The Greatest Canadian

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The Greatest Canadian
TV the greatest canadian logo.jpg
The Greatest Canadian logo
Developed byCanadian Broadcasting Corporation
Written byGary Pearson
Directed byGuy O'Sullivan
Country of originCanada
Original release17 October 2004

The Greatest Canadian was a 2004 television program series by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to determine who is considered to be the greatest Canadian of all time, at least according to those who watched and participated in the program. The project was inspired by the BBC series Great Britons.

Radio-Canada, the national publicly funded French-language broadcasting agency, was not involved in The Greatest Canadian project, reducing the input of Canada's French-Canadian minority over the results. The CBC did, by law, make its website available in French, however.

The "Greatest Canadian" was not decided by a simple popular poll, but was instead chosen through a two-step voting process.

On 17 October 2004 the CBC aired the first part of The Greatest Canadian television series. In it, the bottom 40 of the top 50 "greatest" choices were revealed, in order of popularity, determined by polls conducted by E-mail, website, telephone, and letter. To prevent bias during the second round of voting, the top ten nominees were presented alphabetically rather than by order of first round popularity.

This second vote was accompanied by a series of documentaries, where 10 Canadian celebrities acting as advocates each presented their case for The Greatest Canadian. Voting concluded on 28 November at midnight and the following evening, 29 November, the winner was revealed to be Tommy Douglas.

The series has a spiritual sequel, The Greatest Canadian Invention.

Top 10[edit]

On 17 October 2004, the top 10 nominees were revealed in alphabetical order, and on 29 November the top 10 were announced in order of votes:[1]

Rank Image Name Notability Birthplace Advocate
10 Wgretz edit2.jpg Wayne Gretzky Hockey player, holder of numerous NHL records Brantford, Ontario Deborah Grey[2]
9 Alexander Graham Bell.jpg Alexander Graham Bell Scientist, inventor,
founder of the Bell Telephone Company
Edinburgh, Scotland Evan Solomon
8 Brady-Handy John A Macdonald - cropped.jpg Sir John A. Macdonald First Prime Minister of Canada Glasgow, Scotland Charlotte Gray
7 Cherry Maclean2.jpg Don Cherry Hockey coach and commentator Kingston, Ontario Bret Hart
6 Lester B. Pearson with a pencil.jpg Lester B. Pearson Fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada,
United Nations General Assembly President,
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Toronto, Ontario Paul Gross
5 Image-David Suzuki speech head shot.jpg David Suzuki Environmentalist Vancouver, British Columbia Melissa Auf der Maur
4 Fredrick banting.jpg Sir Frederick Banting Medical scientist, co-discoverer of insulin,
winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Alliston, Ontario Mary Walsh
3 Pierre Trudeau.jpg Pierre Trudeau Fifteenth Prime Minister of Canada Montreal, Quebec Rex Murphy
2 TerryFoxToronto19800712.JPG Terry Fox Athlete, activist, humanitarian Winnipeg, Manitoba Sook-Yin Lee
1 Tommycropped.jpg Tommy Douglas Father of Medicare, Premier of Saskatchewan Falkirk, Scotland George Stroumboulopoulos

When the top 10 finalists were announced, Wayne Gretzky asked his supporters to vote for Terry Fox.

Other editions[edit]

Other countries have produced similar shows, see also: Greatest Britons spin-offs

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who is The Greatest Canadian? CBC viewers respond". The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  2. ^ Bill 101

External links[edit]