The 7 Richest People in Nova Scotia in 2024

In the picturesque province of Nova Scotia, a small group of individuals has risen to prominence, not only through their exceptional business acumen but also through their commitment to giving back to the community that has contributed to their success. As we cast a spotlight on the economic landscape of Nova Scotia in 2024, we uncover a startling concentration of wealth, innovation, and philanthropy nestled within its charming maritime boundaries.

This cadre of the richest Nova Scotians has transformed industries from the ground up, creating jobs, fostering economic growth, and propelling the province onto the world stage. Their industries are as varied as the colors of the Atlantic coastline, ranging from the deep-rooted traditions of seafood and agriculture to the cutting-edge sectors of aerospace, communications, and beyond.

As we delve into the stories of the seven wealthiest entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia, we’ll discover how they have not only built their fortunes but also how they have shaped the province’s narrative. Their legacies are etched not just in their sizable net worths but also in their generous contributions to societal causes, reflecting a deep-rooted ethos of community service and environmental stewardship.

Join us as we explore the achievements of these titans of industry and their unyielding impact on both the economy and the philanthropic fabric of Nova Scotia. Their stories are a testament to the province’s potential and a beacon of inspiration for future generations looking to chart their own courses in the vast sea of opportunity.

RankNameNet WorthIndustry
1The Sobey Family$2.95 BillionGrocery Retail and Real Estate
2Kenneth Rowe$1.55 BillionAerospace and Diversified Industries
3John Bragg$1.35 BillionFood Processing and Communications
4John Risley$1.25 BillionSeafood and Investments
5Rob Steele$1.1 BillionAutomotive and Media
6Mickey MacDonald$920 MillionDiversified Holdings (Real Estate, Fitness, etc.)

Who is the richest person in Nova Scotia?

Richest People in Nova Scotia - Sobey family
  • Net Worth: $2.95 Billion
  • Industry: Grocery Retail and Real Estate

When discussing the richest people in Nova Scotia, the Sobey family invariably stands at the forefront. With a net worth of $2.95 billion, they have crafted a legacy that extends well beyond the boundaries of their homeland. Their journey began modestly in 1907 with a meat delivery service and evolved into an empire, shaping them into some of the richest people in Nova Scotia.

The Sobey dynasty’s grocery business, overseen by Empire Company Limited, has been monumental in establishing them as quintessential figures among the richest people in Nova Scotia. The company, Sobeys, is recognized as Canada’s second-largest food retailer, directly reflecting the family’s innovative spirit and entrepreneurial drive.

Their influence, however, extends into the real estate sector, marking their versatility and business savvy. This expansion has contributed to securing their position amongst the richest people in Nova Scotia and ensured a lasting impact on the province’s economic growth.

Beyond their business exploits, the Sobey family has exemplified extraordinary philanthropy. Their donations to an array of causes, especially within education and environmental efforts, have made them stand out amongst the richest people in Nova Scotia. Further cementing their commitment to the betterment of society, the family’s generous support to Saint Mary’s University’s Sobey School of Business in Halifax, with over $20 million contributed since the early 2000s, underscores their dedication to advancing future leaders.

The generosity and success of the Sobey family are shining examples of how the richest people in Nova Scotia can play pivotal roles not only in business but also in shaping a better future for all Nova Scotians through their philanthropic endeavors. Their story remains a beacon for potential entrepreneurs, demonstrating the boundless opportunities that await in Nova Scotia.

Kenneth Rowe

  • Net Worth: $1.55 Billion
  • Industry: Aerospace and Diversified Industries

Kenneth Rowe‘s presence on the list of the richest people in Nova Scotia cannot be overstated. His net worth, standing at $1.55 billion, speaks volumes about his entrepreneurial success and the economic footprint he has left on the province. As the founder of IMP Group, Kenneth Rowe has solidified his standing among the richest people in Nova Scotia through his expansive global business interests in aerospace, defense, and a range of diversified industries.

The story of Kenneth Rowe is that of vision and determination. His company, IMP Group, has reached impressive heights under his leadership, branching out into numerous sectors and thereby contributing significantly to his status as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia. This sprawling conglomerate is not only a testament to his business acumen but also to the potential for Nova Scotia to be a hub for international enterprise.

In recognition of his contributions to the business and academic world, Dalhousie University honored him by naming their school of business after him. The Rowe School of Business stands as a symbol of his impact and commitment to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia.

Kenneth Rowe’s philanthropic efforts are as impactful as his business endeavors. His support of various charitable organizations, including Pier 21, IWK Hospital Foundation, and The Salvation Army, reflects the broader role that the richest people in Nova Scotia often play in supporting vital community institutions and causes.

As Nova Scotia looks to the future, Kenneth Rowe’s legacy is a guiding light for aspiring business leaders, showing how strategic thinking and community involvement can interweave to create a storied path of success and generosity in Nova Scotia.

