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Top 10 Richest People of Canada: How They Got so Rich?

Canada, known for its vast natural resources and innovative industries, is home to a diverse group of billionaires. The richest people in Canada include media magnates, tech entrepreneurs, industrial tycoons, and retail giants. 

These individuals not only shape the national economy but also influence global markets with their business acumen and strategic investments. From the tech-driven success stories in e-commerce and online gaming to the enduring legacies of family-owned conglomerates in oil, forestry, and retail, the wealthiest Canadians have a lot to offer. In this blog, we look at the 10 richest Canadians and how they reached this position. 

Also Read: Largest Companies in Canada by Market Capitalization

List of the 10 Richest People of Canada

1. David Thomson

Thomson’s approach to wealth and business showcases a blend of traditional media influence and modern investment strategy. David Thomson, the 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet, is a prominent Canadian media magnate born in 1957. He inherited the bulk of his wealth from his father, Kenneth Thomson, who transformed the Thomson Corporation into a global information giant. Educated in fine arts, Thomson has a deep appreciation for culture and art, often staying out of the limelight despite his substantial influence. 

The family business, now known as Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of news and information for professional markets, having merged with Reuters in 2008. Thomson’s investments extend beyond media; he has significant holdings in real estate, including some of Toronto’s most iconic buildings. 

Additionally, he rarely gives interviews or public appearances. Despite his low profile, he has a significant impact on Canada’s business landscape. His interests also include a passion for fine arts, leading him to amass an extensive collection of artworks. 

2. David Cheriton

David Cheriton is a Canadian billionaire and computer scientist. He was born in Vancouver in 1951. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia and a PhD in computer science from the University of Waterloo. Since the early 1980s, he has been a professor at Stanford University, where he has mentored many successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Cheriton’s path to immense wealth began with a $100,000 investment in Google in 1998, a decision that has grown to be worth billions. Additionally, he co-founded Arista Networks, a high-performance networking company that went public in 2014. This significantly contributed to his fortune.

Beyond these ventures, Cheriton co-founded Kealia Inc., which was acquired by Sun Microsystems, and Granite Systems. It was later sold to Cisco Systems. Known for his conservative approach to wealth management, he lives modestly despite his significant wealth.

He has donated millions to educational institutions and research initiatives, particularly at Stanford University. Cheriton’s commitment to a modest lifestyle, driving unassuming cars and residing in a relatively modest home, stands in stark contrast to typical billionaire extravagance.
Also Read: Most Powerful Men in the World

3. Jim Pattison

Jim Pattison was born in 1928 in Saskatchewan. He is a self-made billionaire and one of Canada’s most successful businessmen. Starting with a single car dealership in Vancouver, he expanded his business empire into the Jim Pattison Group, which spans diverse industries including packaging, food, forestry, and entertainment. Known for his relentless work ethic and keen business acumen, Pattison built his conglomerate from the ground up, emphasizing innovation and customer satisfaction.

The Jim Pattison Group now employs tens of thousands of people across various sectors. Despite his vast wealth, Pattison is known for his modest lifestyle, hands-on management approach and his charismatic leadership. 

He has also dedicated a significant portion of his resources to philanthropy, supporting health care, education, and community development initiatives. Pattison’s story is a testament to the power of hard work and strategic diversification, making him a revered figure in Canadian business circles.

4. Lino Saputo

Lino Saputo was born in 1937 in Italy. He moved to Canada in his youth and became the founder of Saputo Inc., one of the largest dairy processors in the world. Starting with a small cheese business in Montreal in the 1950s, Saputo grew the company through strategic acquisitions and a focus on quality and innovation. 

Under his leadership, Saputo Inc. expanded its operations internationally, establishing a significant presence in the United States, Argentina, and Australia. Saputo’s business acumen and commitment to quality have been pivotal in transforming his family business into a global dairy powerhouse. 

Beyond the dairy industry, Lino Saputo is also involved in various other investments, including real estate and sports. Known for his philanthropic efforts, he has contributed generously to health care, education, and cultural institutions. Saputo’s journey from a small immigrant family business to a leading global corporation illustrates the impact of perseverance and strategic vision in building a lasting legacy.

5. Mark Scheinberg

Mark Scheinberg was born in Israel in 1973 and raised in Canada. He co-founded PokerStars with his father, Isai Scheinberg, in 2001. The online poker site quickly became a leader in the industry, thanks to its user-friendly platform and aggressive marketing strategies. 

PokerStars revolutionized the online poker scene, particularly after hosting the World Championship of Online Poker and the European Poker Tour. Scheinberg’s business acumen helped the company thrive even as online gambling faced regulatory challenges worldwide.

In 2014, Scheinberg sold PokerStars’ parent company, Rational Group, to Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion, securing his place among Canada’s wealthiest individuals. Since then, he has diversified his investments, focusing on luxury real estate and hospitality sectors. 

Scheinberg’s low-profile lifestyle contrasts with the high stakes world of online poker, yet his strategic vision continues to influence his business ventures. His transition from online gaming to broader investments underscores his adaptability and foresight.

6. Alain Bouchard

Alain Bouchard was born in 1949 in Chicoutimi, Quebec. He is the founder and executive chairman of Alimentation Couche-Tard, one of the largest convenience store chains in the world. Starting with a single store in 1980, Bouchard expanded aggressively through acquisitions, turning Couche-Tard into a global powerhouse with thousands of locations across North America, Europe, and Asia. 

