Edward Sonshine is the Founder and Chairman of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, which he started as a public vehicle in early 1994 as one of Canada’s first REITs and it is now one of the country’s largest. He retired as CEO in 2021 and continued his involvement as Chair of the Board of Trustees.
He has overseen RioCan’s growth from its initial enterprise value of less than $100 MM when it went public to its current enterprise value of approximately $14 BB.
Prior to founding RioCan, Mr. Sonshine practiced law for 15 years and worked in the real estate industry from 1987 to 1993 before to his founding of RioCan.
In addition to founding RioCan, Mr. Sonshine was a Co-Founder of Chesswood Group Ltd., a publicly traded alternative lender and AWZ Ventures Inc., a venture capital company focused on cybersecurity investments. He currently serves as Chair of both Chesswood and AWZ.
He previously served as a Director of the Royal Bank of Canada from 2007 to 2017 and a Director of Cineplex Inc. from 2010 to 2020.
Mr. Sonshine has always been heavily involved in community work, giving both time and funds to many causes. He has been a major benefactor of Mount Sinai Hospital, United Jewish Appeal, United Way and many others as well as having created the Sonshine Chair in Law and Race Relations at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law. He is currently a Director of Mount Sinai Hospital and a former Co-Chair of the United Jewish Appeal Campaign, and a member of the Major Gifts Cabinet of United Way.
Mr. Sonshine married Fran, his wife, in 1968 and they have three children and nine grandchildren.
Mr. Sonshine was invested into the Order of Ontario in 2011, named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year in 2013, and granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chamber of Commerce of Canada in 2022. In addition, he was awarded a Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by Toronto Metropolitan University in June of 2022 and inducted into the Horatio Alger Society in October of 2022.