11. Michael Lee-Chin
Net worth: $2.79 billion | Up 28% | Location: Burlington, Ontario | 06 rank: 11
June was a busy month for the former CEO of investment firm AIC Ltd. (TSX: ASC) On June 2, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal opened at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, named so after his $30-million donation toward a massive expansion. Later in the month, Manulife Financial (TSX: MFC) bought Lee-Chin–controlled Berkshire-TWC Financial — the same Berkshire that is entangled in scandal around the alleged investment scams of its former senior vice-president Ian Thow. (Read our profile of Michael Lee-Chin.)
12. Saputo Family
Net worth: $2.77 billion | Up 28% | Location: Montreal | 06 rank: 12
After two years of planning, construction of the new $15-million Saputo Stadium for the Montreal Impact soccer team got underway in April. With Impact president Joey Saputo spearheading the project and half the funding donated privately by the family, it’s only fitting that the stadium bears the family name.
13. David Azrieli
Net worth: $2.64 billion | Up 8% | Location: Montreal | 06 rank: 9
Azrieli celebrated his 85th birthday in May with a gala affair — complete with an opera performance by his daughter Sharon. After a 1990 trip to retrace the path of his escape during the Holocaust, the Polish-Canadian real estate mogul started writing his memoirs. That led to a recent publishing partnership between York University and his charitable organization, the Azrieli Foundation, which is collecting and publishing the stories of Canadian Holocaust survivors.
14. Fred and Ron Mannix
Net worth: $2.56 billion | Up 8% | Location: Calgary | 06 rank: 10
While Fred chairs family-owned Mancal Corp., brother Ron is chairman of Coril Holdings Ltd. In March, Ron joined a national task force seeking ways to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and promote cleaner technologies.
15. Daryl Katz
Net worth: $2.37 billion | Up 14% | Location: Edmonton | 06 rank: 16
The founder and chairman of the Katz Group, the seventh-largest drugstore retailer in North America — it owns Rexall Drug Stores and eight other pharmacy chains in Canada and the United States — said he was committed to building a winning hockey team when he made a $185-million offer to buy the Edmonton Oilers this year. The NHL team’s owners, however, didn’t budge, insisting the Oilers were not for sale.
16. Carlo Fidani
Net worth: $2.34 billion | Up 11% | Location: Toronto | 06 rank: 14
Orlando Corp., the real estate firm headed by Fidani, has designed and developed more than 74 million square feet of building space. Fidani’s not above helping others succeed in the same field. The cancer centre he contributed $6 million toward in 2001, won a Mississauga Urban Design Award last year.
17. Bombardier Family
Net worth: $2.29 billion | Up 35% | Location: Montreal | 06 rank: 23
Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD.B) cancelled its announced layoffs in August after deciding to boost production of its aircraft; it more than doubled net orders in the second quarter from the same period of 2006. In October, things weren’t as sunny when Scandinavian Airlines decided to permanently ground Bombardier Q400 turboprops after three crashes in two months, which prompted the European Aviation Safety Agency to call a “crisis meeting.”
18. Alex Shnaider
Net worth: $2.28 billion | Up 14% | Location: Toronto | 06 rank: 17
The chairman of Midland Group, a trading and investment-holding organization with interests in, among many things, construction and real estate, gave the delay-besieged Trump Tower in Toronto a boost this summer. He reportedly decided to keep the building’s penthouse for himself, making Canada’s youngest billionaire the owner of one of the country’s most expensive condos, valued around $20 million.
19. Charles Bronfman
Net worth: $2.19 billion | Up 4% | Location: New York, Palm Beach, Florida | 06 rank: 15
Bronfman, formerly of Seagram Co. Ltd. and Koor Industries Ltd., has been busy doing good work this year through the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies network of foundations. This included adding a rare work of art, Alcove (1914), by Canadian artist David Milne, to the National Gallery of Canada’s collection.
20. Murray Edwards
Net worth: $2.12 billion | Up 7 %| Location: Florenceville, N.B. | 06 rank: 18
As vice-chair of oilpatch goliath Canadian Natural Resources (TSX: CNQ), Edwards was at the centre of the Alberta Royalty Review uproar this year. The company announced plans to cut natural gas drilling by about 40% as a result of the new regime, but will follow through on most of its $20-billion plans in the oilsands. Edwards also found time this summer to give his alma mater, the University of Saskatchewan, $11 million.