RioCan was founded in 1993 by CEO Edward Sonshine. It remains a forward-looking, entrepreneurial organization with the spirit and agility to seize opportunities and the resources to create them. Through ongoing discovery, strategy and a commitment to acting with integrity, we continue to shape the futures of communities.
1992 – In the wake of the worst real estate recession since the Great Depression, Ed Sonshine was intrigued by the REIT concept first seen in Australia and the United States as a solution for struggling real estate portfolios. The basic principle is a security that is traded on major exchanges and through real estate directly, providing investors with special tax considerations, high yields and a highly liquid method of real estate investment.
1993 – The team spent months perfecting a feasible business and legal plan before proposing their idea. The big hurdle was to educate and convince unit holders about what a REIT was, how it worked and why it was a worthwhile investment. With frustrated tenants who were facing liquidation, Mr. Sonshine’s personal visits and sales pitches were essential to smoothly converting their tenants to the new concept.
In January of 1994, RioCan was first listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and received help from CIBC to raise crucial capital. In 1995, it became evident there was a need for an in-house leasing expert. Fred Waks was the perfect man for the job and quickly proved to be a fundamental addition to the company.
In October of 1995, RioCan settled the acquisition of five shopping centres in Ottawa virtually doubling the size of the company. With growing momentum, RioCan acquired various portfolios of past clients, settling their then largest transaction in April of 1998 for nine shopping centers from Burnac. In 1999, a strategic decision was made to merge RioCan with RealFund, another of the original three Canadian REITS.
With the unwavering mission to create and build cash flows for both RioCan and its investors, the focus has always been on acquiring real estate, improving it, building new developments and creating value along the way. With engrained values of personable service, honesty and transparency, RioCan will continue on this path to success in the Canadian market.
Never resting on our laurels, RioCan is progressing down a wise and steady path. With a vast development pipeline underway, our asset growth strategy provides a more secure, risk adverse portfolio for our stakeholders. With engrained values of confident leadership, personable service, honesty and transparency, RioCan will continue on this path.
A keen understanding of the evolving retail landscape in Canada has helped RioCan prepare its properties and tenants for what lies ahead. Browse through our featured developments to see what plans we have for the future.