Have you ever wondered how Canada’s wealthiest people make (and keep) their money? Well, look no further – we are here to fill you in on the richest people in Canada and their money-making tactics. Everyone on our list has a net worth of over $5 billion, and together, they make up Canada’s fifteen wealthiest individuals.
You’ll probably recognize some of these names, but some of them you may never have heard of. Regardless, we will answer all your questions about Canadian billionaires, the richest woman in Canada, millionaires by province, and so much more.
Billionaires are an elusive class in Canada – out of the 36.25 million people living in the country, only 53 of them are billionaires. That’s just about one-thousandth of a percent.
Millionaires, however, are a bit easier to come by. According to a recent study, there are 1,681,969 millionaires in Canada. That amounts to about 4% of the population.
It can be difficult to conceptualize the difference between $1 million and $1 billion. One way to think of it is by using time as an example. One million seconds amounts to 12 days… One billion seconds amounts to 30 years.
The difference in scale between these numbers is huge – and so is the difference in wealth between millionaires and billionaires.
There are several different ways to calculate wealth, but we have followed Bloomberg in using net worth as the best indicator. Forbes, on the other hand, uses different methodologies to create its list of global billionaires.
These 15 individuals are the richest in Canada, and we will explore how they got there.
With a net worth of $31.2 billion, Changpeng Zhao is the 41st richest person in the world and the richest person in all of Canada. So how did he do it? Zhao is a cryptocurrency magnate. He co-founded Binance, which is the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, and he’s still involved with the company as its CEO.
The granddaughter of the late Roy Thomson, Sherry Brydson, holds a large stake in the family business, the Woodbridge Company. If that name’s not ringing a bell, you might be more familiar with it as the parent company of Reuters, a global media conglomerate.
Brydson’s net worth is $14.4 billion, and she is estimated to hold about 27% of Woodbridge’s shares.
You might notice a pattern in the next couple of individuals on this list. That’s right – they all share the same surname. Taylor, Peter, and David Thomson are siblings, and they each hold a 14% stake in their family’s Woodbridge Company. Taylor’s net worth is estimated at $8.8 billion as of February 2023.
Peter Thomson is a Canadian rally race car driver and a venture capitalist. But most of his estimated $8.8 billion in net worth comes from his stake in the Woodbridge Company, which he manages with his older brother David. The shares that Peter holds in Woodbridge, which holds two-thirds of Reuters, make him plenty of passive income.
The eldest Thomson sibling, David runs Woodbridge with his brother Peter. He is also the chairman of Thomson Reuters, which the company acquired and renamed in 2008. His stake in the company is the same as those of his siblings, about 14%. David Thomson’s net worth is estimated at $8.8 billion.
If you’re thinking that the media and telecommunications industry is a lucrative one, you’re thinking right. Next on the list is James “Jim” Pattison, who is a 94-year-old business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.
He’s the CEO and sole owner of Canada’s second-largest privately held company, the Jim Pattison Group.
Because of his alcohol importation and distribution company, Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits, Anthony von Mandl has done very well for himself.
His net worth is estimated at $7.56 billion, and he is a well-recognized face throughout the consumer goods and business sectors in Canada. He also owns several wineries in Canada’s Okanagan Valley.
Wondering if you’ve ever drunk something of his? You probably have. Mike’s Hard Lemonade is just one of his company’s many popular products. Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits is also the parent company of the industry-disrupting hard seltzer brand White Claw.
And just like that, we’re back to the Thomson family. Linda Campbell is Roy Thomson’s granddaughter (her mother, Audrey, was his eldest daughter), and she owns 11% of the shares of the Woodbridge Company.
Her net worth is estimated at $6.97 billion. It sure pays to be part of this family! In sum total, the Thomson family is the richest in Canada.
Related: Richest families in Canada.
Like Linda Campbell, Gaye Farncombe is a descendant of Roy Thomson. Now aged 71, she owns an 11% stake in the Woodbridge Company, which in turn owns two-thirds of Thomson Reuters, the multinational media company.
Farncombe’s net worth is estimated to be the same as Campbell’s, coming in at $6.97 billion.
Tsai holds dual citizenship in Canada and Hong Kong, but he spends most of his time in Vancouver. The 59-year-old businessman co-founded Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company. Before that, he got his law degree from the esteemed Yale University.
He also partially owns several sports-related investments, including the New York Nets of the United States NBA (National Basketball Association) and some lesser-known teams. His net worth is estimated at $6.77 billion.
With a net worth of $6.35 billion, J.K. Irving is the 11th-richest person in Canada and the 379th-richest person globally. He is the eldest son of Canadian industrialist K.C. Irving and splits company responsibilities with his brother Arthur. They have several investments within the country, including 3 million acres of timberland.
Born and raised in the province of Quebec, Bouchard grew up less economically well-off and vowed to do better for himself and his family. Now he has a net worth of $5.76 billion and is the chairman and co-founder of Alimentation Couche-Tard, a company that owns over 10,000 convenience stores and gas stations throughout North America.
One of the more recognizable names on this list, Chip Wilson, is the Canadian-American billionaire behind the popular yoga and athleisure brand Lululemon.
Over the past 15 years, Wilson has sold a chunk of his stock in Lululemon, but he still retains a controlling stake in the brand. After being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, he stepped down from its board.
With a net worth of $5.52 billion, David Cheriton is an incredibly successful Canadian computer scientist, businessman, and investor. In fact, he was one of Google’s first angel investors.
Clearly, he is excellent at picking investments that make him money for years to come. Cheriton is now a professor at Stanford University.
The younger brother of J.K. Irving and second son of Canadian industrialist K.C. Irving, Arthur is married, has five children, and lives in New Brunswick.
He’s the sole owner of Irving Oil Ltd., Canada’s largest oil refinery, which also owns and operates 900 gas stations in Canada and the northeast U.S. Irving’s net worth is estimated at $5.49 billion.
Related: Highest paying jobs in Canada.
Summary of Canada’s Richest People
|Changpeng Zhao||$31.2 billion|
|Sherry Brydson||$14.4 billion|
|Taylor Thomson||$8.8 billion|
|Peter Thomson||$8.8 billion|
|David Thomson||$8.8 billion|
|James Pattison||$7.7 billion|
|Anthony von Mandl||$7.56 billion|
|Linda Campbell||$6.97 billion|
|Gaye Farncombe||$6.97 billion|
|Joseph Tsai||$6.77 billion|
|J.K. Irving||$6.35 billion|
|Alain Bouchard||$5.76 billion|
|Chip Wilson||$5.7 billion|
|David Cheriton||$5.52 billion|
|Arthur Irving||$5.49 billion|
Sherry Brydson is the richest woman in Canada. She has a net worth of $14.4 billion, which comes primarily from her 27% holding of the Woodbridge Company’s shares.
According to a recent study, there are 1,681,989 Canadians that have a net worth of over 1 million. That amounts to about 4% of Canada’s population.
To be in Canada’s top 1% of income, you’ll need to make $253,900 each year. The average annual income of Canada’s top 1% is about $512,000 per year.
StatCan reports that there are 1,047,240 Canadians making over $150,000 per year. That amounts to about 2.8% of Canada’s population.
Learn more about money in Canada.