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Sudbury-born real estate mogul dies

Robert Campeau dies in Ottawa at 93
Robert Campeau (Canadian Press photo)

Legendary real estate developer Robert Campeau has died. He was 93.

His online obituary said he died at his Ottawa home, June 12.

Campeau was born on Aug. 3, 1923 in Chelmsford, Ontario (now part of the City of Greater Sudbury).

He received his early education in Sudbury and later received honorary degrees from the University of Ottawa and Laurentian University in Sudbury in recognition of his significant accomplishments.

Beginning with the establishment of Campeau Construction Company in 1953, Campeau had a life-long career as an entrepreneur and real estate developer. The company built more than 25,000 houses and many apartment buildings in the Ottawa area and across North America.

His land development endeavours would expand to commercial property and shopping centres, including landmark buildings such as Ottawa’s Place de Ville and Les Terraces de la Chaudiere in Gatineau.

He would later expand his business interests to Toronto with Scotia Plaza, Harbour Castle Hotel (now Westin Harbour Castle) Harbour Square condominiums and Waterpark Place office complex.

Campeau branched out with commercial development complexes in California, Texas and Florida, and through the acquisition of retail speciality stores and shopping centres throughout the U.S.

He received the 2006 NAIOP REX Awards for real estate excellence.

“Robert continued to follow with keen interest and enthusiasm the present day approach to real estate development trends in Canada,” said his online obituary. “He devoted much of his time to philanthropy efforts through his Canadian and U.S. family foundations. Robert was an avid swimmer, skier, golfer, fisherman and hunter. Robert believed his good exercise regime was the key to his long and healthy life.”

Campeau is survived by his wife, Christel, six children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents Joseph Campeau and Lucie Ranger, and three brothers and three sisters.

The June 22 memorial service takes place at Notre-Dame Cathedral, on Sussex Drive in Ottawa followed by the funeral service and burial at St. Isidore Cemetery in Kanata.

The cause of death is not known.