About Bruce M Firestone

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (Civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD

Making Impossible Possible

~ real estate investment and business coach ~ broker ~ keynote speaker ~ author ~ entrepreneur ~

140 Character Résumé

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.

Bruce M Firestone is best known as an entrepreneur and founder of NHL hockey team, the Ottawa Senators, their home arena, Canadian Tire Centre, and the Ottawa Senators Foundation, a children’s charity, as well as a real estate investment and business coach, consultant and broker, urban guru, author, novelist, and professor.

Scotiabank Place (now Canadian Tire Centre)

Today, if you are one of the 80% of Canadians or Americans who don’t have a defined benefit pension plan, you need to find an alternative way to support yourself and your family. Firestone successfully coaches hundreds of people to help them acquire a top performing real estate investment portfolio to bridge this gap.

“I think I learned more from Prof Bruce real estate investment coaching in the past year than I did in the entire decade prior,” Brian Dagenais, Dagenais Properties and BlackSheep Developments founder

Firestone has devised ways of acquiring real estate, analyzing it, financing it, differentiating it, and animating it to boost revenues and valuations that are as unique as they are effective.

“Prof Bruce is the ultimate real estate investment coach; you don’t only learn about real estate, you learn about life,” George Adamache, real estate investor, air traffic controller

Prof Bruce is also an effective keynote speaker for organizations with a positive focus on creating opportunity for their stakeholder groups. Firestone advises counties, towns and cities as well as economic development agencies on how to develop live-work-play-shop-learn-entertain-make communities that help keep their most valuable resources at home—their children and entrepreneurs or give them a reason to return or stay. His keynotes are based on the principal that nothing is sustainable unless it is also economically sustainable.

“Bruce Firestone has an inspirational message, and a voice that will break down the walls,” Carolyn Parker, Triple I Event Services Inc

In May of 2006, Dr Firestone joined University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management as its first Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He taught in both the Faculty of Engineering and the Telfer School of Management at the undergraduate and MBA levels. He previously taught or studied at McGill University (Bachelor of Civil Engineering), Laval University, Harvard University, University of Western Ontario, University of New South Wales (Master of Engineering-Science, Traffic and Transportation), Australian National University (PhD in Urban Economics), and Carleton University, in subject areas that include real estate development, entrepreneurship, product management, business models, architecture, engineering, finance, urban planning, urban design, traffic and transportation planning, and development economics.

“You are a remarkable individual and huge asset to Telfer. The many contributions that you make to student learning are likely not recognized enough. Thank you for continuing to motivate students, advise faculty and provide entrepreneurial leadership,” Barbara J Orser, MBA, PhD, Deloitte Chair in the Management of Growth Enterprises, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

Firestone was a founding director for and patron of the Ottawa Art Gallery, vice-chair of CIRA (Canadian Internet Registry Authority), first publisher of Ottawa Business News (now Ottawa Business Journal) and founding executive director of a Canadian registered not-for-profit organization, which focused on educating and mentoring entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and artpreneurs in Canada and around the world.

Prof Bruce has launched or helped launch more than 300 startups in fields including tech, real estate, design, art, entertainment, and services. He advises clients on business modeling, self-financing, smart marketing, social media, differentiated value, strategic selling and business development, market channel development, harnessing the internet and mobile web, urban design, real estate development, finance, retirement strategy, design economics, product management, sponsorship, fundraising and development economics as well as issues related to entrepreneurial organizations including not-for-profits, NGOs and charities.

Currently, Firestone writes for one blog, and is a columnist for Ottawa Business Journal.

“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your recent ProjectSpeaker column—it will be a big hit with our readers. I always enjoy your pieces, but this is without a doubt one of my favorites. It has a fantastic narrative—I love the opening skateboard anecdote, which sets a great tone—and contains a clear theme and tight focus,” Peter Kovessy, Editor, Ottawa Business Journal @peterkovessy

Dr Firestone has been an operations research engineer, real estate developer, hockey executive, professor of architecture, engineering, business and entrepreneurship, real estate broker (with Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc), writer, researcher, consultant, coach, columnist and novelist. He is a peerless husband and father of five great kids and two fine grandsons.

More About Prof Bruce

Bruce applied to go to McGill University in Montreal, at 14, arrived after turning 15 and graduated as a civil engineer before legally an adult (then age 21). He was rejected in his first job search because he was considered too young and, hence, not legally responsible for his actions. Three and a half weeks later, he was living in Sydney, Australia. A new and exciting labor government had just been elected. First two things Prime Minister Gough Whitlam did were recall Aussie troops from Vietnam and lower the age of majority to 18.

