Top 15 Largest Employers In Canada

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Canada is home to many multinational companies and businesses operating worldwide. These companies are known for their size, influence, and economic impact.

But among them, which one is the largest employer?

If you’re curious about the biggest names in employment creation in Canada and worldwide, you’ve come to the right place.

Note – The article is a part of the series of the Largest Employer blogs we are covering from all across the globe. 

A few others on the list are:

Largest Employers in Australia

Largest Employers in the UK

In this blog will take a closer look at the largest employers in Canada. 

We will examine their size, industry, and impact on the Canadian economy.

We will also look at their global reach and how they contribute to employment creation in Canada and other parts of the world.

Let’s have a brief overview of the economy in Canada.

Canada has a diverse and robust economy, home to many large and influential employers.
Canada, located in the northern part of North America, has a strong economy, ranking as the eighth largest in the world as of 2022, with a GDP of around $2.2 trillion.

Canada has a strong economy, ranking 8th in the world by nominal GDP and 15th by PPP. The service sector is the dominant industry, employing the majority of Canadians. (Source: Wikipedia)

The country also has a significant natural resources sector, including the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, the fourth-largest crude oil exporter, and the fifth-largest natural gas exporter.

It is a member of influential economic organisations such as the OECD and G7 and is known for its highly globalised economy and status as a top trading nation.

Canada has a mixed economy, with a high level of economic freedom compared to the US and many western European nations.

Additionally, Canada has a relatively low level of income disparity, with a per capita disposable income of over $23,900, which is higher than the OECD average. (Source: Wikipedia)

Magna International Inc.

Magna International Inc. - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 18.23 billion USD

Number of Employees: 15,000 +

Year of Inception: 1957

Company CEO: Seetarama Kotagiri

Industry: Transportation, equipment, and manufacturing

Magna, founded in 1957, is a leading supplier in the automobile industry. 

The company is a global leader in mobility technology and one of the largest Canadian companies, with a workforce of 158,000 professionals and a culture built on innovation.

With over 60 years of experience and a comprehensive design, engineering, and production approach, Magna is well-positioned to support the evolving mobility sector.

The company has a global presence, with 347 production facilities and 84 research, engineering, and sales centres across 28 countries.

Additionally, Magna offers its employees a range of insurance benefits, including health, dental, mental health, and occupational accident insurance. (Source: Indeed)

Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 14.310 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 21,168

Year of Inception: 1944

Company CEO: Sophie Brochu

Industry: Utilities

Hydro-Quebec is a public utility in the Canadian province of Quebec that manages the generation, transmission, distribution, and exporting of electricity in the region and also exports some of the power to portions of the northeast of the United States. (Source: Forbes)

Established in 1944, the Government of Quebec established it by appropriating private firms.

As a result, a massive amount of money was invested in hydroelectric projects such as the James Bay Project in the years after.

Currently, the capacity of the hydroelectric power stations totals 37,370 megawatts with a total number of 63. It is estimated that Hydro-Québec meets approximately 10 percent of New England’s electricity needs. (Source: Wikipedia)

Extra power is exported from the province as well. In Montreal, Hydro-Québec is the largest Crown corporation (state-owned enterprise) in Quebec.

Québec’s sole shareholder received CAD$2.39 billion in dividends in 2018. (Source: Wikipedia)

It has some of the lowest residential electricity rates in North America. More than 40 percent of Canada’s water resources are in Québec, and Hydro-Québec is the fourth largest hydropower producer in the world. (Source: Forbes)

TD Bank

TD Bank - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 162.72 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 89,464

Year of Inception: 1955

Company CEO: Bharat Masrani

Industry: Banking

TD Bank, the result of the merger of the Bank of Toronto and Dominion Bank in February 1955, is known for its wide range of banking and financial services. (Source: Wikipedia)

The company is also known for sponsoring various sports venues in Canada and the United States.

TD has over 1,000 branches within Canada to serve its 11 million customers, and it has a global presence with 26 million clients and 1,200 branches in 16 states in the United States.

The company offers job opportunities in various sectors and has an active campus recruitment program.

TD Bank, in addition to its banking and financial services offerings, TD Bank also has a specialised program for recruiting veterans.

With a market capitalisation of $178 billion, the bank provides employee benefits, including parental leave and various insurance options. (Source: Indeed)

Enbridge

Enbridge - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 113.19 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 10,000 +

Year of Inception: 1949

Company CEO: Al Monaco

Industry: Energy, mining, and utilities

Enbridge, a gas distribution company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, was founded on April 30, 1949.

The company is known for operating the longest crude oil and liquid pipeline in the world, stretching over 27,564 km and transporting crude oil through Canada, the US, and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: Indeed)

In the last decade, Enbridge has transported 29.5 billion barrels of crude oil through its pipelines, which are still growing.

