Skip to main content

He's the scion of one of Canada's most famous families. She's a member of one of Montreal's fanciest clans. And they're set to merge.

Television personality Ben Mulroney, the eldest son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, got engaged to his girlfriend Jessica Brownstein last Friday.

Ms. Brownstein, a fashion stylist and designer, is quite literally from a well-heeled Montreal family.

Story continues below advertisement

The Brownstein family is behind the Browns shoe retail empire, founded by Ms. Brownstein's great uncle Morton Brownstein in 1940. Her second cousin, Michael Brownstein, is now the company's CEO.

Her parents, Stephen and Veronica Brownstein, are described as being in the "textile industry."

But the proposal was anything but high fashion. The Canadian Idol and eTalk Daily host proposed to Ms. Brownstein over lunch at Nick's, a Montreal diner.

The couple, who have been dating for about a year, have known each other since they were teenagers, according to Mr. Mulroney's Canadian Idol spokeswoman, Allie Page.

Mr. Mulroney, 31, and Ms. Brownstein, 28, were both raised in the tony anglophone enclave of Westmount. Nick's, a neighbourhood institution, is a spot they've visited since they were children.

"They just blend in. There's never any commotion. They're very friendly," manager Karyn Doke said yesterday. "I hear they were introduced here."

Last Friday, the restaurant was bustling, so the couple had to sit at the counter, where Mr. Mulroney popped the question.

Story continues below advertisement

Before Ms. Brownstein, Mr. Mulroney dated Wendy Merry, a film publicist from Los Angeles, and former Breakfast Television host Liza Fromer.

No wedding date has been set, but if the nuptials of Mr. Mulroney's older sister were any indication, it may be a lavish affair. In September, 2000, Caroline Mulroney wed Andrew Lapham, the son of former Harper's magazine editor Lewis Lapham, in Montreal. The 400-guest event was attended by such notables as Queen Noor of Jordan and former U.S. president George Bush. It featured a performance by Vancouver singer Michael Bublé.

While Mr. Mulroney and Ms. Brownstein declined to comment yesterday, friends of the couple were quick to give their congratulations.

"She's vivacious, and spirited and lovely," said Seamus O'Regan, a friend of Mr. Mulroney since their days as co-hosts on CTV's Chatroom, via e-mail. "And he's smitten."

The engaged duo's ordering style may be a clue that they are, indeed, fans of stability and routine.

"She always eats a salad," Ms. Doke says. "And he always eats a bacon cheeseburger with fries. And a Black Cherry [cola]"

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter