Canada is home to some of the world’s most influential and inspiring people who have made significant contributions to the Country. Read More!
Top 20 Most Influential and Inspiring Canadians [Updated]
Top 20 Most Inspiring Canadian You Should Know About
Although Canada has a small population, it has the world’s most inspirational, influential, and talented people in different fields, including history, medicine, technology, entertainment, sports, politics, humanitarians, etc. Today’s article will give you a list of the top ten most influential and inspiring Canadians. Read on!
These 20 amazing Canadians have made a significant impact through their actions and words, inspiring people all over the world.
1. Gord Downie
Gord Downie is an inspiration for thousands of Canadians due to his strong commitment and dedication to his field of work despite battling terminal brain cancer in the last years of his life. Downie made significant efforts to make Canada a better place for all communities, including the indigenous people.
Besides, Downie became a prominent voice for spreading awareness among the indigenous community and promoting its rights. The incredible plight in native Canadians today is due to Downie’s result-driven speeches and concerts, making him one of Canada’s most inspirational and influential individuals. Downie’s legacy will always remain in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people in Canada.
2. David Suzuki
David Suzuki is an influential Canadian, human rights and environmental activist, and scientist. Suzuki has put life in campaigning for environmental awareness and making Canada a healthier, greener, and sustainable place to live.
In addition, Suzuki is the host of “The Nature of Things,” one of the most popular television shows in North America. Suzuki also writes columns on global warming, climate change, ecosystems, economic inequality, and sustainability.
Suzuki believes a healthy environment is essential for human survival on earth, and to make this happen, governments across the world must develop sophisticated strategies. Moreover, David Suzuki encourages young people to play their role in mitigating the harmful effects of global warming and climate change through his T.V. show and weekly columns published in different newspapers across Canada.
3. Terry Fox
Terry Fox is one of the most inspirational and famous Canadians due to his strong commitment, devotion, spirit, and dedication toward raising awareness of bone cancer. Although Terry Fox suffered from bone cancer and died in 1981, thousands of people remember the start athlete for his courageous and heroic journey for raising bone cancer awareness and money for research.
Today, thousands of Canadians participate in over 28 counties to raise money for bone cancer research. Fox left marks on the heart of people with his incredible dedication to health research in Canada.
4. Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky, also known as the “Great One,” is a former ice-hockey player loved by hundreds of thousands of Canadians for his unique talent. Canadians consider Wayne the greatest ice-hockey player in the world, thanks to his incredible career, including 61 NHL, 40 season, 15 playoff, and 6 All-Star records.
That’s the reason Gretzky is an inspiration for many young individuals who want to become successful ice-hockey players. Gretzky has inspired an entire generation of people to play ice hockey like him and ace their performance on the field.
5. Viola Desmond
Viola Desmond is a role model for thousands of women in Canada, thanks to her assertiveness, positivity, and leadership style. Desmond made substantial efforts to introduce new and effective ways to train her graduates to operate a successful business and become lucrative players in the market.
Besides, Desmond is an inspiration for people of color, particularly women, to play their role in society without falling victim to racism. Desmond encouraged black women to stay committed and work hard to achieve their goals. Moreover, Desmond’s leadership style and humanitarian agenda inspired many people to make their dreams come true.
6. Frederick Banting
Sir Frederick Banting was a scientist and physician who discovered insulin, a hormone that regulates and controls blood glucose levels. Banting’s exceptional contribution toward scientific research made him famous throughout the world.
The top scientist became the first Canadian to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology. Likewise, he was the youngest Canadian to receive the awards at the age of 32, making him an inspiration for today’s researchers, scientists, and medical students.
7. Lester Bowles Pearson
Lester Bowles Pearson is famous for his heroic and daring endeavors to make the world a better and safer place for everyone. Pearson’s work as a diplomat and politician is an inspiration for many people seeking change in Canada, including young individuals.