Enbridge, a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of fossil fuels, also has a significant presence in the renewable energy sector in Canada, with substantial investments in wind and solar energy projects.

The company regularly posts job openings on its website, primarily in Canada and some parts of the US.

It also works with the Ian Martin Group to hire student contractors for a fixed term.

With a current market value of $114.80 billion, Enbridge is a major player in the energy industry. (Source: Indeed)

Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 112.27 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 22,600

Year of Inception: 1918

Company CEO: Tracy Robinson

Industry: Transportation and logistics

The Canadian National Railway is a Class I freight railway company and is the largest railway in Canada in terms of revenue and rail network size, spanning over 32,831 km. (Source: Indeed)

The company serves most of Canada and parts of the United States.

The Canadian National Railway was government-owned until 1995 and had an estimated market capitalisation of $88.94 billion. (Source: Wikipedia)

The company has grown significantly in the last ten years, becoming one of the largest organisations in Canada and North America.

As it continues to expand, it has also improved its treatment of employees. Benefits offered by the company include paid internships for students, health insurance, and two weeks of paid vacation after the first year of employment. (Source: Indeed)

Purolator

Purolator - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 2.6 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 14,000

Year of Inception: 1960

Company CEO: John Ferguson

Industry: Transportation and logistics

Purolator Inc., a Canadian courier company, is majority-owned by Canada Post at 91%, while Rainmaker Investments Ltd. holds a 7% stake, and the remaining 2% is divided among other shareholders.

Established in 1967 as Trans Canada Couriers, Ltd., the company was acquired by the US oil and air filter manufacturer Purolator of Fayetteville, North Carolina, originally Motor Improvements Incorporated, founded in 1923. (Source: Wikipedia)

Canadian owners reacquired the company in 1987, but the Purolator name was kept, and there has been no association with the oil filter industry. For delivery services outside Canada, Purolator has a partnership with UPS. (Source: Forbes)

Scotiabank

Scotiabank - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 83.11 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 89,488

Year of Inception: 1832

Company CEO: Brian J. Porter

Industry: Finance

The Bank of Nova Scotia, established in Halifax in 1832, relocated its headquarters to Toronto in 1900.

It offers various services, including personal and commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, and wealth management.

Scotiabank, known for its acquisitions and mergers with other financial institutions, owns subsidiaries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

The bank also supports various sporting and cultural events in Canada and internationally. Its worth is around $110.56 billion. (Source: Indeed)

Brookfield Asset Management

Brookfield Asset Management - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 13.15 billion USD

Number of Employees: 1,50,000

Year of Inception: 1899

Company CEO: Bruce Flatt

Industry: Real estate

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM) is a Canadian multinational company that is one of the world’s largest and most diverse alternative investment management companies.

With over US$725 billion of assets under management in 2022, BAM has a global presence and a reputation for delivering solid returns to its investors. (Source: Wikipedia)

The company’s primary focus is on direct control investments, which means it actively manages and operates the assets it acquires.

BAM has diverse investment strategies, particularly – real estate, renewable power, infrastructure, credit, and private equity.

Keg Steakhouse & Bar

Keg Steakhouse & Bar - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: USD 500M

Number of Employees: 10,400

Year of Inception: 1971

Company CEO: David Aisenstat

Industry: Restaurants

The Keg is a restaurant and bar chain that has been operating since 1971.

The first ‘The Keg’ restaurant was started by George Tidball in North Vancouver, British Columbia. (Source: Forbes)

The chain has since expanded to 160 locations across Canada and the United States and was purchased in February 2018 for a reported $200 million by the Canadian food industry giant Cara Operations (now known as Recipe Unlimited). (Source: Wikipedia)

Before the purchase, the chain had been solely owned by David Aisenstat from 1997 to 2014. (Source: Wikipedia)

BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 89.61 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 43,863

Year of Inception: 1817

Company CEO: Darryl White

Industry: Finance

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected financial institutions, officially established in 1817 by eight businesspeople who signed the articles of association.
BMO has become one of Canada’s largest banks, with 900 branches and 7 million customers across the country. (Source: Indeed)

The bank also has a significant presence in the United States, operating under BMO Harris Bank.

BMO is a highly valued company with approximately $95.39 billion market capitalisation. 

The bank offers various financial products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. (Source: Indeed)

In addition to its financial services, BMO is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, personal and career fulfilment, and sustainable business practices for the environment.

Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 98.41 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 11,904

Year of Inception: 1881

Company CEO: Keith E. Creel

Industry: Transportation and logistics

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), known simply as Canadian Pacific and formerly as CP Rail (1968–1996), is a Canadian Class I railway company that was incorporated in 1881.

