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Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their mansion basement

17 December 2017

But as word of Honey and Barry Sherman's deaths spread, neighbors, family members and people who had been touched by the billionaire couple's philanthropy found themselves poring over the final weeks of the Shermans' lives - trying to figure out why investigators had described their deaths with the word "suspicious".

Mr Sherman founded generic drugmaker Apotex in 1974, then built it into one of the world's largest pharmaceutical makers.

"All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time", the company said in a statement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "saddened by news of the sudden passing". His wealth amounted to about $3 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which lists Sherman as the 12th richest Canadian businessman.

The two were found dead after police responded to a medical call just before noon at their home in an affluent section of northeast Toronto.

"The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way", said Constable David Hopkinson.

He added that he hoped the police investigation would provide answers for those who were mourning the loss.

A Toronto police source told The Globe and Mail their bodies were found Friday, seated on the edge of their basement lap pool, hanging from a railing that surrounded the pool. (9NEWS) Post-mortem examinations will be conducted on Barry and Honey Sherman.

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Investigators are still attempting to "determine if there is foul play involved or not", Detective Brandon Price told reporters, "and at this point we can not say 100% with certainty if there is or there is not".

Ontario's health minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins, said the couple had been discovered dead. Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in healthcare.

The real estate agent who had been helping to sell the pair's North York home found the bodies. "Barry, Honey, rest in peace". Apotex specializes in manufacturing generic versions of prescription drugs.

The Shermans, who had four children, were major donors to hospitals, universities and Jewish organisations.

Sherman was born in Toronto, Canada in 1942 and was the youngest to ever enter into the University of Toronto's Engineering Science program at age 16.

Canadian Senator Linda Frum tweeted she is "gutted" after hearing the philanthropic couple had died. They also donated roughly $50 million to the United Jewish Appeal. "Whether it was education, health care or community centres she was at the centre of raising money and giving money", he said.

Police said later Friday evening that they are not now seeking any suspects but are keeping an open mind on all possibilities.

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their mansion basement