Leonard Lee biography

Leonard Lee

Businessperson, Organization founder

1938 –


Who is Leonard Lee?

Leonard G. Lee, CM is a Canadian entrepreneur and founder of Lee Valley Tools and Canica Design. Born in 1938, near the hamlet of Algrove in central, rural Saskatchewan, he grew up in a log cabin without electricity or running water.

He received a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Royal Roads Military College and a Bachelor of Economics degree in 1963 from Queen's University. He worked for the federal government for sixteen years as a topographical surveyor, member of the Canadian Foreign Service and civil servant in the Department of Industry. In 1978, he founded Lee Valley Tools Ltd., a Canadian woodworking and gardening tools mail-order business which has since grown into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. In 1985 he founded Veritas Tools. In 1991 he founded Algrove Publishing. With his son Robin now running Lee Valley Tools, Lee has started a new business, Canica Design, a medical/surgical instrument company, headquartered in Almonte, Ontario.

In 2002, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada for "being a successful entrepreneur". In 2007, he was granted an honorary degree from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.


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  • Canada
  • Queen's University
  • Royal Roads Military College

on July 23, 2013

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