Photo cred - Molson
Montreal might not be the biggest city in Canada, but it is home to some of the richest people in Canada. These are the titans of their respective industries, all of whom built their empires from the ground up, that are now worth, not millions, but billions of dollars.
We love a good rags to riches story, so it only makes sense that Montreal's wealthiest came from humble beginnings.
Here are the Top 5 Richest People In Montreal.
Photo cred - Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press
1. The Saputo Family
Overall Rank in Canada: 6
Lino Saputo found his humble beginnings in Sicily, delivering his father's specialty mozzerella to local clients, which he later brought with him to Canada after immigrating in the 1950's. Saputo is now the world’s eighth largest dairy producer and own Saputo Stadium and the Montreal Impact soccer team, as well as Italian club Bologna.
2. The Desmarais Family
Overall rank in Canada: 7
Paul Desmarais began his career at a Montreal accounting firm and then later owned his father's almost bankrupt railroad and bus line. He would spend the following years acquiring additional bus lines and the Trans-Canada Corporation Fund, until finally being crowned Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Power Corporation of Canada. Succeeded by his two sons, Paul Jr. and André, Power Corp remains a major international financial services conglomerate.
3. Jean Coutu
Worth: $3.21 billion
Overall rank in Canada: 18
Quebec's best known pharmacist, Jean Coutu began his retail empire on good old fashion branding and friendly service, offering better prices and hours than his competition. The Jean Coutu Group, at one point, was the second-largest distributor and retailer of pharmaceuticals and related products in North America.
4. The Azrieli Family
Worth: $3.12 billion
Overall rank in Canada: 19
David Azrieli, often reffered to as the king of shopping centres, escaped Poland as a teen during the Holocaust and would go on to fight in Israel’s War of Independence. After immigrating to Montreal in 1954, Azrieli started a real estate empire that would grow to include interests in Canada, the U.S. and Israel, with the Azrieli Group eventually becoming what was the largest IPO in the history of the Tel Aviv exchange when it started trading publicly in 2010. The Azrieli Group is succeeded today by daughters, Sharon, Naomi and Danna Azrieli.
5. Guy Laliberté
Worth: $2.32 billion
Overall rank in Canada: 34
Guy Laliberté started busking as an accordion player and stilt-walker, with his small troupe of circus troubadours, eventually turning it into one of the most recognized and successful brands in the world today. The founder and CEO of Cirque de Soleil has since produced shows that have been seen by more than 90 million people worldwide, finished fourth in the World Poker Tour Season Five, and even visited the International Space Station.
Photo cred - Molson
Bonus* The Molson Family
Worth: $1.21 billion
Overall rank in Canada: 70
John Molson was among the first British Loyalists to immigrate to Canada, settling in Montreal in 1782. With a huge demand for beer by the influx of immigrants at the time, he built what became the largest brewing company in Canada, which financed his first steamboat, and was also responsible for building the first railroad. His sons would go on to establish Molson's Bank. Apart from the beer, The Molson Family today are best known for owning the Montreal Canadiens.
Source - Canadian Business