Leonard Lee

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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,[1][2] he grew up in a log cabin without electricity or running water.[1]

He received a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Royal Roads Military College and a Bachelor of Economics[1] 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.[3] 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".[4] In 2007, he was granted an honorary degree from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. In 2011 he was granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa.



  1. ^ a b c Stren, Olivia (Spring 2007), Report On (Small) Business - Under The Knife, Globe and Mail, p. 6 
  2. ^ Banks, Wendy (July 30, 2005), How Leonard Lee carved his niche, National Review of Medicine, pp. Vol. 2, No.13 
  3. ^ Lima, Paul (January 2006), Retooling: The Reinvention of Leonard Lee, Canada One Magazine 
  4. ^ Order of Canada