11 of the Richest Canadian Billionaires and Their Stories

Darko Ilievski by Darko Ilievski Published: October 21, 2021

Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries, known for its prosperity and affluence. The nation provides its citizens with incredible opportunities, which is why the number of billionaires continues to rise. For instance, in 2019, the combined riches of the top 10 billionaires in Canada hit $96.4 billion thanks to the successful expansion of large Canadian businesses and technology, giving rise to new startups. With that said, here is a list of 11 Canadian Billionaires ranging from CEO's of the best new casinos to owners of multibillion-dollar technological companies in no particular order.

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  • 11

    Jeffrey S. Skoll

    Ebay and Participant Media

    James Skoll is a Canadian film producer, engineer, and the founder of Participant Media, a film production company based in California. His journey to become one of the richest people in Canada began at eBay, where he was the initial employee and later its first president. The billionaire is an alumnus of the University of Toronto and Stanford University's business school, where he graduated in 1987 and 1993, respectively. At eBay, James Skoll designed the company's business plan, which was followed from when eBay was a startup to when it became one of the world's largest and most profitable companies.

    His position and influence in eBay earned him enough shares making him the once second-largest stakeholder of the company trailing closely behind Pierre Omidyar. However, he later cashed out part of his shares which made him an estimated $2 billion. As of 2016, Skoll had a net worth of $4 billion which puts even the wealthiest sports stars to shame. That year, Forbes placed him number seven on the list of richest people in Canada. However, he has committed most of his wealth to charity. Thanks to his philanthropy, Skoll received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, a private award given by the Carnegie family of institutions. He is also the signatory of Giving Pledge.

  • 10

    James Pattison

    Jim Pattison Group

    James Pattison is an investor, philanthropist, and business magnate who was born in 1928. Pattison is the sole owner and CEO of Jim Pattison Group, one of the most successful privately-owned companies ranking second in Canada. Pattison went to John Oliver Secondary School, where he graduated in 1947. He also attended the University of British Columbia but did not complete his studies remaining with only three classes to graduate. During his early years, James Pattison worked odd jobs, including selling seeds door-to-door and delivering newspapers. He also worked at a parking house, a canary, and as a laborer, where he used to help build bridges. It is while working at these odd jobs that James Pattison realized his passion.

    During one time, James Pattison, whose work was to clean automobiles, sold a car at a small gas station while his employer was away. He quickly realized his dream, and his skills landed him at Richmond Motors then Kingsway, a used car dealership in Vancouver. In 1961, Pattison took a $40,000 loan from the Royal Bank manager and started a Pontiac dealership. Since the loan was not enough, he sold his house and took an additional loan of $190,000 from General Motors. By 2018, Pattison and his company owned 25 car dealerships. He later went on to expand his businesses by venturing into other industries, including the media. By 2020, it was reported that Jim Pattison Group Inc. had a total of $10.9 billion in revenue, thus making him one of the wealthiest people in Canada. If only he'd turn is attention to igaming and gambling stocks then we'd likely see even more growth there.

  • 9

    Carlo Fidani

    Orlando Corporation

    Carlo Fidani is a third-generation billionaire and one of Canada's leading landlords of industrial and commercial properties. Carlo, a NASCAR enthusiast, was born in 1955. Unlike most billionaires on this list, Carlo inherited his wealth. The family business was founded in 1948 by Fidani's grandfather, who went by the name Carlo Fidani. By then, the business was named Fidani and Sons. Carlo Fidani, died leaving the business in the hands of Orey Fidani, Carlo Fidani's father, who did an amazing job expanding the empire and even changing the company name to Orlando Corporation. In 2000, tragedy struck, and Orey Fidani passed away, leaving a thriving multibillion-dollar company to his son.

    The real estate mogul and philanthropist currently runs the company, which has properties with a total space of 44 million square feet. Orlando Corp deals with property leasing and management and the construction and development of rental homes and commercial spaces. Being a natural philanthropist, Carlo Fidani donated $10 million to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 2010. That saw the establishment of the Mississauga Academy of Medicine. In 2016, Carlo Fidani through Orlando Corp also made another generous donation of about $15 million to William Osler Health System.

  • 8

    David Cheriton

    Arista Networks, Google

    Another notable and wealthy individual in Canada is David Ross Cheriton. Cheriton is a Canadian businessman, philanthropist, mathematician, and scientist born in 1951. He briefly attended the University of Alberta and went to the University of British Columbia, where he studied Bachelor of Science. David Ross Cheriton also went to the University of Waterloo, where he graduated with a Masters and a Doctors degree in Computer Science. After his studies, he worked at the University of British Columbia for three years as an assistant professor. Later on, he moved to Stanford University, where he teaches computer science. It is his rich educational background that made him become one of the most respected Canadian billionaires.