The company is currently owned by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which took control of operations in 2001 through a corporate restructuring. (Source: Wikipedia)

Based in Calgary, Alberta, the railway has a vast network spanning over 20,100 kilometres of track across seven Canadian provinces and the United States, connecting major cities such as Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Minneapolis–St. Paul, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago and Albany, New York.

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was the first transcontinental railway built in Canada, connecting eastern Canada to British Columbia between 1881 and 1885, including lines, made earlier in the Ottawa Valley and Georgian Bay area. (Source: Wikipedia)

The railway was built as part of a commitment made to British Columbia upon its entry into Confederation in 1871.

Primarily a freight railway, the CPR played a vital role in the transportation of long-distance passengers and the settlement and development of Western Canada.

PR was the only means of transportation in many regions of Canada for decades, and it became one of the country’s most powerful and influential companies. (Source: Wikipedia)

Shopify

Shopify - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 48.96 billion USD

Number of Employees: 10,000 +

Year of Inception: 2006

Company CEO: Tobias Lütke

Industry: Information technology

Shopify is an e-commerce company founded in 2006 that provides an all-in-one platform for online retailers to conduct their businesses.

Its services include everything an online retailer might need, such as payment processing, marketing tools, shipping solutions, and customer engagement features. (Source: Indeed)

As of 2021, Shopify has grown to serve 1.7 million businesses in 175 countries and operates 1.58 million websites.

Shopify is an e-commerce company, and most positions available are in the technology field, including software engineering, product development, and data analysis. (Source: Indeed)

Shopify has a remote-first culture, meaning most employees can perform their tasks from anywhere. This allows the company to attract and retain the best talent worldwide.

Rogers Communications

Rogers Communications - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 33.08 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 26,000 +

Year of Inception: 1967

Company CEO: Tony Staffieri

Industry: Communication

Rogers Communications is a Canadian company specialising in wireless communication, cable TV, telephony, and internet services.

It also has a presence in telecommunications and mass media. The company was founded in 1960 by Ted Rogers and is based in Toronto, Ontario.

It traces its roots back to 1925 when Edward S. Rogers Sr. started the Rogers Vacuum Tube Company to sell battery-less radios. (Source: Wikipedia)

Rogers and Bell Canada are often seen as the two prominent communications companies in their regions, owning a stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Rogers competes with Telus nationally for wireless services with Telus, while Shaw Communications primarily challenges its television services. (Source: Wikipedia)

Air Canada

Air Canada - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 7.90 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 30,000 +

Year of Inception: 1937

Company CEO: Michael Rousseau

Industry: Airlines

Air Canada is the leading airline in Canada and the nation’s most significant in size and passenger transport. Based in Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, and was established in 193.

The airline offers scheduled and chartered flights to 222 destinations worldwide and is a part of the Star Alliance.

Its primary hubs are located at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL). (Source: Wikipedia)

For regional service, Air Canada Express is available. In 1936, the Canadian federal government established Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), which inaugurated its first transcontinental flights in 1938.

Following government approval in 1965, TCA was renamed Air Canada. After deregulating the Canadian airline sector in the 1980s, Air Canada underwent privatisation in 1988. On 4 January 2000, the airline absorbed its main competitor, Canadian Airlines. (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2003, Air Canada filed for bankruptcy protection and, a year later, was reorganised under the holding company ACE Aviation Holdings Inc.

During its 80th anniversary in 2017, the airline flew 48 million passengers. In October 2021, the Government of Canada purchased a 6.4% stake in Air Canada and hasn’t excluded the possibility of further investment. (Source: Wikipedia)

Saputo

Saputo - Largest employers in Canada

Market Capitalization: 15.55 billion CAD

Number of Employees: 18,000

Year of Inception: 1954

Company CEO: Lino Saputo

Industry: Dairy

Founded in 1954 by the Saputo family, Saputo Inc. is a Canadian dairy company headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, and one of the top ten dairy processors globally. (Source: Wikipedia)

Their dairy products include cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products, and dairy ingredients.

The company has grown significantly, primarily through mergers and acquisitions. This has allowed them to expand their distribution to over 60 countries worldwide, with a presence in Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and the United Kingdom. (Source: Wikipedia)

Nearly half of their revenues come from the US. They operated in Wales and Germany from 2006 to 2013 and once owned the Canadian rights to Hostess Brands products.

Final Thoughts

These 15 Largest employers in Canada have been responsible for driving Canada’s economy, providing jobs, and generating wealth for the nation.

However, their rankings may change due to market conditions and shifts in the economic landscape. Other companies have also played a role in driving Canada’s success.

As the country continues to grow, the list of the nation’s most prominent companies is likely to change over time.

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