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6 Richest People in Ottawa 2024: Ottawa’s Wealthiest Individuals Ranked

6 Richest People in Ottawa 2024: Ottawa’s Wealthiest Individuals Ranked

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is not only known for its political significance but also for being a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. The city’s economic landscape showcases its capacity for technological advancement and real estate development, evidenced by the remarkable success of its wealthiest residents. Among them, Tobias Lütke, the CEO and co-founder of Shopify, stands out with a net worth of US$10.6 billion as of 2021, positioning him as Canada’s second-richest person according to the Ottawa Business Journal. Shopify’s value surged during the pandemic, highlighting Ottawa’s potential in the global tech industry. Terry Matthews, another notable figure, has made significant contributions to the tech scene, with ventures such as Mitel and Newbridge Networks, amassing a net worth of US$1.4 billion. Bill Malhotra, founder of Claridge Homes, and the Greenberg Family, behind the Minto Group, represent the real estate sector’s impact, with net worths of 1.45 billion CAD and 1.57 billion CAD respectively, showcasing the diverse pathways to success in Ottawa’s dynamic economy.

These success stories not only reflect the individuals’ achievements but also Ottawa’s evolving economy, emphasizing the city as a center for tech innovation and real estate development. The accomplishments of Lütke, Matthews, Malhotra, and the Greenberg Family, as reported by sources like the Ottawa Business Journal, Hardbacon.ca, and OBJ.ca, demonstrate the city’s ability to foster significant wealth and innovation across various industries. Their journeys from tech moguls to real estate tycoons are testament to Ottawa’s role as a thriving hub for technology, academia, and entrepreneurship, further solidifying its position on the global stage.

Lazy to read? Here is a short summary. Ottawa’s richest include tech mogul Terry Matthews at $3.2B, Shopify founders at $11B, and others in tech, real estate, and cannabis, showcasing the city’s economic diversity and innovation.

Name Net Worth Industry Key Contributions Links for More Information
Terry Matthews $3.2 billion Technology Founded/funded over 100 companies, philanthropy in health-care and youth entrepreneurship Wesley Clover International
Shopify’s Leadership Trio: Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, Scott Lake $11 billion (collective) eCommerce Founded Shopify, pivotal in the global e-commerce market Shopify
Bruce Linton $1.5 billion Cannabis Co-founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. Canopy Growth Corp.
Michael Potter $1.3 billion Technology Transformed Quasar Systems into Cognos, philanthropy Vintage Wings of Canada
John Ruddy $1.2 billion Real Estate Founded Trinity Development Group, philanthropic efforts in community development Trinity Development Group
Shirley Westeinde $950 million Construction and Real Estate Leadership roles in industry boards, philanthropy in housing and mental health Order of Canada

Who Is The Richest Person In Ottawa?

1. Terry Matthews

  • Net Worth: $3.2 billion
  • Industry: Technology

Terry Matthews stands as a towering figure in Ottawa’s tech landscape and has made significant contributions both locally and internationally. Through Wesley Clover International, he has either founded or funded over 100 companies, highlighting his vast influence in the realms of information and communication technologies, digital media, and real estate. His diverse ventures include companies like March Networks, Bridgewater Systems, Ubiquity Software, and Convedia, each showcasing his knack for driving technological innovation and telecommunications forward.

Matthews’ entrepreneurial journey underscores the essence of adaptability and timing, with his initial venture into importing electric lawnmowers serving as a unique lesson in the unpredictability of business and the importance of perseverance. This early setback laid the groundwork for his monumental successes with Mitel and Newbridge Networks, where he demonstrated an exceptional ability to anticipate and meet market demands.

Beyond his business acumen, Matthews’ dedication to philanthropy is evident through his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing his achievements as a high-tech entrepreneur and investor, and his contributions to community development through charitable endeavors. His support for health-care research and youth entrepreneurship initiatives via Wesley Clover’s charitable arm further underscores his commitment to societal betterment.

Matthews’ investments, such as in the Celtic Manor Resort, and his leadership in supporting various causes through the Wesley Clover Foundation, reflect his profound impact not only on the economic landscape but also on the social and community sectors in Ottawa, Wales, and internationally.

Ottawa’s Wealthiest Individuals: A Glimpse

2. Shopify’s Leadership Trio: Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake

  • Collective Net Worth: $11 billion
  • Industry: eCommerce

Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake are the founders of Shopify, a platform that has significantly impacted global e-commerce. Lütke, born in Koblenz, Germany, in 1981, moved from Germany to Canada in 2002 and co-founded Shopify after attempting to start an online snowboard shop named Snowdevil. This venture quickly pivoted to developing e-commerce software due to dissatisfaction with existing solutions, leading to the creation of Shopify in 2006. Lütke’s leadership has been instrumental in Shopify’s success, resulting in him being named “CEO of the Year” by The Globe and Mail in 2014 and receiving the Meritorious Service Cross in 2018 for his contributions to the Canadian tech industry. Shopify went public in 2015, and Lütke controls a significant portion of the company’s voting interests despite owning a minority of its shares.

Shopify has seen remarkable growth, from launching Shopify Payments in partnership with Stripe in 2013 to introducing Shopify Capital in 2016, which has provided substantial funding to Shopify merchants. The company’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange was a significant milestone, further solidifying its position in the e-commerce market.

Lütke’s personal story, from receiving his first computer at age six to moving to Canada for love, showcases his unique approach to business and technology. Known for his “anti-Bezos” stance, Lütke has focused Shopify on empowering merchants rather than building an empire. This ethos is reflected in Shopify’s operations and its support for employees’ entrepreneurial ventures.

3. Bruce Linton

  • Net Worth: $1.5 billion
  • Industry: Cannabis

Bruce Linton, a Carleton University graduate, is widely recognized for his entrepreneurial prowess, notably as the co-founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth Corp., Canada’s first publicly traded cannabis company. His journey from a student engaged in myriad activities at Carleton to a leader in the cannabis industry underscores his multifaceted career and deep roots in Ottawa. Linton’s diverse interests, ranging from his morning radio preferences to his involvement in local charities, showcase a well-rounded individual deeply integrated into the fabric of Ottawa’s community.

Linton’s leadership at Canopy Growth transformed the company into a global cannabis leader, earning him the title of Ottawa’s CEO of the Year in 2018. This accolade, awarded by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade, highlights his significant contributions to the local economy and the cannabis industry at large. His strategic vision propelled Canopy Growth to the forefront of the market, demonstrating his ability to navigate and shape an emerging industry. Linton’s innovative approach not only influenced Canopy Growth’s trajectory but also played a pivotal role in revitalizing Smiths Falls by repurposing a former Hershey factory into a bustling cannabis production facility.

Beyond Canopy Growth, Linton’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to engage in various ventures, including a significant role at Martello Technologies, showcasing his versatility and commitment to Ottawa’s tech sector. His mentorship from Terry Matthews, a notable figure in Ottawa’s tech landscape, and his sustained impact on the region’s economic and social fabric, underscore his stature as a prominent business leader. Linton’s journey reflects a blend of innovation, community engagement, and leadership, marking him as a key figure in Ottawa’s entrepreneurial and social circles.

4. Michael Potter

  • Net Worth: $1.3 billion
  • Industry: Technology

Michael Potter is a luminary figure in Ottawa’s tech landscape, renowned for transforming Quasar Systems into Cognos, a beacon of software innovation during the 1980s and ’90s. Under his visionary leadership, Cognos evolved from a small consulting firm into Ottawa’s flagship software company, achieving global recognition. Potter’s strategic pivot from custom application development to creating widely applicable products like PowerHouse and PowerPlay marked a significant shift in the software industry, enabling Cognos to serve clients across more than 100 countries and become a billion-dollar enterprise. This achievement not only underscored his prowess in navigating the tech world but also his acute business acumen.

Born in London in 1944 and relocating to Canada at a young age, Potter’s journey is marked by a relentless pursuit of innovation. His early career in the navy and subsequent roles in the federal government equipped him with a unique blend of analytical and leadership skills, propelling him to the forefront of the technology sector. Potter’s transition from military and government roles to the helm of Cognos exemplifies his adeptness at recognizing and harnessing potential, whether in operations research or software development.