Not only is Pearson famous for his assertive style to improve Canadias’ lives, but he also focused on encouraging people to stay original and promote Canadian culture. Although Pearson died in 1972, thousands of people remember him for his extraordinary contributions towards Canada’s prosperity, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
8. Nellie McClung
Nellie Letitia McClung is an inspiration for young women in Canada who want to promote equal rights and the feminist agenda. Today, women believe that McClung worked diligently to change the lives of Canadian women.
McClung created and joined various social support groups, but she also fought for the rights of women. Today, Canadians remember McClung for heroism and dedication toward the people of Canada, including women. McClung spent her entire life enhancing the lives of young girls and women.
9. Clara Hughes
Clara Hughes is an inspiration for sports, speed skating, and cycling athletes and fans. Hughes is famous for her outstanding achievements as a cyclist and speed skater despite being a victim of major depressive disorders.
Clara shows young Canadians that mental health conditions must not hinder them from achieving success through her incredible commitment. Besides, she was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. Clara has also received numerous awards.
10. Chris Hadfield
Chris Hadfield is a former Canadian astronaut and an inspiration for young researchers, scientists, and space pilots. Hadfield has earned various civilian and military awards for his outstanding work as an astronaut.
Not only is Hadfield famous in Canada, but he is also well-known in the U.S, U.K., and other countries. Hadfield was the first Canadian astronaut who traveled to space. The Royal Canadian Mint commemorated him on silver and gold coins.
11. Tommy Douglas
Tommy Douglas is an unsung hero of Canadian politics. He was born in Scotland and immigrated to Canada at the age of six. He entered politics determined to ensure all Canadians had access to healthcare, but he encountered much resistance from colleagues and members of the public who were suspicious of socialized medicine.
Despite the opposition, Tommy Douglas persevered and worked steadfastly to bring universal healthcare to the nation. To this day, he is remembered as the Father of Medicare and remains a true symbol of Canada’s commitment to social justice and equity for everyone.
12. William Shatner
William Shatner‘s incredible success in the entertainment industry is a story for all to admire. This world-renown actor and writer are known for his iconic performance as Captain James T Kirk in the classic sci-fi TV series Starship Enterprise, captivating fans worldwide. Later, he transitioned into film with roles such as The Negotiator and Miss Congeniality.
In addition to his accomplishments on screen, he is an acclaimed musical talent, having released numerous albums of both traditional music and spoken word poetry. His career speaks volumes of his creativity, longevity, and diversity, proving that limits can only be achieved when self-imposed.
13. Michael J. Fox
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Michael J. Fox continues to inspire people around the world with his perseverance and determination. His journey began when he shot to fame playing Michael Keaton on TV’s Family Ties before landing a leading role in the Back to the Future movie series.
After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he made a courageous decision to publicly reveal the news and use his visibility to create awareness of the condition and encourage research into it. He has since established his own foundation, which has donated millions of dollars towards researching a cure while also providing hope and comfort for those living with the disease.
14. Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams can be considered an artist of many talents; whether it is his work in music, photography, or activism, he leaves his mark everywhere. With over 80 million records sold around the world and several number-one singles throughout Europe, Bryan has earned himself a place amongst music’s elite. The hits keep coming with classics like ‘Summer of ’69’ and ‘Heaven,’ securing Bryan Adams as not only a great songwriter but a performer too.
To compliment his musical success, Bryan is also an incredible photographer, with collections of his work displayed at various galleries. Finally, giving back to societies, he engages in various charitable causes, demonstrating the altruistic qualities of this immensely talented artist.
15. Celine Dion
Celine Dion is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, and her impact on pop culture can’t be ignored. Since she first broke out onto the scene in 1981, she has stayed at the top of the charts, lending her iconic voice to some unforgettable songs. She is most known for her song “My Heart Will Go On,” which won her an Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as five Grammy Awards.
Her other hits have made her a household name and an artist whose legacy will live on forever. Whether she’s selling out stadiums or collaborating with top producers, Celine Dion continues to dazzle audiences with her powerful performances and captivating musicality. She will always remain a symbol of success and perseverance in the music industry.
