Mohamad Fakih Appointed to the Order of Canada

Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods Photo By Nick Wong

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Mohamad Fakih, owner of the Paramount Fine Foods restaurant chain, has been appointed to the Order of Canada for his business and community leadership, as well as for his philanthropic involvement in his community and abroad.

The Lebanese-Canadian businessman, who grew the Paramount brand from a single restaurant to 80 locations worldwide, is well known for his many charitable acts.

In 2016, Fakih was one of the many advocates calling for businesses to hire refugees after 25,000 Syrians landed in Canada. He himself hired more than 100. In the aftermath of the 2017 Quebec mosque shooting, where six Muslim residents were killed, Fakih helped raise $125,000 to pay for funeral costs and construction repairs for the mosque.

More recently, in the weeks before March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first came into the public eye, Fakih and other community leaders in Mississauga initiated a community roundtable calling for the support of Chinese restaurants and businesses amid numerous incidents of anti-Asian hate. 

A month later, in April 2020, Fakih announced he would match $1 ― up to $10,000 for every donation made ― to the Mississauga Food Bank, which at the time needed $840,000 to keep its shelves stocked.

He has also been one of the many aid workers who rushed to Beirut in the summer of 2020 following the city’s port explosion, to take part in ongoing relief efforts. 

“This is something that actually confirms someone’s legacy,” Fakih told CBC News. “When the country that you came to for a better life for yourself and your family, not only accepts you, not only celebrates you, but awards the highest honour. I couldn’t stop the tears, and I couldn’t stop smiling at the same time because I really always wanted to serve this country properly. Even if I got the Order of Canada, a lot of people around me deserve to celebrate with me.”

“Mohamad Fakih stands as a shining example of what can be achieved if you work hard, put your community first and stand up for injustice and discrimination,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie on social media.

The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours. Created in 1967, it honours people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations and whose compassion unites our communities.

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