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Article

Saidye Rosner Bronfman

Saidye Rosner Bronfman, OBE, community leader, philanthropist (born 9 December 1896 in Plum Coulee, MB; died 6 July 1995 in Montreal, QC). Saidye Bronfman was a leader in the Jewish community who generously supported the arts and various charities. She received the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Red Cross during the Second World War. Saidye and her husband, Samuel Bronfman, drew from their fortune in the liquor business to create a foundation that continues to fund community groups today.

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James McGill

James McGill, fur trader, merchant, politician, philanthropist (born 6 October 1744 in Glasgow, Scotland; died 19 December 1813 in Montreal, Lower Canada). James McGill was one of Montreal’s most prominent citizens in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He grew a successful career as a fur trader into a business empire. McGill also held various positions in public office, including three terms in Lower Canada’s legislature. His will contained the endowment for McGill University. James McGill’s achievements cannot be separated from the fact that he enslaved Black and Indigenous people and profited from this practice.

Article

Gerry Schwartz

Gerald Wilfred Schwartz, OC, business executive (born 24 November 1941 in Winnipeg, MB). Gerry Schwartz is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Toronto-based Onex Corporation, one of Canada’s largest private equity firms. A successful long-term investor, he has overseen major business deals in more than three decades at the head of Onex. Schwartz was one of 45 Canadians to make the Forbes list of billionaires in 2019, with the magazine estimating his net worth at US $1.6 billion. He has donated millions of dollars to universities, hospitals, charities and cultural organizations.

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Brandt Louie (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 25, 2002. Partner content is not updated.

In the days before business plans and vision statements, Vancouver shopkeeper Hok Yat Louie wrote, in his native Chinese, a series of letters to his sons. It was 1934 and, in failing health, he'd returned for the first time in 38 years to his birthplace in south China's Pearl River Delta.

Article

Jim Balsillie

James Laurence (Jim) Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion, business executive, chartered professional accountant, philanthropist (born 3 February 1961 in Seaforth, ON). Balsillie is best known as the former chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion, the Waterloo, Ontario, company now known as BlackBerry. He is also a major philanthropist and the founder of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Arctic Research Foundation (which found one of the lost Franklin ships in 2016), the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. An avid hockey fan, Balsillie tried on three separate occasions to purchase an NHL team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario.

Article

Henry Newton Rowell Jackman

Henry Newton Rowell Jackman, "Hal," financier, philanthropist, lieutenant-governor of Ontario (b at Toronto 10 June 1932). The son of Henry Jackman, a successful Depression-era entrepreneur, Jackman was born into Toronto's elite.

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Eugene O'Keefe

Eugene O'Keefe, brewer, banker, philanthropist (born 10 December 1827 in Bandon, Ireland; died 1 October 1913 in Toronto, ON).

Article

Eric Harvie

Eric Lafferty Harvie, oilman, philanthropist (b at Orillia, Ont 2 Apr 1892; d at Calgary 11 Jan 1975). Harvie was called to the Alberta Bar in 1915. He served overseas in WWI, was wounded in France and achieved the rank of captain.

Article

Mike Lazaridis

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

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Jean Lallemand

Jean (Clovis) Lallemand. Industrialist, philanthropist, patron of the arts, b Montreal 19 Dec 1898, d there 17 Nov 1987; BA (Montreal) 1919. His mother, an excellent pianist, was the sister of Arthur Laurendeau.

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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.

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Izaak Walton Killam

Izaak Walton Killam, financier, philanthropist (born 23 July 1885 in Yarmouth, NS; died 5 August 1955 near Grande-Cascapédia, QC). Killam amassed a large fortune investing in power utilities, pulp and paper and other industries. His wife, Dorothy Johnston Killam, grew the wealth she inherited after his death. The couple left many millions of dollars to Canadian institutions. About half the funding that established the Canada Council for the Arts came from inheritance taxes on Izaak Killam's death. The Killams also endowed the Killam Prizes and Killam Research Fellowships for scholars in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering.

Article

Lise Watier

Lise Watier, (born Montréal, 1942). A pampered only child, Lise Watier was always interested in feminine beauty and made it her life's work. During the 1980s she began her Québec radio and television career by hosting women's programmes.

Article

Elsie Reford

​Elsie Reford, née Meighen, philanthropist and founder of the Reford Gardens (born 8 January 1872 in Perth, ON; died 8 November 1967 in Montréal, QC).

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Pierre Karl Péladeau

​Pierre Karl Péladeau (nicknamed PKP), Canadian entrepreneur and businessman who was instrumental in bringing about the rapid growth of Quebecor (born 16 October 1961 in Montréal, QC). He was the president and chief executive officer of Quebecor for 14 years, from 1999 to 2013. In the Québec provincial election held on 7 April 2014, Péladeau ran as a candidate for the Parti Québécois and won his riding. On 15 May 2015, he became the eighth leader in the history of this political party.

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Luce Cuvillier

​Luce Cuvillier, businesswoman and philanthropist (born 12 June 1817 in Montréal, QC; died 28 March 1900 in Montréal).

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Michael Lee-Chin

Michael Lee-Chin, businessman, investor and philanthropist (born 3 January 1951 in Port Antonio, Jamaica). Lee-Chin is president and chairman of Portland Holdings, a private investment company. According to Canadian Business magazine, Lee-Chin has an estimated net worth of more than $3.95 billion (as of 2017) and was ranked the 20th wealthiest Canadian. He is also one of the richest Jamaicans. Lee-Chin is also a dedicated philanthropist and has pledged and donated more than $60 million to hospitals, universities and, most notably, the Royal Ontario Museum, where the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is named in honour of his $30-million pledge.

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Lino Saputo

Emanuele “Lino” Saputo, CM, OQ, businessman, dairy and cheese industrialist, philanthropist (born 10 June 1937 in Montelepre, Italy). Lino Saputo emerged from modest beginnings to develop one of the most prominent dairy companies in Canada — Saputo — now with operations in the United States, Argentina and Australia. His influence and family name is found throughout Montreal, Quebec, including on the Saputo Stadium, home of CF Montréal a professional soccer team that plays in  Major League Soccer (MLS).His family is routinely listed among the wealthiest Canadians, reaching number three in 2017.