These Are The Richest People In Canada In 2023 & How They Made Their Billions

Their net worths are pretty impressive. 🤯

Trending Editor
Changpeng Zhao in Paris. Right: Dennis "Chip" Wilson in a restaurant.

Changpeng Zhao in Paris. Right: Dennis "Chip" Wilson in a restaurant.

Ever wondered how many of the richest people in the world live right here, in Canada? Well, it's actually quite a few and the net worths of the wealthiest people in Canada might just make your eyes water.

The latest version of Bloomberg's Billionaires Index ranks the world's richest people in 2023, from well-known individuals such as Tesla (and more recently, Twitter) CEO Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to lesser-known billionaires acting further away from the spotlight.

The richest man in the world — according to the index — is Bernard Arnault. He's the chair and CEO of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company, and has brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora within his empire.

With a staggering net worth of $190 billion, Arnault has billions of dollars more than all of his closest competitors, including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

While many of the index's top 10 billionaires are Americans, as many as 15 Canadians are featured on the wider top-500 list.

Having made their fortunes in industries like finance, media and retail, to name just a few, these influential figures have a combined net worth of way over $125 billion.

Here's a look at who they are – and how they made their fortunes.

David Cheriton

Position in Canada: #15

Net worth: US$5.38 billion

Industry: Technology

One of the richest billionaires in Canada, David Cheritron made his fortune by making an early investment in Google.

Along with Andreas von Bechtolsheim — also now a billionaire —– Cheritron invested US$100,000 in Google and has since turned his six-figure investment into ten figures.

Now an Arista Networks co-founder, the 71-year-old lives in California.

He was previously described by Forbes as being "frugal" in his personal life, having lived in the same home for 30 years — despite the mammoth increase in his personal wealth over that period.

Dennis "Chip" Wilson

Position in Canada: #14

Net worth: US$5.57 billion

Industry: Retail

A well-known name among those in the athleisure world, Dennis "Chip" Wilson is the founder of Lululemon Athletic.

The 68-year-old is a University of Calgary alum, and opened his first sportswears store in Vancouver in 2000.

Around 22 years later, the Canadian company had an annual revenue of a whopping US$6.2 billion, which means Wilson is a very wealthy man indeed.

After selling half of his stake in the company to private equity firm Advent International in 2014, and subsequently stepping down from the Lululemon board, he now has an estimated personal fortune of around US$5.5 billion.

Alain Bouchard

Position in Canada: #13

Net worth: US$6.01 billion

Industry: Retail

The co-founder and chairman of Alimentation Couche-Tard, Bouchard is among the richest individuals in Canada.

Forbes says the 74-year-old previously worked stocking shelves at a franchised Perrette store in Quebec.

After opening his first store in Quebec in 1980, he went on to create an empire of over 10,000 convenience stores and gas stations in North America.

In 2022, his company had an annual revenue of $62.8 billion.

Arthur Irving

Position in Canada: #12

Net worth: US$6.03 billion

Industry: Energy

As the owner of the New Brunswick-based company Irving Oil, Arthur Irving has become one of the wealthiest people not just in the province, but in Canada.

Bloomberg claims the Saint John Irving Oil refinery has production rates of 320,000 barrels every day, while the company also owns over 900 gas stations in Canada and the United States.

The 93-year-old owner has increased his fortune by over US$33 million in the last year or so, which means his personal net worth is now over US$6 billion.

J. K. Irving

Position in Canada: #11

Net worth: US$6.28 billion

Industry: Commodities

Brother of fellow-billionaire Arthur, J.K. Irving works in the business of commodities, rather than energy.

Bloomberg reports that he controls JD Irving, a company that owns everything from shipyards and potato processors, to home improvement stores, media holdings and over three million acres of timberland.

Now 94 years old, the Globe and Mail says he continues to keep a "watchful eye" on the business that made him a fortune.

Gaye Farncombe

Position in Canada: #10 (shared)

Net worth: US$6.68 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

One of the four Canadian women listed on Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, Farncombe owns 11% of the investment firm Woodbridge, which manages the fortunes of the seven grandchildren of Canadian newspaper mogul Roy Thomson.

Despite her surname, Farncombe is a member of the Thomson family and therefore owns her own thick slice of their billion-dollar empire.

Farncombe is the granddaughter of Roy Thomson, and other members of her family include Lisa Campbell and Peter, David and Taylor Thomson – all of whom are listed among the top ten wealthiest billionaires in Canada.

Linda Campbell

Linda Campbell

Linda Campbell

CAMH

Position in Canada: #10 (shared)

Net worth: US$6.68 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

Like her sister, Gaye Farncombe, Campbell also owns an 11% stake in the Thomson family fortune.