16. Neil Peart
Neil Peart was an iconic figure in the music world who has left a legacy of memorable tunes and insightful lyrics. His career with Rush spanned five decades, during which he contributed his impressive talent to multiple awards-winning works. He received universal critical acclaim as a drummer, achieving notable accomplishments such as induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983.
As well as being renowned for his prolific skills behind the drums, Peart was acclaimed for his lyrical contributions to Rush’s songs, which often contained science fiction references along with creative wordplay. His impact on modern rock music has been immense, and he will continue to inspire those around him long after his passing.
17. Alexander Graham Bell
A pioneer in communication technology, Alexander Graham Bell forever changed the world through his creation of the telephone. Originating from a modest upbringing in Edinburgh, Scotland, Bell soon moved to the United States and rose to great fame after receiving a patent for the telephone in 1876. He was passionate about the power of scientific invention and believed that education was essential for profitability.
Known for more than just inventing the telephone, Bell also experimented with aeronautics, worked towards integrating telegraph operation, and had a strong influence on teacher-student communication. One thing is certain from his illustrious career of innovation: the world would not be where it is today without Alexander Graham Bell’s contribution to human communications.
18. Geddy Lee
Since the early 70s, Geddy Lee has been a staple of the Canadian music landscape. His voice and bass guitar playing with Rush has helped the group become one of Canada’s most recognizable musical acts. Geddy Lee is respected by many as a master of his craft and an inspiration to generations of rock musicians; in addition to providing lead vocals and bass lines, he often adds synthesizers, keyboards, and orchestral arrangements to Rush’s recordings.
Furthermore, he has made numerous appearances at charity concerts and fundraisers for causes such as educational diabetes research. Geddy Lee continues to contribute to Canadian music as we know it today, inspiring young musicians worldwide.
19. Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels is a legendary figure. He has made an impact on the entertainment industry and will continue doing so for many years to come. As the producer and creator of Saturday Night Live, Lorne’s creativity and ingenuity have given us some of the funniest moments ever seen on television. He has been able to identify raw talent and shape it with masterful precision giving rise to some of television’s greatest comedic performers like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
Not just comedic actors but also successful Hollywood screenwriters were also discovered by Lorne, as evidenced by Mike Myers, who enjoys an iconic status in Hollywood today. It can be safely said that Lorne Michales changed the face of American comedy for audiences all over the world.
20. Margaret Atwood
Atwood‘s impressive list of literary works, including poetry, novels, and short stories, has earned her many accolades from organizations such as the Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Awards. Her most notable works include The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, and The Blind Assassin. Through these tales, she has touched upon a myriad of ideas that have been highly scrutinized by readers around the world.
Concepts such as monogamy and free will are explored in detail in her books, and their relevance in our lives allows us to experience deep thrills when reading them. Not only is Atwood successful in entertaining readers with her captivating writing style, but it also shines an important light on issues like gender inequality or discrimination against certain minorities that we can all relate to. Ultimately, Atwood is an impressive author whose work will still inspire many generations to come in the years ahead.
Everyone needs the inspiration to develop a deep-rooted motivation and passion for whatever they want to achieve in their lives. People take inspiration from different people in different ways. These top ten most inspirational and influential Canadians have indeed left marks on people’s hearts, encouraging them to make their dreams come true.
What are some of the most inspirational and influential Canadians?
Some of the most inspirational and influential Canadians include Alexander Graham Bell, Geddy Lee, Lorne Michaels, and Margaret Atwood. Other notable Canadians include Terry Fox, Pierre Trudeau, Bob Dylan, Wayne Gretzky, and David Suzuki.
What is the significance of Alexander Graham Bell’s contribution?
Alexander Graham Bell is renowned for his invention of the telephone. His invention revolutionized communication by making connecting with people from faraway locations easier. His work also paved the way for other innovations, such as the radio, television, and the internet.
What are some of Margaret Atwood’s most notable works?
Some of Margaret Atwood’s most notable works include The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, and The Blind Assassin. Through these tales, she has touched upon a myriad of ideas that have been highly scrutinized by readers around the world.
- Article based on personal opinion and research.
- Photos from Unsplash & Canva.