Canada is a very popular country that is associated with various pleasant things. As one of the wealthiest countries, Canada can also boast about being the abode of some very wealthy families. There are a lot of billionaires living in the country, and it is interesting to note that these people are from diverse backgrounds and sectors.
Canada has about 58 billionaires in total, whose industries contribute immensely to the economy. However, when looking at the richest families in Canada, old money, possibly passed down the family in the form of investments, industry, or titles. we will also highlight those recently rich Canadians who have established themselves well enough, and who are set to pass down the wealth to their families.
I will also briefly highlight the source of the wealth; talk about how the money has been built up with the industry, investments, and so on. This will give us some insights about the families in the drivers’ seat of the Canadian economy, as well as teach us a thing or two about how wealth is built.
Richest Families In Canada 2023
1. David Thomson & family
Industry: Thomson Reuters, The Woodbridge Company
David Thomson inherited the title of Baron of Fleet, from his father and grandfather. When his father died he also became the Chairman of the Thomson Corporation; an information company that has been in operation since 1989.
David further expanded the company by acquiring Reuters and rebranding the company Thomson Reuters. Together with his family, he controls a news and media empire that is estimated to be worth about 52.2 billion US Dollars. The Thomson family is regarded as the richest family in Canada presently.
2. David Cheriton
Industry: Arista Networks, Google
David Cheriton is a Canadian computer scientist. He is also a mathematician, billionaire businessman, philanthropist, and venture capitalist. He has invested in several technology companies including Google, and VMware.
He is over 70 years old, and he is set to hand over an 8.5 billion dollar fortune to his children.
3. Jim Pattison and Family
Industry: Jim Pattison Group
The Pattison Family was established by Jim Pattison who established the Jim Pattison Group; Canada’s second-largest privately held company. The company has over 40,000 employees in several locations around the world. Some of his business interests include packaging, food, and forestry products.
4. Dennis Chip Wilson
Dennis J. “Chip” Wilson is a Canadian billionaire businessman. He was born in San Diego, California, USA. Both of his parents were athletes at college, and his father later taught physical education. Dennis Wilson is best known for establishing several clothing companies, most importantly Lululemon Athletica Inc, which is inspired by yoga, and the need for women to have clothes suitable for yoga exercises.
Dennis’s investments are controlled through his holding company Hold It All Inc. The Wilsons are a family of 5 siblings, set to inherit control of the family empire.
5. The Saputo Family
Industry: Saputo Incorporated, TransForce
Originally from Italy, the Saputo family is the fifth richest family in Canada,. The family was established by Lino Saputo who came with his family to Canada just after he finished his secondary education in the 1950s. He established a cheese business with a bicycle and a few hundred dollars. Today, the Saputo family is worth about 5.4 billion dollars, and they are the biggest producers and distributors of cheese and dairy products in Canada.
Lino Saputo has handed over the reins of the family business to his eldest son Lino Saputo Jr. The family also owns significant shares in Transforce; a transportation company and they have dipped their toes into sports with the Saputo Stadium which is the home ground of the Montreal Impact.
6. The Philips Family
The Philips family has a combined wealth of about 5.4 billion, although their investments are separated and controlled separately. Catherine and John Philips are a billionaire couple who have developed a track record for investing in financial markets, and new start-ups.
The Philips family has invested in several companies over time; including the wildly successful start up Shopify. They have a peculiar way of investing; their investments are held separately, but they usually invest in the same instruments or start-ups. It is unclear how they will hand over their wealth to the next generation of Philips.
7. The Irving Family
Family Business And Industry: Irving Oil, Oil, and gas
The fifth family on the list of the top ten richest families in Canada is the Irving family. They are associated with Irving Oil – a big oil and gas firm that has created a lot of job opportunities, and that keeps bringing more money to the family.
Actually, it all started in 1924 when K.C. Irving took the step to establish the company (he was just twenty-five years old at that time). Right now, Arthur Irving, who is K.C.’s son as well as the prominent member of the family, is now in charge and has been able to scale the family’s business to an enviable height. The family is such a wealthy one!
8. Anthony von Mandl and Family
Anthony von Mandl and family control most of the alcohol trade in Canada. The family was established by self-made billionaire Anthony von Mandl who is the founder of the Mark Anthony Group, which produces and distributes alcoholic drinks of different types including spirits, beer, and wine. Some of their notable products are Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Hardclaw.
9. Zhang Ning and Family
Red Avenue New Materials Group
Zhang Ning and family are industrialists with significant investments in China. They supply chemicals through his company Red Avenue New Materials Group, which is a publicly-traded company on the Shanghai stock exchange. The family also has several investments in several countries including Germany and Canada.
Zhang Ning holds Canadian citizenship, but he resides in China to oversee his business empire.
10. Jean Coutu and Family
The Contu Family is one of the richest families in Canada. The family was established by Jean Contu, a pharmacist, and businessman who founded the Jean Coutu Group in 1969. He is now over 90 years old, and no longer in charge of the daily running of the company. Jean Coutu Group has over 400 franchised stores in Canada. The American business has largely been sold off, but the company is still solid; with over 20,000 employees, and hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly revenue.