While she's involved in Woodbridge too, Campbell is also described as a "well-respected Canadian philanthropist who has served on a number of not-for-profit boards."

With her family, Campbell spent US$30 million to create the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH.

And, as the Thomson family net worth is estimated to exceed US$50 billion, it's hardly surprising that several members of the family are featured on this list.

Joseph Tsai

Position in Canada: #8

Net worth: US$7.11 billion

Industry: Technology

While Tsai owns the professional basketball team Brooklyn Nets, this isn't actually how he makes the majority of his money.

In fact, the 59-year-old made his fortune by co-founding Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-commerce company. As well as being the vice chairman, he's also its second-largest individual shareholder.

After Tsai earned a salary of US$50 per month in 1999, Alibaba Group made a revenue of 853 billion yuan (US$133 billion) in 2022. The company had around 1.13 billion global customers the same year.

Born in Taiwan and now living in Hong Kong, Tsai holds a Canadian passport.

Anthony von Mandl

Position in Canada: #7

Net worth: US$7.13 billion

Industry: Consumer

Founder and CEO of the Mark Anthony Group, fans of Mike's Hard Lemonade and White Claw have Anthony von Mandl to thank.

One of the leading figures of Canada's alcohol importing and distribution sector, this Vancouver-based billionaire once worked as an importer in the Canadian wine business.

Now, his company brings in around US$4.6 billion on average each year.

James (Jim) Pattison

Position in Canada: #6

Net worth: US$7.42 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

While his name might not be instantly recognizable to everyone, the businesses and brands that Jim Pattison works with are household names.

As the owner of Jim Pattison Group – which brings in around US$9.7 billion annually – 94-year-old James is among the richest men in Canada.

His company is the largest car dealer in western Canada, and big-name brands like the Guinness World Records, the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! chain and Great Wolf Lodge's Canadian franchise rights are within his entertainment portfolio.

In 2022, Forbes reported that Pattison continued to go to work every day, including on weekends, despite being almost 95 years old.

Peter Thomson

Position in Canada: #3 (shared)

Net worth: US$8.72 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

Peter Thomson is the co-chairman of Woodbridge, the investment firm that other members of his family also have a stake in.

In 2021, Woodbridge brought in US$6.3 billion, which is helping to keep the whole Thomson family well within the top ten on Canada's rich list.

In addition to owning 14% of the Ontario-based company, he is also the chairman and founder of Thomvest – a group of investment companies that make investments on behalf of himself and his family.

Taylor Thomson

Position in Canada: #3 (shared)

Net worth: US$8.72 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

Like several other members of her family, Taylor Thomson has a 14% share in Woodbridge – making her one of the richest women in Canada, as well as the world.

While the publicly traded business is led by her brothers, according to Bloomberg, Taylor Thomson has passed the bar exam and worked as a lawyer, and also starred in TV shows in the 1990s.

More recently, her significant real estate portfolio keeps her busy, and she reportedly owns property in California worth more than US$120 million.

David Thomson

Position in Canada: #3 (shared)

Net worth: US$8.72 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

Yes – another member of the Thomson family.

With a startling net worth of over US$8.7 billion, David Thomson, like his family members, owns a sizable share of Woodbridge.

Aside from the family fortune he has amassed, David Thomson has reportedly invested in True North Entertainment – the company that owns the Winnipeg Jets – and has successfully invested his wealth into real estate.

Sherry Brydson

Position in Canada: #2

Net worth: US$14.1 billion

Industry: Media and telecommunications

With a net worth almost double that of those just behind her on this list, Sherry Brydson has a significant personal fortune of over $14 billion.

Although the name could fool you, Brydson is also part of the Thomson family, and is the largest shareholder of Woodbridge.

According to Bloomberg, she owns about 23% of Woodbridge's assets as well, which makes her one of the wealthiest women not just in Canada, but the world.

Another granddaughter of Roy Thomson, Brydson has spent much of her life and money on activism – including chaining herself inside Canada's House of Commons to protest abortion laws in the 1970s.

In addition to all of this, she's opened a Thai restaurant and spa, and has – like her family – invested wisely in real estate.

Changpeng Zhao

Position in Canada: #1

Net worth: US$20.8 billion

Industry: Finance

The richest person in Canada, Changpeng Zhao is also believed to be the 73rd richest individual in the world.

Zhao, who goes by CZ, is the founder and CEO of one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges – Binance.

In 2021, the company offered more than 600 cryptocurrencies and had over 90 million users, despite only being founded four years earlier.

Last year, Forbes reported that CZ started his career flipping burgers in McDonald's and worked overnight shifts at a gas station to support his family.

In 2023, he's worth an estimated US$20.8 billion,

While he was born in China and now lives in Dubai, he spent many years calling Canada home.

Helena Hanson
Trending Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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