It was back in 1994 in Barrie, Onatrio that Mitchell Goldhar built the first Walmart store in Canada. Since then, SmartCentres, his company based out of Toronto has gone on to develop 177 new Walmart shopping centers across the country. He has been credited with bringing Walmart to Canada and has become the retail giant’s key property partner in the country.
Mitchell Goldhar approached owner of Walmart stores, Sam Walton in the early part of the 1990’s. Walton initially rejected the initial proposal, Goldhar brought to develop Walmart stores in Canada, but the latter’s persistence and confidence finally convinced Walton to take a plunge into Canadian waters. The fact that this is the only such relationship Walmart has with any other organization in the world speaks volumes of Mitchell Goldhar.
Goldhar’s grandparents, immigrants from Poland, ran a cigar store in Toronto. His father successfully transformed a carpet-contracting business into a commercial development firm. Goldhar joined his brother and father in 1983 in the family business, with entrepreneurial genes running in his blood it was no surprise Goldhar decided to venture out on his own a few years later.