His entrepreneurial spirit and strategic acquisitions, such as the purchase of Circle K, have been instrumental in the company’s exponential growth. Despite his immense success, Bouchard remains grounded, often highlighting the importance of humility and hard work. His democratic leadership style emphasizes innovation and adaptability, ensuring that Couche-Tard remains competitive in a rapidly changing retail landscape. 

Bouchard is also known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting various charitable causes, particularly in health and education. His story exemplifies the potential of starting small and thinking big, making him a significant figure in the global retail industry.

7. Chip Wilson

Chip Wilson was born in 1956 in Vancouver. He is best known as the founder of Lululemon Athletica, the renowned athletic apparel company. Wilson started Lululemon in 1998, capitalizing on the growing trend of yoga and athleisure wear. 

His innovative approach to blending technical athletic wear with stylish designs set Lululemon apart in a crowded market. Under his leadership, the company expanded rapidly, becoming a global brand synonymous with high-quality athletic apparel.

Wilson’s influence extends beyond Lululemon; he is also a notable real estate investor and philanthropist. He has invested heavily in Vancouver’s real estate market and has made significant contributions to community and health-related causes through the Wilson Family Foundation. 

Known for his outspoken and sometimes controversial views, Wilson’s entrepreneurial journey is marked by both success and public scrutiny. His ability to create and sustain a brand that resonates with consumers worldwide highlights his unique vision and marketing prowess.

8. James K. Irving

James K. Irving was born in 1928 in Bouctouche, New Brunswick. He is a key figure in Canada’s business landscape as the co-owner of J.D. Irving Limited. Founded by his father, J.D. Irving Limited has grown into a diversified conglomerate with operations spanning forestry, shipbuilding, agriculture, and retail. 

James played a crucial role in expanding the company’s forestry and paper products divisions, emphasizing sustainable practices and innovation in manufacturing. Known for his private nature, James K. Irving has kept a low profile while steering one of the largest privately-held companies in Canada. 

His business philosophy centers on long-term growth, environmental stewardship, and community development. The Irving family is also renowned for their philanthropy, contributing significantly to healthcare, education, and community projects in New Brunswick. 

9. Arthur Irving

Arthur Irving was born in 1930. He is James K. Irving’s brother and co-owner of the Irving family empire. While James focused on forestry, Arthur steered Irving Oil, the family’s energy arm, to great heights. 

Headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, Irving Oil operates one of the largest oil refineries in North America and has an extensive network of gas stations across Eastern Canada and New England. Arthur’s strategic vision and focus on operational efficiency have made Irving Oil a leader in the energy sector.

Arthur is known for his hands-on leadership style and dedication to the company’s employees and customers. Despite the energy sector’s challenges, Irving Oil has thrived under his guidance, balancing growth with environmental considerations. 

Like his brother, Arthur is also committed to philanthropy, supporting various educational and environmental initiatives. His efforts have cemented Irving Oil’s reputation as a socially responsible and forward-thinking energy company.

10. Tobi Lütke

Tobi Lütke was born in 1980 in Koblenz, Germany; he is the co-founder and CEO of Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform based in Ottawa, Canada. Lütke, a self-taught programmer, moved to Canada in 2002 and initially started an online snowboard shop. Frustrated with the existing e-commerce software, he decided to build his own platform, leading to the creation of Shopify in 2006. 

Under his leadership, Shopify has grown exponentially, empowering millions of businesses worldwide to establish and grow their online presence. Lütke’s innovative approach and commitment to user-friendly technology have made Shopify a significant player in the e-commerce industry. 

He is known for his transparent leadership style and progressive company culture, which emphasizes remote work and employee well-being. In addition to his work at Shopify, Lütke is a passionate advocate for entrepreneurship and technology innovation. His journey from a frustrated entrepreneur to the CEO of a global tech powerhouse exemplifies the transformative potential of visionary leadership and technological innovation.


The wealthiest individuals in Canada represent a dynamic mix of industries and entrepreneurial successes. Their stories of innovation, strategic investments, and business growth highlight the diverse economic landscape of the country. These billionaires not only drive significant economic activity within Canada but also have a substantial impact on global markets. 

Beyond their financial achievements, many of these individuals are committed philanthropists, using their resources to support various social causes and contribute to the betterment of society. 


Q1. How did David Thomson become so wealthy?

David Thomson inherited a substantial portion of his wealth from his father, Kenneth Thomson, who significantly expanded the Thomson Corporation. Under David’s leadership, the company merged with Reuters to become Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of news and information.

Q2. What industries do Canada’s richest people typically invest in?

Canada’s richest individuals have diversified their investments across various industries, including media, technology, real estate, retail, oil and gas, forestry, and e-commerce. 

Q3. Are the richest Canadians involved in philanthropy?

Yes, many of the wealthiest Canadians are noted for their philanthropic efforts. They have contributed millions to healthcare, education, environmental causes, and community development, aiming to make a positive impact on society.

Q4. How has technology influenced the wealth of Canada’s richest people?

Technology has played a significant role in the wealth accumulation of many Canadian billionaires. For instance, Tobi Lütke co-founded Shopify, an e-commerce platform that revolutionized online retail. Similarly, early investments in tech companies like Google have significantly boosted the fortunes of individuals like David Cheriton.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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