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The Greatest Canadian

The Greatest Canadian
The Greatest Canadian logo
Genre Documentary
Developed by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Written by Gary Pearson
Directed by Guy O'Sullivan
Original release 17 October 2004

Officially launched on 5 April 2004, The Greatest Canadian was a 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 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 1
  • Other editions 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Top 10

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 Gretzky, WayneWayne Gretzky Hockey player, holder of numerous NHL records Brantford, Ontario Grey, DeborahDeborah Grey
9 Bell, Alexander GrahamAlexander Graham Bell Scientist, inventor,
founder of the Bell Telephone Company
Edinburgh, Scotland Solomon, EvanEvan Solomon
8 Macdonald, Sir John A.Sir John A. Macdonald First Prime Minister of Canada Glasgow, Scotland Gray, CharlotteCharlotte Gray
7 Cherry, DonDon Cherry Hockey coach and commentator Kingston, Ontario Hart, BretBret Hart
6 Pearson, Lester B.Lester B. Pearson Fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada,
United Nations General Assembly President,
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Toronto, Ontario Gross, PaulPaul Gross
5 Suzuki, DavidDavid Suzuki Environmentalist Vancouver, British Columbia Auf der Maur, MelissaMelissa Auf der Maur
4 Banting, Sir FrederickSir Frederick Banting Medical scientist, co-discoverer of insulin,
winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Alliston, Ontario Walsh, MaryMary Walsh
3 Trudeau, PierrePierre Trudeau Fifteenth Prime Minister of Canada Montreal, Quebec Murphy, RexRex Murphy
2 Fox, TerryTerry Fox Athlete, activist, humanitarian Winnipeg, Manitoba Lee, Sook-YinSook-Yin Lee
1 Douglas, TommyTommy Douglas Father of Medicare, Premier of Saskatchewan Falkirk, Scotland Stroumboulopoulos, GeorgeGeorge Stroumboulopoulos

Other editions

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

See also


  1. ^ "Who is The Greatest Canadian? CBC viewers respond". The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "AOL TV". Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Suuret Suomalaiset | Arkistoitu". 1 June 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ [2]

External links

  • The Greatest Canadian at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Greatest Canadians from the CBC Archives – Clips about the lives and accomplishments of the Top 10.
  • - Grands Canadiens (French)
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