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Macleans

Thomson Sells His Newspapers

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on February 28, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

It was an empire built upon scratchy radio stations, weekly newspapers and the hardscrabble mentality of Northern Ontario in the midst of the Great Depression. Founder Roy Thomson was like nothing Canada had ever produced.

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Izzy Asper

Israel Harold (Izzy) Asper, businessman, broadcaster, lawyer, politician (b at Minnedosa, Man 11 Aug 1932, d at Winnipeg, Man 7 Oct 2003). Izzy Asper earned a BA (1953) and LLB (1957) from the University of Manitoba before being called to the Bar in 1957.

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Adam Hartley Zimmerman

Adam Hartley Zimmerman, OC, FCA, lumber and mining executive, philanthropist, and prolific board member (born 19 February 1927 in Toronto, ON; died 19 October 2016 in Toronto, ON). Zimmerman studied at the Royal Canadian Naval College from 1944 to 1946, and then at Trinity College, University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1950. He became a chartered accountant in 1956. In 1958, Zimmerman began his career in the resource industry with Noranda Mines Ltd., rising to president and CEO by 1982. He sat on more than forty public and private boards, including Toronto-Dominion Bank, Confederation Life and the C.D. Howe Institute.

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Patricia Duncan

Patricia (Pat) Duncan, business woman, politician, premier of Yukon (b at Edmonton, Alta, 8 Apr 1960). Duncan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University in 1983. She then became Special Assistant (Constituency Affairs) in the office of Yukon MP Erik NIELSEN.

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Laurent Beaudoin

Laurent Beaudoin, business executive (b at Laurier Station, Qc, 13 May 1938). After earning a BA at Nova Scotia's Collège Sainte-Anne, he became a chartered accountant, and graduated with a Master of Commerce from the Université de Sherbrooke.

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Pierre Péladeau

Pierre Péladeau, CM, OQ, businessman, publisher and founder of Quebécor Inc. (born 11 April 1925 in Outremont, QC; died 24 December 1997 in Montréal, QC).

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Hunter Harrison

Ewing Hunter Harrison III, president and CEO of Canadian National Railway Company 2003–09, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited 2012–17 (born 7 November 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee; died 16 December 2017 in Wellington, Florida). Best known as the leading proponent of Precision Scheduled Railroading, Hunter Harrison ran four publicly traded, Class 1 railroads during his more than half century in the industry. His leadership of Canada’s two largest railway companies greatly improved the efficiency and profitability of both businesses.

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Thomas

Thomas family. Family of organ and piano builders; also the trade name of a line of organs. John Morgan Thomas (b 1805?, d Toronto 2 Mar 1875) began building organs in Montreal in 1832 and established a partnership in Toronto with Alexander Smith in 1839.

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Pat Patterson

Pat Patterson (born Pierre Clermont), wrestler, promoter, executive (born 19 January 1941 in Montreal, QC; died 2 December 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida). Pat Patterson was one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was also the first openly gay professional wrestler. He came out publicly in 2014 when he was an executive with the WWE, but he never made a secret of his sexuality behind the scenes. He was released from WWE following sexual harassment allegations in 1992 but was rehired after the charges were dropped. He was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame in 1996.

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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.

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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.

Macleans

Tony Comper (Interview)

After the federal government vetoed, in December, 1998, a planned merger of the Royal Bank and the Bank of Montreal, BMO CEO Matt Barrett announced his resignation little more than two months later.

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Arlene Dickinson

Arlene Dickinson, entrepreneur, business executive, television personality (born 8 October 1956 in Germiston, South Africa). Dickinson is best known as a star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den and as the CEO of Venture Communications Ltd., one of Canada’s largest independent marketing agencies. With a reported net worth of $80 million, Dickinson is one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs. Her success has been recognized by several honours and awards, such as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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Richard M. Ivey

Richard (Dick) Macauley Ivey, CC, QC, lawyer, businessperson and philanthropist (born 26 October 1925 in London, ON; died 28 December 2019 in Toronto, ON). Richard M. Ivey had a long career as a corporate lawyer and business executive, but he is best known for his philanthropy. Working through his family’s Ivey Foundation, he supported education, medicine and the arts, in particular. The name of the world-renowned Ivey Business School at Western University recognizes his and his family members’ contributions to the university.

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Jean Lumb

Jean Bessie Lumb (née Toy Jin Wong), CM, community leader, restaurateur (born 30 July 1919 in Nanaimo, BC; died 17 July 2002 in Toronto, ON). Jean Lumb was the first Chinese Canadian woman and first restaurateur inducted into the Order of Canada. She is also best known for her role in successfully lobbying the federal government to change its discriminatory immigration policies that separated Chinese families. Lumb also led the Save Chinatown Committee to prevent further demolition of Toronto’s Chinatown in the 1960s.

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Sir Hugh Allan

By the 1870s, Allan's company, the Montreal Ocean Steamship Co (popularly known as the ALLAN LINE), also obtained government contracts to carry passage-assisted immigrants. Taking advantage of the Québec government's subsidies for colonization railways, Allan expanded into railway building.

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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.

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Heather Reisman

Heather Maxine Reisman, OC, entrepreneur, business executive (born 28 August 1948 in Montreal, QC). Reisman is best known as the founder, executive chair and CEO of Indigo Books & Music, Canada’s largest book and specialty toy retailer, and the co-founder of Kobo, a top global e-reader maker. She holds honorary doctorates from several universities and a bachelor’s degree in social work from McGill University. In 2022, Reisman was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.