An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. Wall helped re-imagine and build Vancouver’s modern skyline, shaping many of its neighbourhoods while supporting some of the city’s — and British Columbia’s — key educational, arts and charitable institutions.
He immigrated to Canada from Eastern Europe as a child, shortly after the Second World War and founded Wall Financial Corporation with partners in 1969 and quickly emerged as one of British Columbia’s innovative business leaders and property developers.
Mr. Wall understood Vancouver was transforming from a provincial port tied to the British Columbian lumber and mining industry into a global destination for capital and talent — as well as emerging as Canada’s global financial hub to the Pacific Rim and the US West Coast.
Wall Financial Corp. became — and remains — a significant force in shaping the development of Vancouver, designing and building residential, commercial and hotel projects.
The company gained international recognition in 2001 for the development of One Wall Centre. The iconic glass-sheathed tower and public square immediately became a city landmark — and remains an epicentre of activity, offering a mix of hotel, residential and commercial uses in the heart of the city. It was awarded best skyscraper of the year in 2001 by Emporis.
Mr. Wall is also one of Vancouver’s most respected philanthropists and supporters of protecting the city’s history and architecture.
Through the Wall Financial Corporation, he has helped preserve some of the West Coast’s most important cultural buildings, including investments in the preservation of landmarks such as The Stanley and Orpheum, home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Wall Financial Corp. ensured the preservation of the Orpheum with the addition of a residential tower and creation of a music school, now used by the VSO’s established and next-generation musical artists.
Through his philanthropy, Mr. Wall also endowed The Peter Wall Institute of Advance Studies at the University of British Columbia, his alma mater. Since its creation more than two decades ago, The Wall Institute has supported more than 450 scholars — including the late Nobel laureate Michael Smith — to create an international network of interdisciplinary research.
Mr. Wall continues to support community institutions and their leaders to foster the development of Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.