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Article

Bronfman Family

Descendants of Russian immigrant tobacco farmer Yechiel (Ekiel) Bronfman and his wife, Mindel, members of the Bronfman family have owned and controlled huge financial empires built from the profits of the family liquor business (see Seagram). The best-known members of the family are Samuel Bronfman, founder of Seagram and president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1939–62), and his descendants. Samuel’s wife, Saidye Rosner Bronfman, was an influential philanthropist who supported the arts in Canada and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for organizing work on the home front during the Second World War. Sons Edgar and Charles Bronfman ran Seagram for decades, while grandson Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. oversaw the sale of Seagram to Vivendi. Charles was also co-founder of the Historica Foundation of Canada and Heritage Minutes, as well as chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos. His sister Phyllis Lambert is a well-known architect who founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Their cousins, Edward and Peter Bronfman (sons of Allan Bronfman), developed a financial empire in their own right. The family has given generously to several charitable organizations and been involved in the Canadian Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress. 

Article

John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, writer (b at Iona Station, Ont 15 Oct 1908; d at Cambridge, Mass 29 Apr 2006). Having graduated from Ontario Agricultural College (Guelph) in 1931, Galbraith received a doctorate in agricultural economics at University of California, Berkeley.

Article

Sir Byron Edmund Walker

Sir Byron Edmund Walker, banker (b in Seneca Township, Haldimand County, Canada 14 Oct 1848; d at Toronto 27 Mar 1924). After leaving school at the age of 13, Walker entered his uncle's private banking business in Hamilton as a discount clerk.

Article

William Peyton Hubbard

William Peyton Hubbard, politician, inventor, baker, coachman (born 27 January 1842 in Toronto, ON; died 30 April 1935 in Toronto). Hubbard was Toronto’s first Black elected official, serving as alderman (1894–1903, 1913) and controller (1898–1908), and as acting mayor periodically. A democratic reformer, he campaigned to make the city’s powerful Board of Control an elected body. Hubbard was also a leading figure in the push for public ownership of hydroelectric power, contributing to the establishment of the Toronto Hydro-Electric System.

Article

Alexander Pantages

Alexander Pantages, né Pericles, entrepreneur, vaudeville and motion picture theatre owner and manager (b at Andros, Greece 17 Feb 1867; d at Los Angeles 17 Feb 1936). Pericles Pantages was reputed to have changed his name to Alexander after hearing the story of Alexander the Great.

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

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).

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

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.

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Allison McCain (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 29, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Allison McCain came home in August. But his roomy office atop McCain Foods Ltd.'s international headquarters in tiny, out-of-the-way Florenceville, N.B., looks like he arrived just yesterday. Several framed pieces of art lean in a pile waiting to fill big empty spaces on the walls.

Article

Manzo Nagano

Manzo Nagano, businessman (born 26 November 1853 in Kuchinotsu [Minamishimabara], Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; died May 1924 in Kuchinotsu [Minamishimabara], Nagasaki Prefecture). Manzo Nagano is the first known Japanese immigrant to Canada. In March 1877, at age 24, he left Japan for the West aboard a British steamer, arriving in May in British Columbia. He eventually settled in Victoria, where he ran a number of businesses. He returned to Japan in failing health in 1923, and died the following year.

Article

Morse Robb

Frank Morse Robb, inventor, designer, business executive (born 28 January 1902 in Belleville, ON; died 5 August 1992 in Belleville). Frank Morse Robb was one of the first inventors in the world to succeed in developing an electronic organ, the Robb Wave Organ, in 1927.

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Bernard Ebbers (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 20, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

In the late 1950s, Bernard (Bernie) Ebbers liked nothing better than cruising the streets of Edmonton in his red Pontiac. On Saturday nights, he and his friends from Victoria Composite High School would gather at the Kingsway Inn to discuss their favorite topics - girls and sports - over beer.

Article

Herb Belcourt

Herbert Clifford (Herb) Belcourt, CM, entrepreneur, philanthropist (born 6 July 1931 in Lac Ste. Anne, AB; died 5 July 2017 in Sherwood Park, AB). Belcourt was a celebrated Métis philanthropist and businessman recognized for starting several successful businesses in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, including Belcourt Construction, which became one of the largest power line companies in Alberta. Belcourt was also a philanthropist who gave back to the Métis community of Alberta through affordable housing and education bursaries.

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Gwyn Morgan (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 13, 2003. Partner content is not updated.

BY HIS OWN ACCOUNT, the most powerful man in Canada's OIL patch is, at heart, a simple country boy. Gwyn Morgan, president and chief executive officer of EnCana Corp.

Article

Larry Tanenbaum

​Lawrence “Larry” Murray Tanenbaum, O.C., businessman, sports executive, philanthropist (born 8 July 1945 in Toronto, ON). Larry Tanenbaum is best known for his position as chair of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns four major league sports teams: the Toronto FC, Maple Leafs, Raptors and Argonauts. His career has also spanned the worlds of finance, construction, politics and philanthropy. He is a prominent figure in Toronto and Canada’s Jewish community.

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Cowpland/Corel (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 5, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

Since buying WordPerfect last year from Novell Inc. of Provo, Utah, for $210 million, Cowpland has served notice that he wants to do what no one in the $145-billion-a-year software industry has ever done - beat Gates cold in Microsoft’s most lucrative product niche, business software packages.