Dileno Dexter Calvin (1798-1884), a timber merchant from Clayton, New York, relocated his business on Garden Island (26.3 ha at the east end of Lake Ontario) in 1836. By 1880 he owned the island; today it remains the exclusive property of his descendants.
Bombardier Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of trains and commercial and private airplanes. Headquartered in Montréal, the company was originally incorporated as L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in 1942. Its founder, Joseph-Armand Bombardier, was a Québécois mechanical engineer who invented one of the first commercially viable snowmobiles. Bombardier Inc. has grown considerably from its beginnings as a snowmobile manufacturer and is now an iconic Canadian company, known for its public transportation vehicles and aircraft such as the C Series.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank, commonly known as TD, is the second-largest chartered bank in Canada. The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the result of the past mergers of three financial companies: The Bank of Toronto, The Dominion Bank, and Canada Trust. The mergers began in 1955 when The Dominion Bank merged with The Bank of Toronto. This group then acquired Canada Trust in 2000, creating a new entity called TD Canada Trust. Toronto-Dominion Bank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TD. In 2017, TD registered $36.1 billion in revenue and $10.4 billion in profit and held $1.3 trillion in assets. The bank employs 83,160 people, who serve 25 million customers.
The Bank of Nova Scotia, commonly referred to as “Scotiabank,” is Canada’s third largest chartered bank. Incorporated in 1832, the bank has established itself as Canada’s most international bank through extensive operations throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America and parts of Asia. It is also known as “Canada’s gold bank” because of its dominant position in bullion trading. The bank also operates three other business lines: personal banking, commercial banking, and wealth management. Scotiabank is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BNS and on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange under the symbol SBTT. In 2017, Scotiabank registered $27.1 billion in revenue and $8.2 billion in profit and held $915.3 billion in assets. The bank employs 88,645 people, who serve 24 million customers in nearly 50 countries.
The Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817, making it Canada’s oldest incorporated bank. From its founding to the creation of the Bank of Canada in 1935, the Bank of Montreal served as Canada’s central bank. Today, the various components of the Bank of Montreal are collectively known as BMO Financial Group. It’s Canada’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the eighth largest in North America. It offers services in three distinct areas — personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO is Canada’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the eighth largest in North America. It offers services in three distinct areas — personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BMO. In 2017, BMO registered $22.2 billion in revenue and $5.3 billion in profit and held $709.6 billion in assets. BMO employs 45,200 people, who serve more than 12 million customers.
Tim Hortons is a Canadian restaurant chain known for its coffee, doughnuts and connection to Canada’s national identity. Its namesake, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tim Horton (1930–74), founded the business with Montréal businessman Jim Charade. The first Tim Hortons doughnut franchise opened in Hamilton, Ontario, in April 1964. Since then, Tim Hortons has become Canada’s largest restaurant chain, operating 3,665 stores across the country as of 2016. In 1995, American fast-food chain Wendy’s bought Tim Hortons in a partnership that lasted until 2006. In 2014, the chain was again purchased by a foreign company, this time by Brazilian firm 3G Capital, known for its ownership of Burger King. Despite foreign ownership, Tim Hortons remains a Canadian cultural phenomenon.
Enbridge is a Canadian-based multinational corporation that generates, transports and distributes energy. It also has growing investments in wind, solar and geothermal energy generation. It owns and operates the world’s longest pipeline network, which transports 28 per cent of North America’s crude oil. It is North America’s leader in gathering, processing, transporting and distributing natural gas, with about 3.6 million customers in Canada and New York state. Enbridge’s headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta, and the company employs approximately 16,000 people. In 2016, it boasted revenue of $34.5 billion, $85.8 billion in assets and 2.1 billion in profits. Enbridge is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ENB.
George Weston Limited is one of North America’s largest processors and distributors of food. The company operates two subsidiaries: grocery, drugstore and general retailer Loblaw Companies Limited and Weston Foods, a baking company. George Weston Ltd. owns a variety of brands and retail banners. Weston Foods includes Wonder, D’Italiano and Country Harvest and Loblaw brands include No Name, President’s Choice, Life Brand and Joe Fresh. Loblaw stores include Loblaws, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Provigo, Atlantic Superstore, Fortinos, Dominion, Independent City Market, Valu-mart, ARZ Bakery, Wholesale Club, T&T Supermarket, Real Canadian Liquorstore, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Maxi, Extra Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart. In 2016, George Weston Ltd. registered $48 billion in revenue and $550 million in profit and held assets valued at $38 billion. George Weston Ltd. is the country’s largest employer, with 201,500 full- and part-time employees as of 2016. It is a public company headquartered in Toronto and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WN.
Encana Corporation produces, transports and markets oil and natural gas. It was formed in 2002 through the merger of the Alberta Energy Company Ltd. and the PanCanadian Energy Corporation. Its corporate headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta. In 2009, the company split in two. Encana remained a corporate entity focused on the exploration, production and marketing of natural gas, and Cenovus Energy was formed to concentrate on oil exploration, production and sales. In 2016, Encana Corporation earned $3.9 billion in revenue. It is a public company and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECA.
Nortel Networks Corporation, or simply Nortel, was a public telecommunications and data networking equipment manufacturer. Founded in 1895 as the Northern Electric and Manufacturing Company, it was one of Canada’s oldest technology companies. Nortel expanded rapidly during the dot-com boom (1997–2001), purchasing many Internet technology companies in a drive to remain competitive in the expanding information technology (IT) market. At its height in 2000, the company represented over 35 per cent of the value of Toronto’s TSE 300 index. It was the ninth most valuable corporation in the world and employed about 94,000 people worldwide at its peak. But Nortel soon entered an extended and painful period of corporate downsizing, and in 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in the largest corporate failure in Canadian history. Shareholders, employees and pensioners suffered losses as a result. Company executives, however, were paid a total US$190 million in retention bonuses between 2009 and 2016. Nortel sold off its assets for a total US$7.3 billion. Those assets were scheduled to be distributed to Nortel’s bondholders, suppliers and former employees in 2017.
Roots Corporation (better known as Roots or Roots Canada) is a publicly traded retail clothing business. It was co-founded by fashion designers and businessmen Michael Budman and Don Green, both from Detroit, Michigan. Budman and Green first met in 1962, when they were attending Camp Tamakwa in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Following their graduation from Michigan State University, Budman moved to Canada in 1969 and Green followed a few years later in 1972. In 1973, Budman and Green began production of their version of the “negative heel” shoe — the first product sold under the Roots brand. That same year, on 15 August, the duo opened their first store in Toronto. Inspired by their early years at Algonquin Park, Budman and Green quickly made Roots, with its beaver logo and cottage feel, an iconic Canadian brand. In 2015, Budman and Green sold a majority stake to Searchlight Capital Partners, though the founders remain prominent shareholders. In October 2017, Roots made its initial public offering (IPO) in Canada, trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ROOT.
Moosehead Breweries Limited, the maker of Moosehead Canadian Lager, is the oldest family-owned brewing company in Canada. Located in Saint John, New Brunswick, the company has been family owned and controlled for six generations and is currently led by founders Susannah and John Oland’s great-great-great grandson, Andrew Oland. Moosehead is the fourth largest brewing company in Canada — after Molson, Labatt and Sleeman — and the last major brewery to be owned by Canadians. Moosehead beer is sold throughout Canada, in many locations in the United States, and in 15 countries around the world. The company brews 20 beers under 10 brands, including its mainstay Moosehead Canadian Lager, as well as James Ready, Alpine, and Hop City. It also contract brews for six companies, including Samuel Adams, from the United States, and Estrella Damm, from Spain. Moosehead is a privately owned company and does not disclose its financial information; however, in 2017, market researchers estimated the company held as high as 3.8 per cent of the Canadian beer market and would generate $216 million in revenue.