11. Azrieli Family
Naomi and Sharon Azrieli have their wealth separated, but combined they have over US$3 billion in capital and investments. They both inherited their great wealth from their father David Azrieli, an Israeli-Canadian property investor and developer. He built an impressive portfolio of buildings, both residential and official. His company is publicly traded, and when he died in 2014, the wealth has been divided among his children.
12. Mark Leonard and Family
Family Business and Industry: Constellation Software, Technology
Mark Leonard Family is one of the wealthiest families in Canada. They are some of the oldest people in technology through Constellation Software which is their flagship company. Constellation Software is the holding company with which Mark Leonard has invested in various software development companies for years. Mark Leonard is a venture capitalist with over 100 companies in his portfolio.
13. The Rogers Family
Family Business And Industry: Rogers Communications, Communication
Next is The Rogers family, and they remain one of the most important families in Canada. Rogers Communications, a firm headquartered in Ontario, helped push them to the top spot.
Rogers communications were established by Edward Rogers, Jr. in the year 1960, and Edward, who is a prominent member of the family, has been able to ensure the success of his venture despite starting at a pretty young age.
14. The Desmarais Family
Family Business And Industry: Power Corp. of Canada, Busing
The Desmarais family remained an important family as far as Canada is concerned. The prominent member of the family is the late Paul Desmarais, who is from France, but chose to settle in Canada years back.
Paul graduated from the University of Ottawa and started with a railroad firm established by his grandfather. Despite various challenges, he was able to grow the family’s wealth and reputation in Canada.
15. The Richardson Family
Family Business And Industry: James Richardson & Sons, Oil, and gas
The Richardson family is the sixth family on our list, and they are the owner of Richardson International. Their major asset is James Richardson & Sons – which produces and processes things like grain, oats, etc.
The company, which has created thousands of jobs in Canada, is enjoying dominance in the market. One impressive point that should be noted is that Richardson International had has been privately held by this family for years now.
James Richardson & Sons were established in 1857, and the company keeps soaring, making billions in revenue each year. Headquartered in Winnipeg, this company remains one of the most admired in Canada, and the Richardson Family, one of the most admired in the country.
16. The Azrieli Family
Family Business And Industry: Azrieli Group, Real estate
The Azrieli family is the seventh richest in Canada, and their company – The Azrieli Group, is a big player in the real estate sector.
The late David Azrieli established the business years ago, and he used to live in Quebec. David was born in Poland (though his family is a Jewish family), and during the Second World War, the family absconded to save their lives. He served in the Israeli army after the country gained Independence before he moved to Canada.
David first settled in Montreal, and it was there that he began to play a role in the real estate sector. One impressive and intelligent thing he did was ensuring he spread his tentacles (getting apartment buildings, malls, etc, and also extending to other places).
Today, the prominent member of the family is Naomi Azrieli, and the company has grown into an important wealthy one
17. The Gaglardi Family
Family Business And Industry: Northland Properties, Real estate
The Gaglardi family is the eighth richest family in Canada, and they get their wealth from the real estate sector as well.
Tom Gaglardi is a prominent member of the family, and he remains one of the most wealthy people in Canada presently. Although he now put his money in other ventures, The Northland Properties is the major channel of his wealth.
The company has become a very important one in the country, as it has created tons of jobs and contributes to Canada’s wealth in general. Established in the year 1963, Northland Properties is based in Vancouver, and can now boast of many properties (both within Canada and outside the country).
The family can boast of properties in countries like the United States of America via their company.
18. The Apostolopoulos Family
Family Business And Industry: Triple Group, Real estate
The Apostolopoulos family and they also make a lot of money via the real estate sector.
The family is actually a Greek-Canadian one that came from Kalamata as far back as 1952. They own Triple Group of Companies, and Andreas Apostolopoulos, who is the prominent member of the family, is the main brain behind it.
Andreas has an inspiring history though. He used to be a janitor, who combined his jib with other side hustles just to make end means. With commitments, he was able to save reasonably well to start a small company, before growing to get a manufacturing firm. As he experienced growth, he began to look towards the real estate sector, and he has made a lot from real estate development.
19. The McCain Family
Family Business And Industry: McCain Foods, Food
The tenth family on our list is the popular McCain Family. They are well-known for various reasons, but we are considering how they are one of the richest families not just in Canada, but in the world at large.
The prominent member of the family is Michael McCain, and their major source of wealth is the McCain Food. The company is quite influential in the Food Industry, and they are a leading food company as far as the Canadian market is concerned.
Here we go. While there are a handful of very rich families in Canada who owns very huge ventures, these made it into the top ten richest. Of course, it’s not meant to be a stagnant list, as we expect more families to have a taste in the coming years.
The richest families in Canada include first-generation Canadians who have come from other countries in Europe, and other locations in the world, but have made Canada their home. This shows that Canada is a warm and accommodating place and full of opportunities for those who are ready to take the risk and invest. These families inculcate into their coming generation the values of wealth creation and sustainable living so that they can successfully handle the great wealth and responsibilities passed down to them.
Currently enjoying their statuses, the Canadian wealthiest families have kept their various businesses close, despite which industry they operate in. Their activities keep benefiting the country in various ways, as they help in creating jobs (which reduced the rate of unemployment in the country and has helped prevent some socioeconomic problems that would have erupted as a result of lack of jobs), increased the country’s revenue (in terms of taxes), etc