Browse "Entrepreneurs"

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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.

Macleans

Gerry Schwartz (Profile)

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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Judith Guichon

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

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Harvey Reginald MacMillan

Harvey Reginald MacMillan, entrepreneur (b at Newmarket, Ont 9 Sept 1885; d at Vancouver 9 Feb 1976). After studying at the Ontario Agricultural College and the Yale Forestry School, MacMillan worked on the BC coast as a timber cruiser in 1907.

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Heather Reisman

Heather Reisman, CM, entrepreneur, business executive (born 28 August 1948 in Montreal, QC). Reisman is best known as the founder and chief executive officer (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.

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Joseph Herman Hirshhorn

Joseph Herman Hirshhorn, mining promoter, art collector (b at Mitau, Latvia 11 Aug 1900; d at Washington, DC 31 Aug 1981). Hirshhorn immigrated at an early age to the US, rising from office boy to stockbroker to entrepreneur. In 1933 he opened an office in Toronto.

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James Jerome Hill

James Jerome Hill, pioneer transportation official, railway magnate (b at Rockwood, UC 16 Sept 1838; d at St Paul, Minn 29 May 1916). In 1856 Hill settled in St Paul.

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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.

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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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Jim Pattison

James Allen Pattison, OC, OBC, entrepreneur, business executive (born 1 October 1928 in Saskatoon, SK). Pattison is best known as the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of The Jim Pattison Group, Canada’s second largest private company, with $9.6 billion in revenues in 2016. The Jim Pattison Group has divisions in broadcast media, signage, supermarkets, fishing, forestry, agriculture, equipment, manufacturing, recreation, marketing and entertainment. With an estimated net worth of $5.6 billion (2016), Pattison is one of the richest individuals in Canada. He is also a philanthropist, having donated a landmark $75 million in 2017 to establish the Jim Pattison Medical Centre in Vancouver, for example.

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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.

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John Labatt

John Labatt, brewer, entrepreneur (b in Westminster Twp, Middlesex County, Upper Canada 11 Dec 1838; d at London, Ont 27 Apr 1915). Third son of John Kinder LABATT, he was educated at Caradoc Academy and secondary school in London.

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John Ware

John Ware, cowboy, rancher (born c. 1845–50 in the United States; died 11 September 1905 near Brooks, AB). John Ware is legendary in the history of Alberta for his strength and horsemanship. Born enslaved, he became a successful rancher who settled near Calgary and Brooks. He was widely admired as one of the best cowboys in the West, even at a time of widespread anti-Black racism and discrimination.

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John Stanton

John Stanton, entrepreneur, runner (b 29 Dec 1948, Tofield, Alta). John Stanton is Canada's best-known expert on recreational running, and through his business, Running Room Ltd, he has advocated for improved health and fitness through simple changes in lifestyle that include increased activity.

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Mike Lazaridis

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

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Stephen Smith

Stephen J. R. Smith, financial services entrepreneur, civic leader, philanthropist (born 2 June 1951 in Ottawa, ON). Stephen Smith is a successful entrepreneur in the financial services industry. He is co-founder, chairman, president and CEO of First National Financial LP, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender, as well as chairman and co-owner of the Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, Canada’s third largest mortgage insurance provider. He is also involved in the administration of cultural organizations such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Rideau Hall Foundation and Historica Canada — publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia — where he has been chair of the board of directors since 2009. The business school at his alma mater, Queen’s University, was named in his honour after his record $50 million gift to the university in 2015. He is a Companion of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (2019). A licensed pilot, he is renowned among friends and associates for his daredevil approach to his favourite sports, which include heli-skiing and long-distance cycling. As Charles Brindamour, president and chief executive officer of Intact Financial Corp. has said, “Stephen is a force of nature.”