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Article

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.

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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.

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Bronfman Versus Hollywood

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 25, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

Montreal's Bronfman family is no stranger to controversy. After arriving in Canada from Russia in the 1890s, they made a fortune outrunning federal tax collectors and selling whisky to American mobsters. The next generation made headlines tussling over control of the family firm, Seagram Co. Ltd.

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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.

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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.

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John Roth (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 2, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

John Roth was not at all happy. For two months last winter, a Dallas-based advertising agency had been working on a hip new TV commercial for Nortel Networks Corp., the Canadian telecommunications giant of which Roth, 56, is chief executive officer.

Article

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.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

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 Montréal, Québec, including on the Saputo Stadium, home of the Montréal Impact of Major League Soccer, and his family is routinely listed among the wealthiest Canadians, reaching number three in 2017.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Frank Stronach (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on September 30, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

Frank Stronach is pointing the toes of his black reptilian cowboy boots in the air, heeling his way through the muck of the hoedown he holds every year near his Beechwood Farm, north of Toronto. He is dressed all in black, with little faux artillery shells running around the band of his cowboy hat.

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

Max Gros-Louis

Magella “Max” Gros-Louis (or Oné Onti in the Huron-Wendat language, meaning “paddler”), politician, businessman (born on 6 August 1931 in Wendake, QC; died on 14 November 2020 in Quebec City, QC). As chief of the Huron-Wendat for 33 years, Gros-Louis championed several Indigenous causes including the fight for recognition of Indigenous territory and overall equality for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Article

Max Ward

Maxwell William Ward, OC, aviator, businessman (born 22 November 1921 in Edmonton, AB; died 2 November 2020 in Edmonton). Max Ward was a bush pilot and aviation entrepreneur who founded and ran the airline Wardair.