The Apostolopoulos family got the OK in this summer to go ahead with their casino and entertainment complex planned for Pickering, Ont., known as Durham Live. It calls for 200,000 square feet of gaming, 1,250 rooms at three different hotel concepts and about one million square feet of office space, plus nature trails. The real estate family, led by Andreas Apostolopoulos, was poised to break ground on the development last year. Residents were on board, as was city council, which rezoned the land slated for development as “a major tourist destination.” But the nearby city of Ajax, which has casino plans of its own, tried blocking Durham Live from being built. In the end, the municipal board deemed Ajax’s challenge of the bylaw insufficient.
Durham Live is unlike any other venture the Apostolopouloses have pursued. The family made their fortune buying and sprucing up bargain properties in rundown areas: the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan in 2009 for $583,000; Detroit’s Penobscot Building for $5 million in 2012; and the state’s historic State Savings Bank for $700,000 that same year. Their work may not be the most glamorous (save for the proposed casino project), but it’s made them one of Canada’s wealthiest families.
Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017