Larry Tanenbaum

Larry Tanenbaum is a Canadian businessman and the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), a sports holding company that owns several sports teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Toronto FC of Major League Soccer (MLS), and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Tanenbaum also served as the chairman of the board of governors of the CFL from 2003 to 2006.

Early life

Larry Tanenbaum was born to a Jewish family, his father Max was the owner of York Steel, and his mother was named Anne Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum was born in Toronto in 1945 and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Cornell University in 1967. He then went on to earn his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1970. He worked as a corporate and tax lawyer before entering the business world.

His family has an interesting history as well, with their patriarch Abraham Tanenbaum coming to Toronto from Parczew, Poland, in 1911. Abraham started by collecting scrap metal using a horse and cart and eventually prospered, building the Runnymede Iron and Steel Company into a major steel fabrication company and real estate empire. Max, Larry’s father, founded his own company, York Steel, and had seven children, including Larry, who followed his passion and pursued economics at Cornell.

He is married and has two daughters and one son.


Tanenbaum has been interested in sports and entertainment for a long time. In 1991, he led the effort to bring an NBA franchise to Toronto. In 1996, his group acquired an interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club and arena.

Two years later, Tanenbaum was instrumental in acquiring the Toronto Raptors basketball team and Air Canada Centre, which together with the Maple Leafs formed Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE).

Tanenbaum is now the chairman of MLSE, the chairman of the board of the National Basketball Association, and a governor and member of the executive committee of the National Hockey League, the NBA, and Major League Soccer (Toronto FC professional soccer club, which MLSE also owns). He is also a member of the board of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.

Apart from sports, Tanenbaum is the chairman of Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited, a private investment company based in Toronto. He was also its president and CEO from 1968 to 2000. Kilmer started as a civil engineering construction company, and under Tanenbaum’s leadership, it grew into a multi-faceted business with many operating divisions and subsidiaries.

He is also a member of the board of directors of CI Financial Corp., a Canadian investment management firm, and a director of The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper.

Kilmer was involved in road building, paving, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, heavy construction, trucking, and pipe manufacturing. They specialized in building subways, elevated transit systems, bridges, and tunnels. Some of the major projects included the Toronto Zoo elevated transit system, the elevated transit system in Miami, and subways in Caracas, Atlanta, Calgary, and Toronto.

In 1984, Kilmer merged with Canadian Foundation Company Ltd., and later with Bannister International. From then until December 2000, Kilmer’s road building, paving, and aggregates operations were conducted through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Warren Paving & Materials Group Limited.

In recognition of his contributions to Canadian sports, Tanenbaum was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He was also appointed as a member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors, in 2007.


Tanenbaum is actively involved in various community associations, such as being the vice chair of Sinai Health System, co-chair of the Research Committee for the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and vice-chair of Brain Canada.

He is also a member of the University Council at Cornell University and an honorary board member at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. In addition, he is a member of the advisory board at the Montreal Neurological Institute and a co-founder and board member of the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute at MNI.

He’s involved in the Dean’s advisory council at the Schulich School of Business, York University, and is a founding board member and executive committee member of the Global Leadership Council of Right to Play. Furthermore, he is a founding member of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and co-chair of the Tomorrow Campaign at UJA.

Net Worth

His net worth is an estimated $1.56 billion. He is one of the richest people in Canada.


Larry Tanenbaum has received several awards and recognition for his contributions to various fields. Some of them are:

In 2002, he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to the development of basketball in Canada.
In 2005, he was inducted into the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest honors, for his contributions to Canadian sport, health care, and the Jewish community.
In 2012, he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, presented by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, for his leadership in community service and philanthropy.
In 2016, he received the Outstanding CEO Award from the Chinese Business Chamber of Canada for his leadership in promoting business relations between Canada and China.
In 2017, he was awarded the Herb Carnegie Future Aces Foundation Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the community and inspire young people to pursue their dreams.
In 2018, he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to Jewish sports and basketball.

These are just some of the many awards and achievements that Larry Tanenbaum has received over the years.