Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #45, Sam Mizrahi
Our annual ranking of the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing the city as we know it
45 Mizrahi, a former dry cleaning magnate, was a developer with a few modest projects in Yorkville. Then, last fall, with backing from CREIT and Fiera Properties, he led the bid to purchase the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor, the former home of the century-old haberdasher Stollerys. The move vaulted him into the ranks of Toronto’s luxury development elite. The deal, combined with a few other buyouts of adjacent lots, gave Mizrahi dominion over what is arguably Toronto’s most significant undeveloped piece of land, right at the intersection of two subway lines and in the heart of the city’s ritziest retail district. The proposal he unveiled for the site in March is ambitious: the design, by Foster and Partners (the minds behind London’s famous Gherkin building), envisions a tower criss-crossed with soaring support beams that, at 318 metres, would be taller than any other structure in the city save for the CN Tower. Perseverance was key to landing the deal: Mizrahi has said that negotiations for the property involved nearly 11 months of meetings with the owners of Stollerys.
Industry insiders say he’s interested in the northwest corner of Bloor and Bay, the current site of Davids Footwear.