Real Estate News Exchange (RENX)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Leslie to become president at Skyline Retail; Driedger moves to board

Craig Leslie has been promoted to president of Skyline Retail REIT, as of June 30. (Courtesy Skyline)
Craig Leslie has been promoted to president of Skyline Retail REIT as of June 30. (Courtesy Skyline)

Skyline Retail REIT is about to undergo a change at the top, with Gordon Driedger stepping aside as president and Craig Leslie accepting a promotion into the role.

The Guelph-based REIT is focused on essentials-anchored retail assets in secondary and tertiary markets across Canada. The transition will take effect on June 30.

Driedger, who has been Skyline Retail’s president for the past eight years, will remain active with the trust as a trustee on its board of directors.

“Gord has been an instrumental part of the growth of the retail REIT since its inception a decade ago,” Jason Castellan, the co-founder and CEO of Skyline Group of Companies said in the announcement.

“We are grateful for his expertise and guidance to curate a high-quality and resilient portfolio, and his transition to a trustee of the REIT will promote future continuity and support.

"We look forward to seeing the REIT continue its growth trajectory under new leadership.” 

Under Driedger’s leadership, Skyline Retail REIT has grown into one of Canada’s largest private retail owners and operators. It holds interests in 113 properties valued at approximately $1.62 billion in four Canadian provinces (as at March 31).

Its 5.29 million square feet of space is 96.7 per cent occupied.

History of strong annual returns

“It is my pleasure to have been part of the fantastic Skyline team over the past eight years, working to provide value for our many investors,” Driedger said in the announcement.  

“I have seen first-hand that the entrepreneurial Skyline environment is consistently well-funded and focused on quality, and I look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of Skyline Retail REIT.” 

Since its inception, Skyline Retail has realized an annualized return of 12.26 per cent, including 11.87 per cent annualized returns over the past three years.

Leslie joined Skyline Retail in 2023 and has been the trust’s vice president. He will take on overall responsibility for the REIT’s continued growth and performance.

Leslie has two decades of experience across both the Canadian and U.K. real estate markets.

Prior to joining Skyline, he was the director of retail asset management at Morguard REIT, and spent a total of six years with the company.

He had also spent about eight months as asset manager, retail asset management with RioCan REIT, where he oversaw a portfolio of approximately 7.4 million square feet of assets valued at $1.8 billion.

Earlier in his career, Leslie held consulting roles at some of Canada's largest accounting and real estate firms, having started his career in the U.K. with two global real estate brokerages. 

About Skyline Retail REIT 

Skyline Retail REIT is a privately owned and managed portfolio of retail properties, focused on acquiring properties with service-oriented, national-brand tenants in secondary and tertiary communities across Canada. 

Skyline Retail REIT is distributed as an alternative investment product through Skyline Wealth Management Inc., the preferred exempt market dealer for the REIT.


Industry Events