At the age of 12, he left the small town of Aprigliano in Calabria, Italy, and ended up in Toronto after a difficult passage through Ellis Island. One year later, in 1930, he was selling doughnuts door-to-door near his home on Ossington Avenue, struggling to earn some pocket change.
Mariano learned construction skills from his father and at the age of twenty-four, started his own company, Dell Holdings (later The Elia Corporation). In the 1950s, Dell was considered one of Canada’s top five general contractors.
At thirty-four, he developed the country’s first successful satellite community, Erindale Woodlands, on 450 acres in Mississauga. The project was considered risky at the time because of its sheer size and rural location.
This same drive and determination led him to later build large housing developments, schools and government buildings.
Follow the timeline of Marino’s life from his childhood to his death from cancer in 2006.