BlackBerry Limited (formerly Research In Motion) is a mobile communications company. Founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin in Waterloo, Ontario, the company released its first device — a pager capable of email — in 1999. Following the release of its first smartphone in 2002, BlackBerrys quickly became must-have pieces of technology, first among business people and later the general public. However, in the early 2010s they struggled to keep pace with the competitive smartphone market. In 2016, the company announced it would outsource all hardware production to other companies, instead focusing on software development. Today, BlackBerry is credited with putting Waterloo on the map as an innovation hub. The business trades under the ticker BB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and BBRY on NASDAQ.
Founded in 1869, the T. Eaton Company Ltd., commonly known as Eaton’s, was an iconic Canadian department store with a retail presence in every province, at its height. From its beginnings as a retail store in Toronto to its eventual bankruptcy and absorption into its long-time rival, Sears Canada, Eaton’s significantly shaped Canadian shopping. The Eaton’s name and legacy persist today, from Toronto’s Eaton Centre to the red bricks incorporated into the facade of Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place, a reminder of the former Eaton’s store that stood on the site for so long.
Seagram Company Limited, commonly known as Seagram or Seagram’s, was the world’s largest producer and distributor of distilled spirits. Its head offices were in Montréal. While Seagram traced its roots back to a distillery founded in 1857, it was incorporated as a public company in 1928 under the name Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Ltd., a holding company that acquired the capital stocks of Distillers Corporation Ltd. and Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Ltd. It gained notoriety during American prohibition (1920–33), during which time Seagram legally exported spirits directly and circuitously to the United States. The company was majority owned and operated by the Bronfman family; Samuel Bronfman established the company in 1928 and his eldest son, Edgar, took over after his death in 1971. Edgar in turn handed control to his son Edgar Jr. in 1994. The company expanded and diversified a few times, branching from the liquor business to the oil and gas industry in the 1950s and 1960s, the petrochemicals industry in the 1980s, with industry giant DuPont, and the entertainment and communications business in the 1990s, with MCA Inc. and Universal. In 2000, the company was sold to French conglomerate Vivendi, who retained Seagram’s entertainment and communications wing but sold its distilling interests to Pernod Ricard and Diageo.
Founded in 1779, the North West Company was a major force in the fur trade from the 1780s to 1821. Managed primarily by Highland Scots who migrated to Montréal after 1760, or came as Loyalists escaping the American Revolution, it also drew heavily on French-Canadian labour and experience. The name first described Montréal traders who in 1776 pooled resources to reduce competition among themselves and to resist inland advances of the Hudson’s Bay Company.1
E.I. du Pont Canada Company, commonly known as DuPont Canada, is a subsidiary of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, which is headquartered in the United States and known worldwide as the maker of Kevlar, Teflon, Lycra, nylon and cellophane, among many other products. DuPont Canada is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. The company has six main product lines, including agricultural, food and personal care products, construction equipment, industrial biotechnology, safety equipment, and polymers and fibres. It is the largest subsidiary of DuPont in the Americas with some $730 million in net sales in 2016.
Manulife Financial Corporation, based in Toronto, is Canada’s largest insurance company and one of the largest in the world. The company’s principal operations are located in Canada, the United States and Asia. Manulife offers life, health and income insurance protection, as well as annuities and wealth and asset management. Founded in 1887, under the name Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Inc., Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, was also the company’s first president.
Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd., is one of Canada’s most recognized retail franchises. Founded in Toronto by brothers J.W. and A.J. Billes, the company got its start when the brothers bought the Hamilton Tire and Garage in 1922. In 1927, they incorporated the business as the Canadian Tire Corporation. Today the company’s headquarters remain in Toronto, and the business has a store presence in every province and territory except Nunavut. Canadian Tire also owns Mark’s Work Wearhouse and FGL Sports, including the retail companies Sport Chek, Atmosphere and Sports Experts.
Sun Life Financial, based in Toronto, is one of Canada’s largest insurance companies. It has operations located around the world and offers insurance and other investment products to individuals and corporate clients. Total assets of the company have grown from $74 million in 1915, to $55.8 billion in 2000 and $258 billion in 2016. Its shares trade on the Toronto, New York and Philippines stock markets.