Firestone worked for the New South Wales government doing operations research and building mixed integer-programming models to solve significant environmental issues that LGAs (Local Government Authorities) in the Sydney Region were facing at the time. While there, he continued his education at the University of New South Wales where he obtained his Masters of Engineering-Science degree, and then at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he received his PhD in Urban Economics.

He was among the first group in Australia to fly hang gliders and not die. He has traveled/worked in Canada, Australia, the United States, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, India and many other nations.

“Entrepreneurs follow a moral path when they—first, take care of their business so second, the business can take care of their families so that, third, their families can take care of them so, fourth, they don’t become a burden on society or their fellow human beings, so, fifth, they can help others so that, sixth, others can help their business,” Bruce M Firestone

Firestone got his start in business his late 20s with just $10,000 for a downpayment and a yard of guts, which he invested in a faltering business that he turned into a commercial real estate empire; this became the foundation for a successful bid to bring the National Hockey League back to Ottawa after a nearly 60-year hiatus. In just nine years, that business grew from $350,000 in revenues to $120 million. Firestone put it all on the line, risking tens of millions of dollars, to bring the Senators back to Ottawa. It was a high tension, multi-faceted endeavor with all the suspense of a Borgia series, with competing cities and political interests aligned against his team’s bid. Their resulting success changed the city of Ottawa and brought a sense of pride to all of Canada at a time when the country was going through another tough recession, and had already lost two existing NHL teams, in Quebec and Winnipeg.

Firestone got his start in business his late 20s with just $10,000 for a downpayment and a yard of guts, which he invested in a faltering business that he turned into a commercial real estate empire; this became the foundation for a successful bid to bring the National Hockey League back to Ottawa after a nearly 60-year hiatus. In just nine years, that business grew from $350,000 in revenues to $120 million. Firestone put it all on the line, risking tens of millions of dollars, to bring the Senators back to Ottawa. It was a high tension, multi-faceted endeavor with all the suspense of a Borgia series, with competing cities and political interests aligned against his team’s bid. Their resulting success changed the city of Ottawa and brought a sense of pride to all of Canada at a time when the country was going through another tough recession, and had already lost two existing NHL teams, in Quebec and Winnipeg.

Firestone moderates a lively @ProfBruce community on Twitter. He is also author of Don’t Back Down, the Real Story of the Founding of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and Why Big Leagues Matter, Quantum Entity trilogy, Real Estate Handbook, Entrepreneurs Handbook II, Real Estate Investing Made Easy, Retire Rich Retire Early, and Great Quotes for Entrepreneurs.

His latest novel is: Jenna’s Story, a book about what might happen to societies if the concentration of wealth in the hands of the top 0.01% of the population continues unabated. Firestone plans to release two more novels—Urban Nirvana and the Peradventures of Maddy Henderson, and Saragasso City. He is also working on a new book about how to animate real estate investment portfolios to produce above average returns while, at the same time, contributing to making our cities and towns more interesting, more diverse, denser and more intense places to live and work and play.

“Congratulations Prof Bruce, you’ve got a winner here. After reading ‘Part I – Discovery’, I was totally hooked on Quantum Entity. It’s better than ‘The Goal’ and more entertaining even than ‘Dune’!” David Perry, Partner, Perry-Martel International, co-author, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0

Firestone is married to Dawn MacMillan. They have five great kids and two fine grandsons.

His current motto is: “Making Impossible Possible”.

Awards and Memberships

Nominated as an Ottawa Amazing Person 2017

The Capital Builders Canada 150 series 2017

Inducted into Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame June 2012

Awarded Canada 125 Anniversary Honorary Medal

Member, Stanley Cup Monument Committee

Member, Commercial Services Division, Ottawa Real Estate Board

Honourary Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, International Honour Society for Collegiate Schools of Business, March 2008

Exemplary Course Designation, Design Economics, Canada Architectural Accreditation Committee, 2004

Winner, Educator of the Year Award, OCRI EduGala, Ottawa, 2002

Member, Ottawa Commonwealth Games 2014 Bid Committee

Member, Community Budget Advisory Team, City of Ottawa

Member, Kanata Economic Development Task Force

Member, Ottawa International Airport Authority Planning Committee

Founding Member of CIRA’s (Canadian Internet Registry Authority) Marketing and Branding Committee

Member, NHL Executive Advisory Committee, NHL Expansion Committee, NHL Marketing and Public Relations Committee

Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Art Gallery and Firestone Art Collection

Member, Ottawa 67s Advisory Board, 1998/99