    Cheriton's expertise in computer networking and distributed computing, combined with his gift of identifying big market opportunities, has helped him make wise decisions in his life. For instance, he was one of the angel investors of Google and an early investor of VMware. He is also the co-founder of Arista, a computer networking company with its headquarters in Santa Clara, California. By 2021, David Ross had an estimated net worth of $8.8 billion. David uses his wealth and affluence to make numerous contributions to the education sector. For instance, he donated $25 million to the University of Waterloo, $7.5 million to the University of British Columbia, and $12 million to Stanford University. He also continues to fund other companies, which has helped him increase his wealth over the years. He doesn't work in sports, but talk about having one of the coolest jobs on the planet.

  • 7

    Garrett Camp

    Stumbleupon, Uber

    Garrett Camp is an award-winning billionaire known for his achievements in the tech industry. In fact, in 2007, he appeared on the TR35 Top Innovators list and was honored at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovations awards for his accomplishments at Uber and StumbleUpon. Camp was born in 1978 in Calgary, Alberta. He attended the University of Calgary, where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. The billionaire also holds a master's degree in software engineering. His educational background helped him co-found StumbleUpon, a personalized recommendation engine and web discovery platform. The venture helped build Camp's wealth and exposed him to the technology world.

    While still working as the executive officer of StumbleUpon, Garret Camp founded UberCab, which later transitioned to Uber. The company launched in San Francisco in mid-2010 with only a few vehicles on the road. However, by the end of the year, Uber had received $1.25M as venture capital funding. He later formed Expa and Eco companies. Other ventures that have helped increase Garret Camp's wealth over the years include his investment in SoundTracking, BlackJet, Prism Skylabs, and PSDept. In 2015, Camp was the third richest person in Canada, and by March 2019, he had a net worth of US$4.6 billion.

  • 6

    Mark Scheinberg


    Born in 1973, Mark Scheinberg is one of the most notable Canadians worth almost $5 billion. The Canadian businessman, who also happens to have Israeli citizenship, was born in Israel and later moved to Toronto while he was 13 years old. He attended Thornlea Secondary School in Thornhill, Ontario. The billionaire partnered with his father, Isai Scheinberg, in 2001 to create PokerStars, one of the best real money casinos in Canada offering players fantastic online poker games. Before his life-changing venture, Mark Scheinberg was working with IBM Canada. During his time in the company, he helped develop a standard called Unicode.

    As the chief executive of PokerStars, the company became one of the largest online poker sites. Apart from offering standard online poker games, PokerStars hosted competitive online poker tournaments with participants worldwide. In 2015, PokerStars acquired Full Tilt Poker, an Irish online poker company, thus expanding its market in the online gambling industry. The venture earned Mark Scheinberg most of his wealth, making him one of the richest persons in Canada and the richest person in Isle of Man, where he stays. Despite his big break in the online gambling industry, Scheinberg decided to invest in other sectors, not just in some of the best online casinos in Canada. For instance, one of his recent investments involved acquiring a 50% stake in the real estate project of Centro Canalejas Madrid.

  • 5

    R. Thomas Gaglardi

    Northland Properties

    R. Thomas Gaglardi aka Tom Gaglardi is a Canadian business executive born in December 1967. The billionaire showed his interest in the hospitality industry since he was 13. He has worked in different industry sectors, from restaurant operations to finance and real estate development. Tom Gaglardi was an employee at Sandman Hotel Group for some time. Thanks to his knowledge and experience in the world of hotel hospitality, he was promoted to head Sandman Hotel Group by the age of 23. When he reached 26, he was made the president of the Gaglardi family-owned business, Northland Properties Corporation.

    Thanks to his leadership, Northland Properties Corporation has become one of the largest family-owned companies in the hospitality industry. The corporation has an incredible collection of hotels, including Sutton Place Hotels & Resorts and Sandman Hotel Group. His position in the company helped him build his billion-dollar empire. In 2006, Tom Gaglardi and his business partner Francesco Aquilini aka Beedie, purchased Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League which was home to some of the greatest NHL centers, which he later lost to Beedie through a court order. He currently owns Dallas Stars and other profitable ventures across Canada and abroad and is worth close to $4 billion.

