Group founded by David Azrieli who fled Poland and lost family members to the Holocaust  Poland
Scheinberg PokerStars founded by Isai Scheinberg and run by son Mark, both of whom had to flee Canada to avoid US prosecution over then illegal online gambling laws Israel
Fidani Orlando Corp. founded by Orey Fidani and run by son Carlo Italy
Saputo Saputo Inc. founded by Lino Saputo and run by son Joey is a major cheese producer in North America, Argentina, and Australia Italy
Richardson James Richardson & Sons was founded in 1857 in Kingston Ontario, as a result of an Irish immigrant tailor being paid in grain for his clothing and deciding to switch into the grain trading business Ireland

Immigrate to Canada as an Investor/Entrepreneur

 

Answers

  1. Weston
  2. Thomson
  3. Skoll
  4. Richardson
  5. Pattison
  6. Desmarais
  7. Irving
  8. Scheinberg
  9. Sherman
  10. (Estate) W McCain

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