Mr. Dimitrakopoulos immigrated to Canada from Greece with his family 45 years ago with nothing but his bag. He didn’t even know how to speak English he said. However, within a few years, he started setting up a colossal business empire by simply selling parking-space.
The Greek-Canadian underlines that the parking lot business is a reliable way for someone to make profit, as parking space is something that is always needed.
“Nonetheless, that doesn’t grant you that you will become rich. You have to be a good manager and calculate every move. You can easily go bankrupt if you pick a bad location to set up a parking,” Dimitrakopoulos highlighted.
Mr. Dimitrakopoulos was born into farming family near the Greek city of Kalithea. When he was 12 years old, he moved to Athens. He had work experience in the newspaper business, in selling and delivery. When he was 19, he got a job as a bus driver and married his wife Soula. In 1969, the couple along with their young child Gus, decided to leave Greece to seek better luck in Toronto, Canada.
At first, things were tough as they were all alone in a new country, with no friends or relatives. In addition, they didn’t speak any English. Immigration officials helped them settle in Toronto and begin English lessons.
Dimitrakopoulos, before attaining his own business empire, worked for Lou Golan, a businessperson that was managing a parking lot near the busy corner of Bay and Bloor street.
Golan helped Dimitrakopoulos set up his first parking lot business by finding him some promising spots.
He ran several successful projects before he moved to London in 1994. Now he owns the Metro Parking in London with nine lots in the downtown core, a relatively small local competitor to North American giant Impark, with about 60 lots in the city.
He feels content with his choice to leave Greece back in 1969, as Greece suffers from a deep crisis from which few people can escape. He is very grateful for the opportunities that Canada gave him.
The couple also has a daughter, Pat, who was born in Canada but now lives in Greece with her husband.
Dimitrakopoulos and his wife travel frequently to Greece to visit their family, which has now extended to grandchildren and a great-grandchild