Report: Canadian moneymakers getting richer

by | Nov 23, 2012 | Biz/Tech


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Compiled By Andrew Millichamp

While Canada continues to struggle with a recession, the richest Canadians seem to be doing just fine.

Canadian Business released its annual list of the top 100 richest Canadians on Thursday, and the vast majority has seen an increase in  overall wealth.

In fact, 86 individuals or families on the top 100 list grew their net worth with only 14 seeing a decline.

These people don’t represent the one per cent, as the 100 of them instead represent just .00000287 per cent of the 34.8 million people in Canada.

Despite being only .00000287 per cent of Canada’s population, the groups collective net worth is more than $200 billion.

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The list saw the number of billionaires grow to 69 from 53 in 2008, apparently resistant to the economic slowdown.

Number one on the list was the Thomson family, with a net worth of $20.1 billion, a drop of 5.7 per cent from $21.34 billion.

Based out of Toronto, the Thomson family has controlling interests in Thomson Reuters, Woodbridge Co. Ltd., CTV and the Globe and Mail.

Galen Weston was second on the list, with a net worth of $8.2 billion, a three per cent increase from $7.96 billion last year.

Also based in Toronto, Weston is best known for Loblaw Cos. Ltd, Holt Renfrew and George Weston Ltd.

J.K. Arthur and the estate of John Irving were third, with Irving Oil Ltd. and JD Irving Ltd. based out of New Brunswick.

The top five richest Canadians are rounded out by the Rogers family and Jimmy Pattison.
The Rogers family is famous for Rogers Communications Ltd., which owns all of Rogers Cable, Rogers Wireless and has controlling interest in television networks and radio stations.

This year Rogers also bought MLSE, in partnership with Bell Media this year, giving them a stake in the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC.

The Rogers family also owns the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre giving it a net worth of $6.1 billion

Jimmy Pattison is based in Vancouver and managed to grow his worth from last year by 7.1 per cent, from $5.6 billion to just over $6 billion this year.


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While many Canadians made smaller gains, Jeff Skoll and Chip Wilson were the big climbers on this year’s list, as Skoll grew his worth from 2011 by 21.3 per cent from $3.75 billion to $4.55 billion and Wilson grew his by 23 per cent from $2.85 billion to $3.51 billion.

Skoll, a former president of eBay, owns 40 million shares of eBay Inc., worth $48.92 a share as of Nov. 23.

Wilson is famous for Lululemon Athletica, which he started in 1998.

Not everyone on the top 100 list did as well as Wilson this year.

Mike Lazaridis of Research in Motion Ltd. lost 33 per cent of his worth, dropping to $870 million from $1.3 billion.

Others, like Robert Friedland, who was pushed out of Ivanhoe Mines – the company he founded – lost 61 per cent of his wealth, dropping him to $1.08 billion from $2.81 billion.

According to Environics Analytics WealthScapes data the average Canadian households net worth in 2011 was $363,202 or roughly .000018 per cent of the Thomson family fortune.