5 Canadian Entrepreneurs Who Have Stayed On Top for Decades

    Canada is not only known for sports but also in the world of entrepreneurship. It ranks as one of the best countries worldwide. That has been made possible by its shining stars who have maintained their drive, intelligence, and hard work. These names are not new because they have been at the top of the list since time immemorial.

    Canadian Entrepreneurs Who Have Been on the Top for Many Years

    Here is a comprehensive list of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs.

    1. Eugene Melnyk 

    Born in 1959, Eugene-Melnyk is the owner, governor, and chairman of Canada’s professional ice hockey team, the Ottawa Senators. His estimated net worth is $1.2 billion. He founded a medical publishing firm, Trimel Corp, which he sold to Thompson Publications in 1989. He later launched Biovail Corporation to produce specialty pharmaceutical products. 

    Melnyk was the CEO of Biovail until Valeant pharmaceuticals acquired it. In 2014, the Canadian business magazine wrote a list of the wealthiest people in Canada, and Melnyk was ranked at position77, with an approximated net worth of $1 billion. 

    While still the chairman of Biovail, its revenue grew from $19 million to $1 billion from 1995 to 2006. It is his success in business that made him famous. People also know him because of his ability to rejuvenate drugs with expiring or expired patents. 

    He also launched another pharmaceutical business, Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which he started in 2008. This one specializes in developing medicines for female sexual dysfunction, male hypogonadism, and some respiratory disorders. He has gotten a license to sell these drugs in all countries except Russia and Brazil. 

    His purchase of the Ottawa Senators, together with their arena in 2003, made him more famous. He has since been the sole owner, chairman, and CEO of the club. He was the chairman of the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2009. 

    In 2012, this Senators’ owner hosted the National Hockey League in his arena, the Canadian Tire Centre. He also owns a 4.2-kilometer square land, which houses the Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. and Winding Oaks Farm. 

    2. Mike Holmes

    If you follow Holmes on his social media, you must have seen his motto, “make it right,” tattooed on his right arm. Most people refer to him as Canada’s most trusted contractor. He is a TV host, a businessman, investor, and philanthropist. 

    His first television series was Holmes on Homes, where he rescued homeowners from wrong innovations. He is passionate about homes, and his most recent television show was Holmes and Holmes. He learned his construction work from his father through apprenticeship, and he had his first construction company when he was 19 years. 

    He started The Holmes Foundation in 2006, where he had to tear a wrongly constructed house down instead of repairing it. His foundation aims to encourage the young generation to be part of the building trades and help those who have been drained by bad renovations. 

    Holmes is enthusiastic for promoting skilled trades, and advocates for an improvement in building standards, skills that saw him gain recognition in the House of Commons of Canada. 

    He is the author of the best-seller, Home Renovation with Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor, and a weekly newspaper column. 

    Many professional organizations like the Ontario Building Inspectors Association and the Canadian Safety Association of Ontario invite him to speak. He was named as second Canada’s most trusted person. 

    3. Rebecca MacDonald

    Rebecca has received many business awards. This wealthy Canadian entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of Just Energy Group Inc., which is a trading company of energy commodities. She formed Energy Marketing Inc. in 1989, together with her husband when Ontario was deregulating natural gas. 

    They started by selling gas contracts door to door. After examining the market, Rebecca later formed the Ontario Energy Savings Corp, which reached approximately $81 million, in sales, in three years. In 2001, she made the firm public. 

    Her Energy Savings Income Fund had accumulated an income of about half a billion in 2003. By the end of March 2010, the firm had exceeded $2 billion in sales and ranked a top position in the most significant firms founded by a woman. 

    Although she stepped down as the CEO in 2005, she is the senior decision-maker of the firm. She is a holder of many awards in Canada. She was named the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. She also topped the Top Women Entrepreneurs list for six consecutive years, and her company, Just Energy, made it to the list of Canada’s fastest-growing companies. 

    Rebecca had arthritis, which motivated her to donate $3 million to Mt Sinai Hospital of Canada to fight the disease. During the New York exchange in 2017, she rang the bell, which was an honor. 

    4. Clive Beddoe

    Clive Beddoe runs an airline in Dallas, which he says is a hard way to make money. Clive is a former chairman of West Jet’s board of directors, the second-largest airline in Canada. 

    He was a pilot who started training at Epsom College, where he flew planes. His aim of moving to Canada was to start a real estate development company. He later created his commercial development company, which he named Hanover Management. 

    Clive owns a plastic manufacturing company called Western Concord Manufacturing. He was named The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and other WestJet’s founders in 2000. He passed his CEO title to Sean Durfy in 2007, who was later replaced by Gregg Saretsky in 2010. 

    This wealthy entrepreneur was admitted to the Order of Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2012 and Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014. 

    5. Dov Charney

    Dov is the founder of American Apparel, a company he took public when it was only ten years old. His company generated a revenue difference of $260 million from 2002 to 2006. In 2001, American Apparel had about $12 in sales, and the following year, they opened a store in Los Angeles and another in New York. 

    By the end of two years, he had opened over 65 stores. He had a total count of 140 stores in 2006, and American Apparel was known to be the largest T-shirt manufacturer in America. It expanded to 281 retails in 2009, and this made the company the fastest retail roll-out in American history. 

    By 2014, the company had total sales of $634 million. Dov later sold the American Apparel to a shell company, which earned him $384.5 million. Out of that, he injected $125 million into the business and remained with the rest. 

    Dov is known for how well he treats his employees and also social activism. He is known as a pioneer in the manufacturing industry and an unconventional leader. American Apparel used provocative ads that did not use professional models. 

    In 2012, the company became more famous for featuring Jacky O’Shaughnessy as its model. He later launched Los Angeles Apparel in 2014. The new company grew to over 350 employees in two years and had a $20 million revenue by 2018. 

    When the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world, Dov repurposed his business operations to the making of face masks. 

    Final Words

    Most successful Canadians are great entrepreneurs who have invested in many sectors worldwide. Most of these entrepreneurs have made a considerable fortune on their investments, but we narrowed down our list to the five who never miss on the list of successful entrepreneurs. There are many more successful entrepreneurs.


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