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Mitchell Goldhar: Real Estate and Retail Tycoon

Mitchell Goldhar: Real Estate and Retail Tycoon

Mitchell Goldhar, with a net worth of $3.906 billion, holds the thirty-first spot among Canada’s wealthiest individuals. As the visionary behind SmartCentres, Goldhar transformed the Canadian retail landscape by integrating Walmart stores into shopping malls across the country. This article delves into Goldhar’s innovative approach to real estate, his strategic decisions within the industry, and his involvement in international sports.

Early Career and Founding of SmartCentres

Mitchell Goldhar’s journey into the realm of real estate began early in his career, culminating in the founding of SmartCentres. His innovative vision was to revolutionize the Canadian shopping mall experience by integrating Walmart, a major retail giant, as a primary anchor in these centers. This strategic move not only altered the dynamics of Canadian retail but also set a new standard for shopping mall development across the country.

Goldhar’s ability to persuade Walmart to expand their footprint into Canadian malls was a pivotal moment in his career and a transformative development for retail real estate in Canada. By securing Walmart as a tenant, Goldhar ensured high foot traffic and the success of surrounding businesses, creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem within his developments.

Expansion and Strategic Partnerships

Under Goldhar’s leadership, SmartCentres rapidly expanded, becoming synonymous with convenience and accessibility. The development of these shopping centers under the SmartCentres brand was marked by strategic site selection and an emphasis on customer experience, factors that drove their widespread success.

Goldhar’s approach extended beyond traditional retail spaces. He focused on creating mixed-use developments that included residential, commercial, and recreational facilities, responding to the evolving needs of modern consumers and urban planners. This forward-thinking strategy not only diversified SmartCentres’ portfolio but also enhanced the value of its developments.

Transition to SmartCentres REIT

In a strategic move to capitalize on the value created through his developments, Goldhar transitioned SmartCentres into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), known as SmartCentres REIT. This transition allowed for greater liquidity and access to capital, enabling further expansion and development projects. Despite selling SmartCentres to the REIT, Goldhar retained a significant ownership stake, ensuring his continued influence over the company’s strategic direction and maintaining a substantial interest in its ongoing success.

International Ventures and Sports Ownership

Beyond his achievements in real estate, Mitchell Goldhar is also known for his passion for sports, particularly soccer. He owns the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer club, one of the most prestigious football teams in Israel. His ownership has been marked by a commitment to excellence and competitiveness, both on and off the field. Goldhar’s involvement in Maccabi Tel Aviv underscores his broader interests and his global perspective on business and sports.

Philanthropy and Community Engagement

Goldhar’s impact extends into philanthropy and community development. He has been involved in various charitable initiatives, particularly those focusing on education and community building. Through contributions and support of community programs, Goldhar has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to society, reflecting a deep understanding of his role as a business leader in shaping community welfare.


Mitchell Goldhar’s career is a testament to the power of innovative thinking in the real estate sector and the broader business world. With a net worth of $3.906 billion, his contributions have not only reshaped the Canadian retail landscape but also demonstrated the significant impact of strategic vision and entrepreneurial spirit. As Goldhar continues to influence the real estate and sports sectors, his legacy is characterized by a blend of business acumen, community involvement, and a passion for sports, making him a multifaceted personality in the Canadian and international business arenas.

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