During his distinguished career, Gordon Gray made a significant impact on both the real estate and mining industries.
In 1955, he became Controller of A.E. LePage, and rose to Chairman and CEO in 1979. Mr. Gray negotiated the acquisition of 50 agencies across Canada, and in 1984 merged LePage with the brokerage operations of Royal Trust to form Royal LePage. By the time Mr. Gray retired in 1994, the firm had 12,000 agents, the most in Canada.
Mr. Gray was heavily involved in the growth of Toronto’s business district, playing a major role in the development of landmark buildings such as the Toronto Dominion Centre and Royal Bank Plaza.
For 15 years, he was a director of Rio Algom Ltd., one of Canada’s largest mining and metals distribution companies, before becoming their Executive Chairman in 1991 and CEO in 1996. In 2000, he negotiated Rio Algom’s sale to Billiton Mining Company, which then merged with Australia’s BHP to become BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company.
Mr. Gray also served as a director of Abitibi, Canadian Gypsum, Consumers’ Gas, Crown Life, Hiram Walker, Markborough Properties, McDonald’s Corp. (U.S.), Omers Realty, Rogers Communications, Royal Insurance, Toronto Dominion Bank, and Trilon Financial.
He has been closely involved in many charities and community institutions, serving on the boards of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Council on Drug Abuse, Council for Canadian Unity, Duke of Edinburgh’s Charter for Business and Hospital for Sick Children. In 2010, he created the Gray Animal Welfare Foundation, which has supported over 50 wildlife charities.
In 2006, Mr. Gray established a Chair in Particle Astrophysics at Queen’s University. This allowed Dr. Art McDonald to devote full time to his work at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Dr. McDonald’s discoveries there led to his receiving the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Mr. Gray was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2009, and the Order of Canada in 2018.