 John Bragg

  • Net Worth: $1.35 Billion
  • Industry: Food Processing and Communications

Among the richest people in Nova Scotia, John Bragg stands out for his incredible journey from owning a blueberry farm to becoming the president and co-CEO of one of the most advanced food processing companies in the world. His estimated net worth of $1.35 billion is a testament to his ability to identify opportunities and transform them into substantial ventures, solidifying his position as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia.

John Bragg’s empire began with Oxford Frozen Foods Limited, which he founded in 1968. Under his guidance, the company has grown to process up to 700 tons of blueberries every day, stemming from the fertile grounds of Cumberland County and reaching far beyond. His commitment to quality and innovation has not only made him one of the richest people in Nova Scotia but has also placed him at the helm of the most modern blueberry processing facility in the world.

But Bragg’s influence extends beyond the agricultural sector. In 1970, he established Bragg Communications, which has evolved into Eastlink. The company’s growth in delivering cellular, internet, and cable television services across multiple provinces has been a remarkable feat and a contributor to Bragg’s distinction as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia. Today, his son Lee Bragg oversees the private company, acting as a clear indicator of the enduring legacy John Bragg has built.

The John and Judy Bragg Family Foundation represents his dedication to philanthropy, echoing the common thread among the richest people in Nova Scotia of giving back to the community. This foundation has supported a variety of causes, reflecting the wide-reaching influence that Bragg, as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia, can wield.

John Bragg’s story is not only of personal wealth but also of a deep-seated belief in the potential of Nova Scotia’s industries and people. His entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic efforts continue to inspire future generations, showing that from the simplest of beginnings, one can rise to become one of the richest people in Nova Scotia and a beacon of transformative success.

John Risley

  • Net Worth: $1.25 Billion
  • Industry: Seafood and Investments

John Risley is a name that resonates with tenacity and innovation, making him one of the richest people in Nova Scotia with a substantial net worth of $1.25 billion. His journey to becoming one of the richest people in Nova Scotia began with a foray into real estate, but it was his co-founding of Clearwater Seafoods that truly catapulted him into the upper echelons of Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurial elite.

Risley’s decision to establish Clearwater Seafoods with his brother-in-law in 1976 has since flourished into a testament of his business foresight. The company’s commitment to providing high-quality seafood has positioned Risley as a key player in the industry and solidified his status as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia. Thornvale Holdings Limited, where he serves as chairman and president, oversees his diverse range of business interests and continues to nurture his expanding portfolio.

His real estate ventures were just the beginning, as Risley’s interests and assets have grown to include an impressive 32,000 sq. foot home near Chester and another residence in South End Halifax. In what could be seen as a symbol of his success, Risley once owned the superyacht Northern Star, valued at $350 million.

Philanthropy plays a significant role in Risley’s life, underscoring a shared trait among the richest people in Nova Scotia: their willingness to invest in social causes. His support for The Nature Conservancy Canada is an expression of his deep connection to the environment and his desire to preserve it for future generations.

John Risley’s name will undoubtedly continue to be synonymous with success in Nova Scotia’s business landscape. His blend of entrepreneurship without formal university education, his expansive business endeavors, and his philanthropic activities all exemplify how the richest people in Nova Scotia are not just defined by their wealth—but also by their impact and legacy.

Rob Steele

  • Net Worth: $1.1 Billion
  • Industry: Automotive and Media

Rob Steele, with a net worth of $1.1 billion, has cemented himself as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia, thanks to his impact on the automotive and media industries. His journey underscores the diverse pathways to success that contribute to the economic vibrancy of Nova Scotia, making him a notable figure among the richest people in the province.

As the CEO of Steele Auto Group, Rob Steele has driven the company to become one of the largest and most diversified auto groups in the region. His visionary approach to business expansion and customer service has played a crucial role in establishing him as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia. The growth of Steele Auto Group under his leadership exemplifies the potential for entrepreneurial excellence in the province.

The reach of Steele’s business acumen goes beyond the showroom floors; he has also ventured into the realm of media, with investments in radio broadcasting

that further diversify his portfolio and demonstrate his understanding of the evolving business landscape. This strategic diversification into media not only showcases his versatile entrepreneurial skills but also reinforces his position as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia.

Rob Steele’s influence is not limited to the boardroom; his contributions to the community have also made waves. While his philanthropic endeavors may not be as publicized as those of his peers, his community involvement and support speak to a commitment to Nova Scotia that is a hallmark of the richest people in the province. His efforts, often focused on local development and support programs, help strengthen the social fabric of the communities his businesses serve.

The trajectory of Rob Steele’s businesses promises continued innovation and growth within Nova Scotia’s economy. As one of the richest people in Nova Scotia, Steele embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the province, encouraging new businesses to dream big and existing enterprises to strive for greater heights. His success story serves as an inspiration, proving that strategic thinking, diversity in business, and a dedication to community can amalgamate to build an enduring legacy within Nova Scotia’s rich business tapestry.

Mickey MacDonald

  • Net Worth: $920 Million
  • Industry: 
  • Diversified Holdings (Real Estate, Fitness, etc.)

Rounding out the list of the richest people in Nova Scotia is Mickey MacDonald, whose net worth of $920 million secures his status as a significant player in the province’s economic scene. His diverse portfolio, which includes real estate, fitness centers, and restaurants, underscores the multifaceted approach to business that can lead to substantial success in Nova Scotia.

MacDonald’s entrepreneurial spirit has been a driving force behind his ascent to become one of the richest people in Nova Scotia. His investments in various sectors demonstrate an ability to recognize and seize opportunities across the business spectrum. MacDonald’s success in real estate, in particular, has set a foundation for his robust financial standing and influence within the province.

His commitment to community development is evident in his contributions to Nova Scotia’s urban landscape. MacDonald is known for his efforts to revitalize areas, create jobs, and improve the quality of life in his community. This aspect of his work reflects a deeper understanding of the responsibilities that accompany the status of being one of the richest people in Nova Scotia.

Moreover, MacDonald has not overlooked the importance of nurturing the next generation, especially through initiatives focused on youth support. By investing in the future of young Nova Scotians, he is helping to cultivate a new wave of entrepreneurs and community leaders. His philanthropic work is a significant part of his legacy and a characteristic that aligns him with other richest people in Nova Scotia who recognize the value of social investment.

The impact of Mickey MacDonald’s achievements as one of the richest people in Nova Scotia will continue to resonate across the communities he serves. His blend of business acumen and community involvement serves as a model for aspiring business leaders, proving that sustained success requires not only financial intelligence but also a steadfast commitment to the greater good.


As we have explored the success stories of the richest people in Nova Scotia, it becomes evident that economic prosperity in this maritime province is driven by a diverse group of industries and the visionaries behind them. From grocery retail giants to innovators in aerospace, each individual offers a unique narrative on how to achieve and utilize wealth within Nova Scotia. Their net worth not only reflects their business acumen but also their integral role in the province’s economic development and community enhancement.

The richest people in Nova Scotia exemplify how strategic business decisions, a commitment to innovation, and a deep understanding of their respective markets can lead to significant financial success. Additionally, their notable philanthropic efforts showcase a shared dedication to improving the lives of Nova Scotians, reinforcing the idea that with great wealth comes great responsibility.

As these titans of industry continue to shape the economic landscape of Nova Scotia, their stories serve as inspiration for future generations. They stand as prime examples that success can be found in many different sectors, and that giving back to the community is an essential part of lasting prosperity and social impact.

Looking ahead, the influence of the richest people in Nova Scotia will likely persist and evolve, guiding the province toward a future where economic growth and social progress walk hand in hand. Their legacies, built upon foundations of hard work, ingenuity, and compassion, will remain cornerstones of Nova Scotia’s vibrant and diverse economy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Richest People in Nova Scotia

1. Who are the richest people in Nova Scotia?

The richest people in Nova Scotia include the Sobey family, Kenneth Rowe, John Bragg, John Risley, Rob Steele, and Mickey MacDonald.

2. What industries have made these individuals the richest people in Nova Scotia?

They have built their wealth in a variety of industries such as grocery retail, real estate, aerospace, diversified industries, food processing, communications, seafood, automotive, media, tourism, and transportation.

3. How do the richest people in Nova Scotia contribute to the community?

Many of the richest people in Nova Scotia are known for their philanthropic efforts, contributing to causes such as education, healthcare, environmental conservation, community development, and youth support.

4. What companies are associated with the richest people in Nova Scotia?

Some companies associated with them include Empire Company Limited (Sobeys), IMP Group, Oxford Frozen Foods Limited, Eastlink, Steele Auto Group, Ambassatours Gray Line, Murphy’s The Cable Wharf, and various real estate, fitness, and restaurant businesses.

5. Can the net worth of the richest people in Nova Scotia fluctuate?

Yes, net worth can fluctuate based on various factors such as market conditions, business performance, new ventures, and economic changes.

6. How is the net worth of the richest people in Nova Scotia calculated?

Net worth is generally calculated by assessing the total assets owned by an individual or family, including business holdings, real estate, investments, and more, minus any liabilities.

7. Are there any self-made billionaires among the richest people in Nova Scotia?

Yes, many of the richest people in Nova Scotia are self-made, having built their fortunes through entrepreneurship and business growth.

8. Do the richest people in Nova Scotia invest in local businesses?

Yes, several of the richest people in Nova Scotia have invested in local businesses, helping to stimulate the local economy and create jobs.

9. What is the impact of the richest people in Nova Scotia on the province’s economy?

The richest people in Nova Scotia have a significant impact on the province’s economy by creating employment opportunities, attracting investment, and contributing to various sectors through their business activities.

10. How do the richest people in Nova Scotia inspire future entrepreneurs?

These individuals inspire future entrepreneurs by demonstrating the potential for success through hard work, perseverance, innovative thinking, and a commitment to community improvement. Their stories serve as blueprints for turning business ideas into substantial wealth and positive social impact.

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