Becoming a Somebody

Overview

The fascinating life story of Ignat Kaneff, one of Canada’s leading residential and commercial builders.

When Ignat Kaneff arrived in Canada in 1951, he had a mere five dollars to his name, no proficiency in English, and very little education. Yet, this was the beginning of one of Canada’s great immigrant success stories. Having left his native Bulgaria at just fourteen, Kaneff’s journey to Canada was long. It even included a stint in wartime Germany, working as a market gardener, but his plans in Canada were much, much bigger.

Kaneff began working in Toronto’s construction industry, where he showed tremendous drive, quickly founding a company and breaking ground on his first subdivision in 1956. He continued on a trajectory toward success, and by the 1970s was ranked among Canada’s top businessmen. Considered a pioneering citizen of the City of Mississauga, in 2017 he was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. Becoming a Somebody recounts his stunning rise to prominence.

About the Authors

Steven Nyczyk

Posted by KathrynB on March 6, 2018

Steven Nyczyk

Steven Nyczyk has been writing professionally for nearly twenty years. He has written for the Toronto Sun and crafted teleplays for various Canadian television programs. Steven lives in Toronto.

Didi Kaneff

Posted by KathrynB on July 10, 2018

Didi Kaneff

Dimitrina (Didi) Kaneff is the President of the Kaneff Group of Companies, a private real estate company that develops, builds, and manages commercial, office, residential, and golf properties in southern Ontario. She is the founding member of the Ignat Kaneff Charitable Foundation and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for outstanding community service. She is married to Ignat Kaneff and lives in Mississauga, Ontario.

Anna-Maria Kaneff

Posted by KathrynB on March 6, 2018

Anna-Maria Kaneff

Anna-Maria Kaneff is a managing director with the Kaneff Group of Companies. Prior to joining the Kaneff Group, she was an associate at West Face Capital, held positions at Moore Capital, and was an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley. She is a founding board member of the Grassroots Reconciliation Group of Uganda, serving as its CFO. Anna-Maria lives in Port Credit, Ontario.

Kristina Kaneff

Posted by KathrynB on March 6, 2018

Kristina Kaneff

Ms. Kristina Kaneff is Vice President and General Counsel of the Kaneff Group of Companies. Previously, she was an associate with a top-tier law firm. She is President of the Ignat Kaneff Charitable Foundation, Circle Leader for Peacebuilders International, and Vice-President of St. Dimitar Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church in Brampton. Ms. Kaneff lives in Toronto.