The List: 10 things John Bitove can’t live without
John Bitove, the sports nut and satellite radio mega-mogul, is merging Sirius Canada and XM Canada. Here, 10 things he can’t live without
Thinking of summer, and my Yamaha jet boat, helps me get through the winter. We wait nine months of the year for those precious three months in cottage country, when my kids and I spend all day boating around Georgian Bay, waterskiing and wakeboarding.
My game ball
I have the basketball from opening tip-off of the Raptors’ very first game, in 1995. I founded the franchise because basketball is my true passion. I played all through high school. I still go to a lot of games; my favourite player is Andrea Bargnani.
My treasured photograph
This is an old photo of my daughter Blair’s soccer team, from when she was about six, posing with our dog, a Samoyed named Pasha. I was the head coach. Blair is 17 now—this photo reminds me of how fast life moves.
My man cave
My TV room has five TVs, including one with a 60-inch screen, and I have a specially designed master remote to control it all. I had it programmed so that the screens say “Bitove Sports Lounge.” On weekends, I invite my friends over, and it’s non-stop sports from around the world.
My father-son sports memento
I kept the ticket stub from one of my son Brett’s first basketball games as a guard for the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons. It was an exciting time: they were 13-0 and ranked number one in the NCAA.
My Burton snowboard
I love to snowboard with my eldest son, JJ. We have a chalet in Collingwood, and we go to Whistler at least once a year. We challenge each other all day, racing and doing jumps and rails.
My biggest get
My satellite radio licence from the CRTC is a reminder of what you can achieve by being persistent. It was a long, three-year process to get licensed in Canada, and people said it would never happen. I have it framed on the wall of my office in Brookfield Place.
My hip-hop fix
I used to laugh at my kids for listening to rap, but I guess they just conditioned me—now I love it and listen to it in the car all the time. I like T.I., Drake and Lil’ Wayne. People think Lil’ Wayne is a short little thug, but he is actually a brilliant musician, and a brilliant businessman.
My present from Putin
President Putin gave me and my wife, Randi, a porcelain vase when we were in Moscow, the day before the vote on Toronto’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. I was chair of the bid, and even though we lost, we set the table for Vancouver to win two years later. I keep it in my home office on a shelf with a bunch of Olympic memorabilia.
My guilty pleasure
I’ve always loved fast food—I’m addicted. It got me through university and law school, and it’s why I got into the KFC franchise business in 1999. Now I have 80 KFCs in Toronto and 430 across Canada. When KFC was selling the Double Down last November, I ate two a week.
22 thoughts on “The List: 10 things John Bitove can’t live without”
This guy sounds like a massive loser. You expect me to believe he boards rails and listens to T.I.? Midlife crisis much? And Bitove Sports Lounge? Holy fuck, money sure as hell can’t buy taste.
Anyone who allows themselves to be featured in 10 Things is a repulsive, solipsistic ass.
Try and convince me otherwise. You can’t.
putin . kfc franchises . 2 DOUBLE DOWNS A WEEK . drake wayne TI . 5 tvs in one room .
THIS IS A TRULY DISGUSTING MAN
I may not like the same stuff as he does, but at least he is honest and not going on about fair trade coffee and local cheese. He probably likes that stuff too, but isn’t pretentious about it like most readers of Toronto Life. I like the magazine, but the readers are a bit ridiculous.
Get over yourselves
Wait – who says I don’t think the flakes that espouse the wonders of fair trade and local cheese aren’t similarly self-fixated and toxic?
And of course I’m jealous of his wealth – who wouldn’t be? But am I jealous of his vanity? Of his “hip hop fix” and “man cave”? Uh….no. Not in the least.
I think maybe Bitove needs to get over himself. After all, he’s the one appearing in this feature.
I read this piece and thought ‘good for you John Bitove’ for having a dream(s) and going after it. I’m sure it wasn’t easy along the way but the guy is accomplished, married, raising a family and seemingly enjoying life without bitterness. He also employees a bunch of people with his franchises and businesses. How can this be a truly disgusting man? Who makes a ridculous remark like that? Oh, right, those that haven’t accomplished much or who’s dreams haven’t been realized. Right.
“…wasn’t easy along the way…”???????????
His father was made Order Of Canada before Bitove Jr. himself had even turned thirty.
Give me a break. There’s a difference between pride and boasting. Especially in these times. A little class would do wonders. No need to flaunt your riches.
There shouldn’t be a comment section for these articles. It only invites anonymous jealous cowards to post negative comments on here. He sounds like a great guy and some of wish you could accomplish 1% of what he has and live life to the fullest!
Since when has purchasing fair trade become pretentious? Do your research people and discover how purchasing fair trade items can actually directly help people in developing countries. Consider the child labour and slavery in West Africa the next time you eat your run-of-the-mill chocolate bar or drink coffee from Timmies. If you are really trying to make conscious choices in life then please consider why you are criticizing those who purchase fair trade. Live the change that you wish to see in world.
This was dope! One day when I’m his age I’ll still listen to DnB and eat at Big Fat Burrito at least once a week. You go boy hehe ;)
“This was dope!”????
“You go boy hehe ;)”????
Something tells me BG011 is actually Bitove himself.
WHAT A JOKE.
Ahhhhh…..beer anyone ?
Do you people seriously read 10 Things just to tear down the person?
If you don’t care to know what the featured parties are into or can’t accept the answers, don’t read it. And please save your negative comments for some other site.
It warmed my heart to read what he wrote, even if he exaggerated his “coolness”, he is providing an image kids can relate to.
I am still a kid at heart, who doesn’t share my love of hip hop with my business associates…but maybe I should because he definitely made appeared more human to me.
#1 thing he can’t live without: his silver spoon.
Nice to see John Bistove is still living the high life after raping monetary assets from his floundering Priszm Income Fund QSR.UN on the TSX. This company, which holds Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Restaraunts, is now trading at a mere $.08/share and its convertible debenture, which listed as an IPO of $100 is now trading at $8.70 each. Sure, he unconscionably took his annual salary of over $400,000.00 per year, and his other company officers received healthy salaries/benefits as well, even though the company and its shareholders were being ravaged. He is a typical narcissistic and arrogant leech who makes a living off other peoples’ misfortune and no-one can convince me otherwise. He should remember that the higher the pedestal, the farther the fall.
Hey, SURPRISED –
YOU’RE AN IDIOT.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. He may not be a war profiteer, but he is an unscrupulous and nearsighted toady when it comes to commerce and the rough swim we’ve all had since 2008.
Though I doubt he ever will, I hope one day he retires to his oak library filled with books he’s never read with a glass of horrifically expensive scotch and mulls over his life, moment by moment.
At least….he is having and sharing fun.
Bitove has a history of making deals that make him money at the expense of investors (institutional, but increasingly retail). Insitutional investors have learned the hard way that he isn’t a good operator. Smart retail investors would do well to stay away from (or short) companies he operates or is involved with (especially at the Board level).
No worries John – I still think you are as sexy as hell.
Remember when you went to the SkyDome and cursed the beer and food? John Bitove said “thank-you everyone for all the dough”.
Hey John, keep scarfing down those healthy double down sandwiches.
I worked for him. Every store he owned at KFC. He did have his own. He picks and choose the ones he wants. He also picks the ones he wants working for him. I knew him because he would come in once in a while. My bosses didn’t even know he was in town. I knew. I had a lot of pressure and it was stressful. My stores always had to look the best. It was great. Untill something happend. No more care for it. I think he was fed up of KFC. All gm’s left and they went bankrupt! It would be nice to see him again and say Hi. Wonder if he forgot about me. interesting thought.
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