Focus, perseverance and impact are the bywords of the Munks’ philanthropy. Together, Peter and Melanie have supported select organizations and causes that transform people’s lives and strengthen the social capital and ideas underpinning free and open societies. The overarching aim of all of the Munks’ philanthropy is to celebrate excellence, ambition and innovation in Canada and in humanity’s most important endeavours and challenges.
PETER AND MELANIE MUNK
Co-Founders, The Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation
Peter and Melanie Munk are among Canada’s most significant philanthropists, having donated more than $300 million to improve healthcare, support higher education, and advance public policy. The primary recipients of their generosity are the University Health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, the Munk School at the University of Toronto, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. To quote Mr. Munk: “You can create wealth. You are entitled to the joy of this creation. But ultimately, society makes it possible, and this wealth should therefore flow back to society.”
Peter Munk is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Barrick Gold Corporation, the largest gold-mining company in the world. As well, until its sale to Brookfield Properties and the Blackstone Group for an enterprise value of $9 billion in 2006, Mr. Munk was Chairman and controlling shareholder of Trizec Properties, one of the largest real estate companies in North America, whose portfolios included 61 office properties in the U.S. Mr. Munk’s other start-ups include TriGránit Development Corporation, one of the leading property developers in Central Europe, and Porto Montenegro, a superyacht marina and resort on the Adriatic Sea, purchased by the Investment Corporation of Dubai in 2016. Prior to founding Barrick, Mr. Munk was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation, the largest hotel and resort chain in Australasia, and co-founder and President of Clairtone Sound Corporation in Toronto, whose iconic Project G hi-fi stereo console is included in numerous museum collections. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Mr. Munk immigrated to Canada in 1948 where he graduated from the University of Toronto in 1952 with a degree in electrical engineering.
Mr. Munk has received numerous honorary doctorates, including an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Toronto, and, together with his wife, Melanie, an Honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters from Trinity College, University of Toronto. He has been inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and was the first Canadian to receive the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. Named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993, Mr. Munk was promoted in 2008 to a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour awarded to Canadians who have demonstrated the highest degree of merit to Canada and humanity. In 2016, Mr. Munk was awarded the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.
Melanie Munk is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer. A champion of patient care and public health, Mrs. Munk has played an active role in promoting innovation and excellence at the University Health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, placing particular emphasis on heralding the dedication and service of the hospital’s nursing and support staff. At the Toronto General Hospital, Mrs. Munk established a Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery, currently held by the acclaimed cardiac surgeon Dr. Tirone David. Mrs. Munk holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College.
Peter and Melanie Munk live in Toronto. They have five children and 13 grandchildren.