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Article

Elsie Knott

Elsie Marie Knott (née Taylor), Ojibwe chief, community leader, entrepreneur (born 20 September 1922 on Mud Lake Reserve [now Curve Lake First Nation], ON; died there on 3 December 1995). Knott was the first elected female First Nations chief in Canada, after a 1951 amendment to the Indian Act permitted Indigenous women to vote and participate in band governments. She was also chief of her First Nation for 14 years, from 1954 to 1962 and from 1970 to 1976. Knott was dedicated to preserving the Ojibwe language and was known for her community activism and support of education.

Article

Mabel Hubbard Bell

Mabel Gardiner Hubbard Bell, aeronautics financier, community leader, social reformer and advocate for the deaf (born 25 November 1857 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; died 3 January 1923 in Chevy Chase, Maryland). Bell actively supported and contributed to the work of her husband, inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Her financial investment in his work made her the first financier of the aviation industry in North America. She was a community leader in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, where the Bell family spent their summers. She was also a social reformer and supported innovation in education.

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Article

Joshua Mauger

Joshua Mauger, colonial entrepreneur, sea captain, politician (baptized 25 April 1725 in the parish of St. John, Jersey; died 18 October 1788 at Warborne, near Lymington, England). Mauger was one of Nova Scotia’s wealthiest and most influential merchants in the 18th century. Although he only spent 11 years in the colony, he exerted significant power in its business and politics for two decades after. His complex involvement with Nova Scotia underscores the bonds of subservience and influence that hindered the colony’s early development. Mauger also enslaved Black people and built a significant portion of his business empire on the labour of enslaved people.

Macleans

Gerry Schwartz (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on 8 March 1999. Partner content is not updated.

The big black Mercedes glides past the beds of gold- and wine-coloured chrysanthemums that spruce up Toronto's business district in early fall. Quickly and discreetly it transports Gerry Schwartz from his Onex Corp.

Article

Daniel Williams

In addition to practising law, Williams excelled at business. While attending Dalhousie's law school, he led a group of businesspeople to seek the first cable licence in Newfoundland and built Cable Atlantic into one of the largest communications companies in Atlantic Canada.

Article

Joe Mimran

Joseph Mimran, entrepreneur, consultant, fashion designer, retailer (born 2 December 1952 in Casablanca, Morocco). Mimran is best-known for launching the Alfred Sung, Club Monaco and Joe Fresh fashion brands, as well as his involvement with Pink Tartan, a fashion line designed by Kimberley Newport-Mimran, his second wife. Mimran is a partner at Gibraltar Ventures, a Toronto-based firm that invests in technology-driven companies. He also appears as a Dragon on the CBC series Dragons’ Den.

Article

Charles Sherwood Noble

Charles Sherwood Noble, agriculturist, industrialist (b at State Centre, Iowa 16 May 1873; d at Lethbridge, Alta 5 July 1957). He developed the Noble Blade, a cultivator that gave dryland farmers everywhere their first sure method of protecting soil from wind erosion.

Article

Mike Lazaridis

Mihal (Mike) Lazaridis, OC, O Ont, FRS, entrepreneur, business executive, philanthropist (born 14 March 1961 in Istanbul, Turkey).

Article

James Croft

James Croft. Violin maker and repairer, b Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, 10 Jun 1884, d Winnipeg 4 Sep 1968. Though he moved to Winnipeg in 1904 as an engineer, he had been taught violin making by an uncle at the Hill shop in London, and in 1915 he began building and repairing violins.

Article

Henry Fuller Davis

In the late 1860s Henry Davis and others began trading along the upper PEACE RIVER in opposition to the HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY (HBC). In 1886 he based his operation at FORT VERMILION and competed with the HBC until his death.

Article

Joseph Rotman

Joseph Louis Rotman, OC, MSC, businessman and philanthropist (born 6 January 1935 in Toronto, ON; died 27 January 2015 in Toronto). Rotman was a prominent businessman who was active in oil trading, oil and gas exploration, merchant banking, real estate and venture capital investment. Later in life, he became a notable philanthropist with a focus on education, the arts and health care. The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University both bear his name.

Article

Judith Guichon

Judith Guichon, rancher, entrepreneur, 29th lieutenant-governor of BRITISH COLUMBIA, from 2012 to present (b at Montreal, Que, 1947).

Article

C.D. Howe

Clarence Decatur Howe, engineer, politician (b at Waltham, Mass 15 Jan 1886; d at Montréal 31 Dec 1960). Howe was the most successful businessman-politician of his day, and provided a link between the Liberal Party and Canadian industry.

Article

Alain Simard

Alain Simard, OC, COQ impresario, talent manager, producer, businessman (born 19 January 1950 in Montreal, QC). Alain Simard has been a leading figure in Quebec’s entertainment sector since the early 1970s. He is responsible for the conception and founding of some of Canada’s biggest annual festivals, including the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and the FrancoFolies de Montréal, one of the largest French-language music festivals in the world. Simard is also chairman of the board of Équipe Spectra, which manages and operates festivals and performance venues, mounts stage productions, runs a record label and manages artists. In 2003, Simard was named the most influential person in the cultural world by the Montreal newspaper La Presse. He is a Chevalier of France’s Arts et des Lettres, of the Ordre de la Pléiade, and of the Ordre national du Québec; as well as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Article

Gilles Ste-Croix

Gilles Ste-Croix, OC, street performer, businessman (born 1950 in La Sarre, Quebec). In 1984, Gilles Ste-Croix and Guy Laliberté transformed their troupe of street performers into Cirque du Soleil, the world’s largest circus production company and one of the world’s biggest live entertainment companies. Ste-Croix served as vice-president from the company’s founding and as creative director from 1988 until his retirement in 2014. He is a Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Article

Guglielmo Marconi

Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, electrical engineer, inventor and businessman (born 25 April 1874 in Bologna, Italy; died 20 July 1937 in Rome, Italy). Marconi’s early experiments in wireless telegraphy demonstrated the potential of long-range radio communication. He is generally considered the inventor of the radio. Marconi’s first reputed reception of a transatlantic radio signal occurred at Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1901. The following year, he built a wireless transmission station in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Half of the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Marconi for his work in wireless telegraphy.

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Article

Denham Jolly

Brandeis Denham Jolly, C.M., teacher, entrepreneur, publisher, broadcaster, philanthropist, civil rights activist, community leader (born 26 August 1935 in Industry Cove, Jamaica). Jolly began his business career by purchasing and operating rooming houses and nursing homes. He later purchased and became the publisher of Contrast, a Black community newspaperin Toronto and established FLOW 93.5, the first Black-owned radio station and the first station in Canada to showcase Black music and the stories of the Black community. Jolly also was involved with or founded and led community groups — such as the Black Action Defence Committee — that sought to end police violence targeting young Black men. Jolly also contributed generously to several causes including scholarships for promising young Black Canadians.