Canada is home to some of the richest and most influential business tycoons in the world. Included in this list is Peter Gilgan — known best as the founder of Mattamy Homes, the largest privately-owned homebuilder in North America. While this might already be common knowledge for most, there are many aspects of Mr. Gilgan’s life that may surprise you. Read on to discover 10 things you didn’t know about Peter Gilgan.

1. Early Start in Entrepreneurship

Peter Gilgan had that entrepreneurial grit right from a young age. He started his first business while still in high school, selling Christmas cards door-to-door. This experience of personally interacting with potential customers served as his first lesson in sales, paving the way for his future in real estate development.

His entrepreneurship skills were further honed when he worked in his father’s nightclub, where he learned firsthand how to manage day-to-day operations. This early start in business helped shape his career and paved the way for his multi-billion-dollar empire.

2. A Passion for Philanthropy

Though a self-made billionaire, Peter Gilgan is not just focused on accumulating wealth. He is passionate about giving back to his community and has made significant contributions to various charitable causes, especially those related to health and education.

Among his most significant donations was a $40 million gift to St. Michael’s Hospital in 2014 for the advancement of cardiac care. This act of generosity further cements his reputation as one of Canada’s most prominent philanthropists.

3. Life Away From Real Estate

Though he’s made a name for himself in the real estate industry, Peter Gilgan’s interests and passions are diverse. He is a dedicated sports enthusiast and a seasoned cyclist. He has participated in a number of biking trips around the world, engaging in this cardio-intensive pastime as a way of adventure and self-discovery.

Besides cycling, Gilgan loves being involved in outdoor activities. He’s an avid skier, often spotted on some of the world’s most famous slopes. His love for the outdoors is also reflected in his significant contributions towards environmental sustainability and preservation.

4. Unique Approach to Building Homes

Mattamy Homes, the business venture that catapulted Peter Gilgan to fame and fortune, differentiates itself with a distinctive, fresh approach to building homes.

The company takes pride in producing homes that are designed for the convenience and satisfaction of homebuyers instead of following traditional construction norms. This customer-focused approach has proved successful, helping Mattamy Homes rise to the top of North America’s homebuilding industry.

5. Unwavering Belief in the Canadian Economy

Despite economic downturns and market fluctuations, Peter Gilgan has unwavering confidence in the Canadian economy. He believes that the property market in the Great North has a vital role to play not only within the country but globally as well.

This belief in the Canadian economy has made him a key player in the housing sector in the country. His contributions have significantly shaped and positively impacted the national real estate industry, earning him well-deserved accolades and recognition.

6. A Devoted Family Man

Despite his professional accomplishments, Peter Gilgan has always prioritized his family. This devoted family man is a father to eight children and ensures that he spends quality time with his family amidst his hectic work schedule.

He firmly believes in maintaining a strong work-life balance. His commitment to his family is a testament to his personality, demonstrating that success in business does not necessarily have to compromise personal relationships.

7. His Net Worth

Peter Gilgan’s dedication, hard work, and perseverance have amassed him an impressive net worth. According to the most recent Forbes Billionaires List, Peter Gilgan’s net worth is estimated to be approximately $3.8 billion.

Despite his vast wealth, Gilgan is not a fan of flashy luxury. He prefers to invest his money in pursuits that offer personal growth and contributes positively to society.

8. His Love for Art

Apart from sports and outdoor activities, Gilgan has a profound love for art. He is an avid collector of modern and contemporary art, including works from renowned artists like Jean-Paul Riopelle and Tom Thomson.

His passion for art extends beyond collection – he is also known to make significant donations to promote and support the arts. Thus, his contributions have been of paramount importance in the Canadian art scene.

9. Environmental Advocacy

Peter Gilgan has a keen interest in environmental advocacy. He has supported numerous initiatives aimed at promoting eco-sustainability, particularly renewable energy and conservation practices.

His efforts have included his homes company, Mattamy Homes, integrating green solutions in their building approach. It’s a drive that proves his dedication towards creating a sustainable and eco-friendly world.

10. Renowned as a Business Visionary

Over the years, Peter Gilgan has proven himself to be a visionary in the business world. Notably, he was among the first businessmen in Canada to understand the potential of master-planned communities, leading to the development of homes that offer more than just a dwelling place.

His forward-thinking approach and innovative strategies have rendered him one of the most influential figures in Canada’s housing industry. With his sustained success, Gilgan continues to inspire many budding entrepreneurs.

To learn more about the story of Peter Gilgan and Mattamy Homes, click the links below.
Globe and Mail: Peter Gilgan Profile
Mattamy Homes Official Website