Beyond his business achievements, Potter’s contributions to Canada’s heritage and philanthropy are equally remarkable. His induction into the Plaza of Honour and receipt of the Member of the Order of Canada accolade reflect his multifaceted impact, spanning technological advancements, heritage preservation through Vintage Wings of Canada, and significant philanthropic efforts. Through initiatives like Vintage Wings of Canada, Potter has diligently worked to preserve and promote national aviation heritage while also supporting cultural and healthcare foundations, illustrating his commitment to giving back to the community and honoring veterans.

5. John Ruddy

  • Net Worth: $1.2 billion
  • Industry: Real Estate

John Ruddy, a prominent figure in Ottawa’s real estate sector, has significantly impacted the city through his company, Trinity Development Group. Starting from humble beginnings, Ruddy’s journey from a disciplined student-athlete to a titan in real estate underscores his determination and strategic vision. His athletic background, particularly in football at Carleton University, instilled in him a work ethic and tenacity that would later define his career in real estate. Transitioning from architecture to real estate after seeing the potential for greater financial success, Ruddy founded Trinity Development Group in 1992 amidst challenging economic conditions. He capitalized on the shift in retail trends towards big-box stores, successfully developing open-air malls across Canada.

Ruddy’s contributions extend beyond commercial success; his philanthropic efforts have left a lasting mark on the community. Through the Trinity Development Foundation, he has donated millions to various causes, including the Ottawa Heart Institute and the YMCA-YWCA, among others. His leadership and generosity earned him the Ottawa Business Journal-Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing not just his business acumen but also his commitment to community development.

Furthermore, Ruddy played a pivotal role in revitalizing Lansdowne Park, transforming it into a vibrant multipurpose venue that hosts the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, among other entities. This project exemplifies his ability to envision and execute complex developments that serve as community hubs, showcasing his dual role as a business leader and community builder. His ongoing projects, such as the Trinity Centre at Bayview Station and several other developments strategically located near light-rail hubs, underline his forward-thinking approach to urban development, particularly in embracing transit-oriented projects to cater to Ottawa’s growing population.

6. Shirley Westeinde

  • Net Worth: $950 million
  • Industry: Construction and Real Estate

Shirley Westeinde, an emblematic figure in Ottawa’s construction and real estate industries, has significantly impacted the community through her pioneering work and leadership. Alongside her husband, John Westeinde, she built the Westeinde Group of Companies, diversifying into construction, asbestos removal, real estate development, and property management. Shirley’s dedication extends beyond her business endeavors, as highlighted by her 11-year service as an Honorary Colonel with the Canadian Armed Forces and her receipt of the Order of Canada. These honors reflect her commitment to excellence and service both within her industry and in broader civic engagement.

Her trailblazing journey includes being the first woman to chair major boards like BOMA Ottawa, the Canadian Construction Association, and the Ottawa Economic Development Corp. (now Invest Ottawa). Additionally, she has led initiatives such as the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing and has been a significant contributor to the research arm of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. Shirley’s involvement in these various capacities showcases her multifaceted influence on Ottawa’s development and her role as a champion for affordable housing and mental health research.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Shirley embodies the spirit of community involvement and continuous learning. Living in downtown Ottawa, she enjoys the city’s vibrant lifestyle, partaking in activities like walking, dining at local restaurants, and attending events like Bluesfest, which she can enjoy from her own balcony. Her commitment to lifelong learning, including studying French, and her participation on boards of local charities, such as Operation Come Home and OrKidstra, underline her dedication to Ottawa’s cultural and social fabric.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Ottawa

Ottawa’s vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship landscape showcases the city as a pivotal global tech hub, supported by a multifaceted ecosystem that nurtures growth across a broad spectrum of sectors. A significant stride in enhancing this ecosystem is the establishment of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. This centre embodies a collaborative space designed to accelerate startup growth and stimulate job creation, offering a comprehensive array of services including prototype development, business acceleration programs, and access to a vast network of experts and investors. The goal is to streamline the journey of startups from inception to maturity, thereby bolstering economic growth.

The city’s rich talent pool further underscores its innovation ecosystem. With Ottawa hosting the second-highest concentration of tech talent in North America, the city presents an ideal breeding ground for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. This talent is nurtured by esteemed post-secondary institutions such as the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, contributing significantly to the workforce’s education and specialization in STEM fields. This educational infrastructure, coupled with a highly educated workforce where over 61% hold post-secondary degrees, creates a dynamic environment conducive to innovation.

Invest Ottawa, serving as the city’s principal economic development agency, is pivotal in sustaining this ecosystem through its extensive range of programs and services aimed at supporting businesses from their nascent stages through to their global expansion efforts. It plays a critical role in promoting Ottawa as an innovative, future-ready city, ideal for both work and life. Invest Ottawa’s initiatives are designed to nurture the tech community, facilitate business growth, and attract investment, thereby solidifying Ottawa’s position on the global stage.

These initiatives highlight Ottawa’s dedication to fostering a supportive environment for startups and innovators. The strategic investments in facilities such as the Innovation Centre, coupled with the proactive endeavors of Invest Ottawa, ensure that Ottawa not only attracts but also retains entrepreneurs and innovators eager to make a global impact. The concerted efforts of these entities underscore the city’s commitment to remaining a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship in the tech world and beyond.

FAQ: Richest People in the World and Wealth in Ottawa

Who is the world’s richest person in 2024?

Bernard Arnault has surpassed Elon Musk as the richest person in 2024, with a net worth of $228.8 billion, primarily through his leadership of the global luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. For more details, visit Visual Capitalist and CEOWORLD magazine.

Are people in Ottawa rich?

Ottawa, as a city, has a diverse economic landscape with a significant number of well-off individuals, particularly those involved in technology, government, and entrepreneurship. While it may not have as many billionaires as some global cities, it possesses a strong middle and upper-middle-class population, partly due to its status as Canada’s capital and its thriving tech sector. For insights on Ottawa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, check HelloSafe.

Who are the top 20 richest people?

As of 2024, the top 20 richest people include names like Bernard Arnault, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Mukesh Ambani, and Larry Page, among others, with net worths ranging from over $100 billion to around $75 billion for the 20th position. More information can be found on CEOWORLD magazine.

Who are the top 3 most richest people?

The top 3 richest people in the world in 2024 are Bernard Arnault, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos, with their wealth primarily coming from LVMH, Tesla/SpaceX, and Amazon, respectively. For further reading, visit Visual Capitalist.

Who is the top 6 richest person in the world?

Warren Buffett holds the position of the 6th richest person in the world in 2024, with his wealth primarily derived from Berkshire Hathaway. Details can be found on CEOWORLD magazine.

Who is the top 15 richest person in the world?

The 15th richest person in the world in 2024 is Michael Dell, with his wealth coming from his leadership and ownership of Dell Technologies. Additional information is available at CEOWORLD magazine.

For more detailed information on the wealthiest individuals globally, and the economic landscape of Ottawa, sources such as Visual Capitalist, Forbes Africa, and CEOWORLD magazine provide extensive coverage and insights.


Richest People in Ottawa

Ottawa’s landscape for entrepreneurs and business leaders is a testament to the city’s dynamic and flourishing economic environment, proving itself more than just Canada’s political hub. The stories of Ottawa’s richest individuals reflect a broader narrative of opportunity, innovation, and strategic growth that pervades the city. Entrepreneurs like Andrew Abraham, Kunal Gupta, and Francesco Porcari embody the entrepreneurial spirit thriving in Ottawa, showcasing success across diverse sectors from accounting to technology and construction.

The city has evolved into a prime destination for young entrepreneurs, buoyed by a supportive ecosystem that includes a booming job market, a vibrant entrepreneurial community, and a quality of life that balances work with personal fulfillment. Ottawa offers a rich tapestry of resources for startups, including incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces, alongside extensive programs and services by organizations like Invest Ottawa aimed at fostering growth and innovation.

Moreover, the incentives for new businesses, from financial support to mentorship and training programs, alongside the city’s appealing lifestyle and cultural richness, make Ottawa an attractive city for business founders. With competitive salaries, a strong tech presence, and a community that supports innovation, Ottawa is not only fostering economic growth but also nurturing the next generation of business leaders.

This ecosystem, coupled with the city’s commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion within the entrepreneurial community, positions Ottawa as a beacon for those seeking to make an impact through their business ventures. As Ottawa continues to grow and evolve, it remains a fertile ground for entrepreneurs and visionaries aiming to make their mark, blending professional success with personal satisfaction in a city that offers the best of both worlds.

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