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Billionaire Westons Trade Food for Property, Seeking Growth

  • Property arm plans mixed-use development to diversify tenants
  • Toronto suburb to get new neighborhood in $1.2 billion project
Rendering of Choice Properties’ planned mixed-use site in Scarborough, a Toronto suburb
Rendering of Choice Properties’ planned mixed-use site in Scarborough, a Toronto suburbSource: Choice Properties
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Groceries helped the billionaire Weston family amass Canada’s third-biggest fortune. Now, after four generations making and selling food, the Westons are paying more attention to the land underneath their stores.

George Weston Ltd. said last week that it would sell off Weston Foods, the commercial bakery business that gave the company its start in 1882. In turn, the company said it will focus more on its real estate portfolio, which it cobbled together through decades of building out new grocery stores and keeps growing in value as Canadian property prices boom.