Thomson family top list of richest Canadians
Galen Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies, faces questions from shareholders during their AGM in Toronto on Thursday, May 3, 2012. (The Canadian Press/Chris Young)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 2:57PM EST
TORONTO -- The influential Thomson family is still atop the list of richest Canadians, though their wealth dropped from a year ago, while most other members of the Top 10 made gains.
The family that owns media conglomerate Thomson Reuters as well as Woodbridge Co. Ltd., which has a majority stake in the Globe and Mail newspaper, is worth about $20.1 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine's annual ranking of Canada's wealthiest.
However, the family's worth fell about 5.7 per cent as some of its media-focused properties struggled in trying economic times.
Meanwhile, retail mogul Galen Weston, 72 -- the highest ranking individual -- saw his wealth improve by three per cent to an estimated $8.2 billion, remaining in the No. 2 position.
Weston is the main power behind food processor George Weston Ltd. (TSX:GW), Canada's largest grocery chain, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX:L), and luxury retailer Holt Renfrew.
New Brunswick industrialists James, Arthur and the late Jack Irving came in at No. 3 with a combined net worth of $8.07 billion, while the media barons in the Rogers family (TSX:RCI.B) sat in fourth place at an estimated $6.41 billion.
Vancouver's Jimmy Pattison came in fifth with wealth of $6.14 billion, while Montreal eBay founder Jeff Skoll jumped up the list to No. 6 from No. 8 last year as his worth grew 21.3 per cent to $4.55 billion.
Paul Desmarais Sr., owner of Power Corp. of Canada (TSX:POW) sat at No. 7 with a net worth of $4.4 billion, while Montreal's Saputo family, owners of the cheese empire (TSX:SAP), came in eighth with $4.23 billion.
Carlo Fidani, owner of Toronto-area construction and development company Orlando Corp., shot into the Top 10, ranking ninth at $3.6 billion, growing 13.5 per cent from a year ago when he ranked twelfth.
Rounding out the top 10 was Vancouver's Chip Wilson, founder of trendy yoga wear maker Lululemon Athletica Inc. (TSX:LLL), who jumped up in the rankings from No. 15 last year as his wealth shot up 23 per cent to $3.51 billion.