  • 4

    Jean Coutu

    Jean Coutu Group

    Jean Coutu may not have invented a multibillion-dollar online casino site with the latest free spins bonuses. But he did come up with a revolutionary pharmaceutical discount company that changed his life. Jean Coutu is a Canadian known for the famous Jean Coutu Group, which runs multiple discount pharmacy chains in Canada. The billionaire studied Pharmacy in Montreal in the 1960s. After he graduated, he worked with Pharmacie Leduc, where he gained experience managing and running the pharmaceutical business. While still working with Pharmacie Leduc, Jean Coutu and other students requested to become associates of the pharmaceutical company but were rejected.

    The rejection did not discourage him but rather encouraged him to launch his venture called Farmaterias. Farmaterias focused on providing Canadians with over-the-counter pharmaceutical products at a discount. Two years after the company's launch, Jean Coutu used his entire savings to start Jean Coutu Discount Pharmacies Chain. The company grew into a billion-dollar business venture providing Canadian players with quality discounted Pharmaceutical products. Ever since its initialization, Jean Coutu Discount Pharmacies Chain has seen the owner bask in the glory of his success with a net worth of more than $3 billion, thus making him one of the 11 richest Canadian billionaires.

  • 3

    Serge Godin

    CGI Group

    Serge Godin is yet another rich Canadian who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion. Godin was born in 1949 in Saguenay, Canada. His passion for business began at the age of 12 while working with his father at the family's sawmill. Serge Godin holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's in business administration from the University of Laval. After his studies, Godin worked as a consultant for a while. He after that used his savings of $5,000 to start CGI. CGI is a multinational information technology company that majors in system integration and IT consultation.

    Even though the company is not behind Canadian minimum deposit casinos, it has a couple of websites under its belt and has worked with renowned clients. For instance, CGI was outsourced to develop the Obamacare healthcare registration website. Godin founded CGI while he was only 26. But he managed to propel the business to greater standards. He acted as the president of the unicorn company until 2006, when he became the chairman. Like many other Canadians, Serge Godin is a philanthropist with a family foundation on Poverty Reduction. He also owns a horse-racing table called Determination.

  • 2

    Peter Gilgan

    Mattamy Homes

    Peter Gilgan is a Canadian businessman with an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion. He is known for being the CEO and Chairman of Mattamy Asset Management Incorporated, a Mattamy Homes subsidiary specializing in real estate. Before venturing into the construction business, Gilgan was an accountant. In 2018, he launched Mattamy Asset Management Incorporated to build a collection of assets across geographies. His empire has grown into a conglomerate that helps 8000 families to realize their homeownership dreams every year. Ever since his breakthrough, Gilgan has become a notable member of society because of his success and his philanthropic activities.

    Gilgan holds a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and is part of the Order of Ontario. He was also initiated to the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. The Canadian billionaire made numerous acquisitions in the popular Orlando, Fla, to increase his wealth and affluence. The step will see Mattamy Homes increase its presence in the city by 1,650 lots. The company continues to purchase pieces of land across Canada and the USA to expand its projects. Like the owners of the top legal casinos, Gilgan seems to be making strategic moves to increase his wealth.

  • 1

    David Thomson

    Thomson Reuters, The Woodbridge Company

    David Thomson is the name that should click in everyone's mind whenever they think of the richest person in Canada. The hereditary peer was born in 1957 in Ontario and has a networth of around $50.6 billion. He went to school in Selwyn College, a consequent of the famous University of Cambridge, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. After that, he went on to study for a Master of Arts (Cantab). Before joining the family business, David Kenneth Roy Thomson worked at McLeod Young Weir as an associate. With the urge to become independent, David founded Osmington Incorporated, which was completely separate from the family business.

    The company became successful and is the current investor in companies such as FarmersEdge. However, upon his father's death, Kenneth Thomson, the family company was left to him as instructed by Roy Thomson, his grandfather and the founder of Thomson Corporation. The inheritance made him one of the richest individuals in Canada, with the Thomson family leading as the wealthiest in the nation.

These are so far some of the top 11 richest individuals in Canada in no particular order. Each person on the list holds a net worth ranging between $1 billion and $45 billion, with some increasing their wealth steadily. According to statistics, the number of billionaires in Canada has doubled over the years. With new successful companies coming up, the list is expected to extend even further.

About the Author
 Darko Ilievski
Darko Ilievski - Managing Editor

Darko is an accomplished managing editor with more than 5 years of experience in the online gambling industry. With a wealth of knowledge at his disposal, he oversees the quality and accuracy of gaming content and specializes in researching and unloading high-quality reviews and articles. Darko also creates engaging and compelling content for various sectors at Online-Casinos.ca

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