Justin Trudeau — the details of his life, then and now

Not without reason, the impending arrival of Canada's first tattooed, strip-teasing, amateur boxing, marijuana-reforming prime minister has piqued the interest of political junkies at home and around the world.

Prime minister-designate will soon return to childhood home at 24 Sussex Drive

The impending arrival of Canada's first tattooed, strip-teasing, amateur boxing, pro-marijuana prime minister has — not without reason — piqued the interest of political junkies at home and around the world.

Many of them turned to Google shortly after the Liberals painted the country red on Monday for details about Trudeau and the family (some say "dynasty") that will soon place a second of its members in the country's top job. 

Family ties 

Justin Pierre James Trudeau was born on Dec. 25, 1971, in Ottawa. His father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was partway through his first term as prime minister and had married Justin's mother, Margaret, earlier that year. 

The Trudeaus had two other children before separating in 1977. Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau was born two years to the day after his big brother — he is now a documentary filmmaker— and Michel Trudeau arrived on Oct. 2, 1975. 

There were politicians on both sides of Justin Trudeau's family. His maternal grandfather James Sinclair served as minister of fisheries in the cabinet of Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent. 

At 43, Trudeau will be the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history, after Joe Clark, who was 39 when he toppled Pierre Trudeau in 1979. 

Trudeau also has three half-siblings — Kyle Kemper and Alicia Kemper, from his mother's second marriage; and Sarah Coyne, whose mother, constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne, was in a relationship with Pierre Trudeau for some 15 years.   

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau carries his son Justin past a saluting guard at an Ottawa garden party in August 1973. (Rod MacIvor/Canadian Press)

The family tree has other notable if remote, branches. Deborah Coyne — who made a run for the Liberal leadership before joining the Green Party as a policy adviser — was once married to veteran journalist Michael Valpy, and is a cousin of the National Post's Andrew Coyne. Valpy and Andrew Coyne both contribute to, or appear on, CBC News. 

Michel Trudeau was killed in an avalanche in 1998, and Pierre Trudeau died of prostate cancer in 2000. 

Home life 

When Trudeau returns to 24 Sussex Drive, the prime minister's official residence will again be home to three young children. 

Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire, first met when they were children. But romance reportedly bloomed when they crossed paths as co-hosts of a charity ball in 2003, when Grégoire was an entertainment reporter. They started dating and were married in a Catholic ceremony on May 28, 2005, in Montreal's Sainte-Madeleine d'Outremont Church.

Justin Trudeau picks pumpkins with his wife, Sophie Grégoire, and their children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, on Oct. 12 in Gatineau, Que. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Their first child, Xavier James, was born two years later. A daughter, Ella-Grace Margaret, followed in February 2009 and the couple welcomed a second son, Hadrien, in February 2014. 

Trudeau and family relocated from Montreal to Ottawa's Rockcliffe Park neighbourhood shortly after he won the Liberal leadership in 2013. 

Net worth

Justin Trudeau's campaign was aimed squarely at the middle class, though he and his family are themselves well-heeled. 

When Trudeau was running for the Liberal leadership, his campaign told the Ottawa Citizen his personal holdings were worth $1.2 million. 

Most of that was inherited from his father, but Trudeau was also paid for speaking engagements he gave before and after becoming an MP. 

He and his brother also inherited their father's mansion in Montreal.

The Trudeau fortune goes back to the 1920s when his grandfather, Charles-Émile Trudeau, owned a chain of gas stations and shares in the Montreal Royals baseball team. 

Heartfelt eulogy 

In his 2014 memoir Common Ground, Trudeau said his father had kept his cancer a secret from him, and he was angry when he heard about it from his brother Sacha. 

But his heartfelt eulogy — delivered before such dignitaries as Cuban President Fidel Castro, former U.S president Jimmy Carter and Prince Andrew — marked the end of his father's life in politics while also signalling the start of his own. 

"Simple tolerance, mere tolerance, is not enough," Trudeau, then 28, told the crowd in French.

"We need genuine and deep respect for each and every human being, notwithstanding their thoughts, their values, their beliefs, their origins. That's what my father demanded of his sons and that's what he demanded of his country."


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