Top 15 Canadians of All Time: Our Definitive List
Top 15 Canadians of All Time: Our definitive list to blow your mind! That’s right, you have read so many best-of lists that we are sure by now there’s nothing more left to surprise you! But not this time. This time, we present you with THE definitive top 15 Canadians of all time. All those you thought came from the US but were actually Canadian, all the achievements and people that made Canada the great country it is today!
Unfortunately, we had to leave out many whom we highly regard, such as Chris Hadfield, William Shatner, Lorne Michaels, Martin Short, Seth Rogen, Ryan Reynolds and Mike Myers. But we are sure that our list will be as comprehensive as possible as it draws from many areas including science, sport, politics and entertainment.
15. Jim Carrey
There are indeed many who think Jim Carrey is American. But no, Carrey actually was born and grew up in Ontario. One of the most successful and acclaimed comedy actors of recent times; Jim once said that if it wasn’t for showbiz, he would be working at a steel mill in Hamilton, Ontario.
14. Shania Twain
The Queen of Country was actually born and raised in rural Ontario and now has stars on both Hollywood and Canada’s walks of fame. She is a force that dominated and changed country music across North America forever.
13. Arcade Fire
This is a bit of a cheat – Arcade Fire is actually a band hailing from Montreal. These oddballs have released one critically acclaimed work after another, and have become one of the most celebrated independent music acts of the 21st century.
12. Celine Dion
After Arcade Fire, we could not leave out the singer that, growing up in a large family in Charlemagne, Quebec, achieved unprecedented popularity in Western culture thanks to her hit ‘My Heart Will Go On’, the emotional pop-anthem from the movie ‘Titanic’.
11. James Cameron
And speaking of Titanic, it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss Canada’s most successful filmmaker living today. Mr Cameron has directed acclaimed works such as the Terminator series, Aliens, True Lies, Titanic and even Avatar, until recently the highest-grossing film of all time. But he is not only a director: his endeavoring as an environmentalist his well known, and in 2012 he became the first human to ever perform a solo descent of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point of the Earth’s ocean, aboard the Deepsea Challenger.
10. Tim Horton
Tim Horton was a full-time hockey legend during his lifetime, and a part time entrepreneur. It was from this part-time entrepreneurial spirit that he co-funded Tim Hortons, which remains today Canada’s largest coffee and donut chain, larger than McDonalds and Starbucks in the Canadian territory.
9. Neil Young
Neil Young is a singer and songwriter that has solidified his status as a living legend of folk-rock music prodigy in the last 45 years. One of the most celebrated songwriters and poets of his generations, he is today best remember for classics such as ‘Heart of Gold’, ‘Old Man’ and ‘Harvest Moon’.
8. Terry Fox
While Terry Fox might not be the world’s most famous Canadian, he is definitely a legend on its own among Canadians themselves. Terry was an athlete with cancer, which led to the amputation of his right leg. After that, he played wheelchair basketball and won many championships. He also ran across Canada in 1980 to raise money for cancer research, before succumbing to the disease when it spread to his lungs. People still remember him as a national hero.
7. Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd is not only one of Canada’s most famous comedians. He is also one-half of the Blues Brother (along with late John Belushi), an original member of ‘Saturday Night Live’, and, moreover, a Ghostbuster. Yeah, he’s that good.
Love him or hate him, the Toronto rapper and longtime Raptors supporter is a game-changer when it comes to rap music. His emotional, introspective lyrics, channeling doubt and hardship, have been the anthem of an entire generation of young rappers.
5. Pierre Trudeau
The father of PM Justin Trudeau is still remembered as one of Canada’s greatest leaders. He served as Prime Minister of Canada between 1968 and 1979. Then he served for a second term between 1980 and 1984. He is a figure that is both admired by his former party and respected by his political rivals.
4. Wayne Gretzky
‘The Great One’ is thought by many experts and fans to be the greatest hockey player of all time. He has more goals and assists than any other NHL player in history, and he left his heart around the continent since he played for multiple teams throughout his career. He’s a national icon and deservedly so.
3. Leonard Cohen
Widely regarded as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the century, as well as an exceptional poet, Cohen spent most of his life travelling throughout the world, but remains a Canadian born and bred.
2. Alexander Graham Bell
Scottish-born, definitely, but Graham Bell, inventor and scientist, completed his best research and work while living in Canada. He is credited with inventing and patenting the first working telephone. Ironically, he always proclaimed that his primary occupation was that of scientific research, and that the telephone would distract him from his studies. He never allowed himself to have one in his own office.
And our N.1 Canadian of All Time: Margaret Atwood
The writer, poet and feminist Margaret Atwood is highly regarded today as the preeminent voice of young women empowerment. Her masterpiece, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, deals with contemporary issues such as gender, identity, power, religion and mythology. She is also a prominent environmentalist and advocate of First Nations’ rights.
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