The 4 Richest People in Ottawa: Their Net Worth and How They Made Their Money

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 19 Apr 2023

The formula behind being successful is different for different people. Every company, every billionaire, has their own story which defines their career graph. As a beginner, it is essential to study their growth and draw inspiration.

This article talks about the richest people currently living in Ottawa. During the dotcom era in the 2000s, Nortel had been the city’s flagship before imploding. Since then , the city has rebuilt itself from the ashes by coming up with companies, like Shopify, which have made it big globally. 

These rich people and industrialists had a major role to play in this revolution. While some of them have made it big in real estate, one can also find successful tech giants who support startups and invest in potential talent to reap handsome rewards. 

4. Bill Malhotra – 1.45 billion

Bill Malhotra has been a name synonymous with the real estate industry in Canada for decades now. He is the founder and CEO of one of Ottawa’s most prominent real estate developers, Claridge Holmes.

The company was first conceived in the year 1986 and, since then, has never looked back. It is credited to have built more than 14,000 homes. Their variety lies in homes, condominiums as well as retirement homes.

Bill Malhotra was a civil engineer born and brought up in India before he went abroad to Canada at the age of 22 in 1971. He worked at an engineering firm for quite a few years before taking over as the chief structural engineer of the city of Ottawa . He served the post for nine years from 1977 to 1986 before resigning.

He founded his company, Claridge Holmes, in 1986 and currently holds a net worth of 1.2 billion USD (1.45 billion CAD), according to Forbes. Bill Holmes has been instrumental in the company’s residential project of the Claridge Icon. The Claridge Icon is the tallest building in Ottawa, with a height of 469 feet. The civil engineer from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, became one of the wealthiest self-made billionaires in Ottawa with his real estate projects over the decades.

3. Greenberg Family – 1.57 billion

The Greenberg Family has been on top of the list of wealthiest people in Ottawa for quite some time now. With a net worth of 1.57 billion dollars, according to Canadian Business, the family is one of the richest in Canada.

Their significant company holdings in the Minto Group dates back 63 years when four Greenberg brothers- namely Gilbert, Irving, Lorry, and Louis – began a mill in a desolate barn in Ottawa.

The company has then gone on to build innumerable homes, high-rise buildings and condominiums. They are credited to have made the first condominium in Canada in 1976.

Post 2012, Michael Waters has been taking care of the firm while the Greenberg Family has stayed active in the area. Roger Greenberg, son of Gilbert and the former CEO of the firm, currently owns a part of the Ottawa Fury FC.

The net worth of the family saw a steep increase post 2011 from 1 billion to 1.5 billion. Their family assets are almost entirely invested in real estate. This has led to the family being one of the richest and most influential people in the Ottawa area over the years now.

2. Terry Matthews – 1.69 trillion

Terry Matthews is one of Ottawa’s most prominent tech entrepreneur. He has his significant company holdings in Mitel Networks, Wesley Clover and March Networks.

His biggest fortunes include investing in the community. The investment plans laid out by him credit him as the Godfather of more than 120 startups. The first of them is Mitel, which was set up to import electric lawn mowers as early as 1972. When that didn’t favor, he changed course to sell tone receivers accommodating push-button dial pads instead of rotary phones.

He has been instrumental in founding Newbridge Networks from the proceeds of the stakes in Mitel. Terry Matthews also owns a Celtic Manor Resort, which hosted the international golf event Ryder Cup in 2010 and a NATO summit four years later in 2014.

With a net worth of 1.4 billion USD (1.69 billion CAD), Terry Matthews is currently chairing the Swansea Bay City Region Board, aiming to turn his hometown in Wales into a digital hub.

In early 2016, he also started the Excalibur Steel UK and aimed to buy a mill in his native Wales in Port Talbot. Terry Matthews is very often referred to as having changed the landscape of the industrial revolution chain.

1. Tobias Lütke – 11.86 billion

This man created Canada’s technology leader Shopify Inc. After Tobias settled in Ottawa with his wife after marriage, he began to sell snowboards online. Tobias was a brilliant coder, which led to him building the e-commerce software himself. The product turned out better than expected and led him to launch Shopify in 2006.

The company is an essential platform for merchants to sell their goods and services online. In today’s era, the platform has taken over the majority of e-commerce. It is used by more than 500,000 merchants worldwide today.

Since 2015, the company has gone public and currently carries a valuation of 12 billion dollars. The net worth of Tobias is approximate 9.8 US billion dollars (11.86 billion CAD) according to Forbes. This makes Tobias Lütke one of the wealthiest people in Ottawa.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications