#1 Telephone

Inventor: Alexander Graham Bell

Origin: Brantford, Ontario (1874)

On July 26, 1874 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone at his family summer home in Brantford, Ontario. In August, 1876 he made the world’s first successful long-distance telephone call between Brantford and Paris, Ontario.

Source: https://www.brantford.ca/en/things-to-do/history.aspx

#2 Peanut Butter

Inventor: Marcellus Gilmore Edson

Origin: Montreal, Quebec (1884)

Peanut butter is a tasty treat that’s been around since 1884! Invented by pharmacist Marcellus Gilmore Edson, from Montreal Quebec. His product had “a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment”. Peanut Butter is a yummy treat enjoyed in many homes across the world!

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_butter

#3 Basketball

Inventor: James Naismith

Origin: Springfield, Massachusetts (1891)

The game of basketball was created by Canadian James Naismith. He was teaching a physical education class at the YMCA training school (now known as Springfield College) in Springfield Massachusetts. He was looking for an active indoor game for faculty & students to play in order to use the gym during the winter months. The game started with a soccer ball & two peach baskets.

Source: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/james-naismith

#4 Five Pin Bowling

Inventor: Thomas F. Ryan

Origin: Toronto (1909)
The game of 5 pin bowling happened for a very simple reason…10 pin was too heavy & hard to play! Thomas F. Ryan co-founded The Toronto Bowling Club. After hearing negative reviews about 10 pin bowling, he cut down the size of the balls & took away 5 pins. This made it easier for people to hold the ball & enjoy the game!

Source: https://strikepointbowling.ca/5-pin-history/


#5 Egg Carton

Inventor: Joseph Coyle

Origin: British Columbia (1911)

Canadian Journalist & Publisher Joseph Coyle from Smithers British Columbia, overheard a hotel owner & farmer arguing, because the farmer repeatedly delivered broken eggs. Joseph Coyle was a creative man & designed a carton made of newspaper to fit the shape of each individual egg. The idea took off & Joseph Coyle patented his idea in 1918.

Source: https://www.bcmag.ca/bcs-joseph-coyle-inventor-egg-carton/

#6 Insulin

Inventor: Sir Frederick Banting

Origin: Toronto, Ontario (1921)

Insulin was discovered in 1921 by Sir Frederick Banting, and later developed in a lab at the University of Toronto, by Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James J.R. Macleod, and J.B. Collip.

Source: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/culture/clmhc-hsmbc/res/doc/information-backgrounder/decouverte-insuline-insulin-discovery

#7 Road Lines

Inventor: John D Millar

Origin: Quebec/ Ontario (1930)

Imagine a world without lines on the roads…you think there are wild drivers now? Before the 1930s people relied on honking, sleigh bells, and other car tracks on the road! When traffic got heavier & more accidents occurred, it was time for a solution. John D Millar was an inventor and engineer that thought of the idea to paint lines on the road. He worked for the Ontario Department of Transport when he came up with the idea. The worlds first painted road was on a stretch of highway between Quebec and Ontario in 1930! Not long after this, the idea took off all over North America!

Source: https://www.canadashistory.ca/explore/science-technology/made-in-canada-handy-to-have

#8 Paint Roller

Inventor: Norman Breakey

Origin: Toronto, Ontario (1940s)

The paint roller was created and intended for one simple task…to apply paint quicker without sacrificing a smooth finish. Up until Normans invention, the only way to paint was with a brush! Unfortunately, Norman Breakey did not have enough supply to manufacture the product & did not patent the idea before he passed away in 1965. Other designers used his design and developed the product over the years. The paint roller has changed the painting industry we see today!

Source: https://primetimepaint.ca/paint-roller-piece-of-toronto-history/

#9 The Pager

Inventor: Al Gross

Origin: New York City (1949)

Canadian inventor Al Gross developed & patented the first telephone connected pager. The pagers were first used at New York City’s Jewish Hospital. In 1960 Motorolla coined the name pager. Pagers lived their best life in the 80s and 90s, however they are still used by some public safety & health care professionals today.

Source: Bellis, Mary. “History of Pagers and Beepers.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/history-of-pagers-and-beepers-1992315.

#10 Pacemaker

Inventor: John Hopps (Electrical Engineer)

Origin: Toronto (1949/1950)

The pacemaker is designed to help control abnormal heart rhythms & uses electrical pulses for the heart to beat at a normal pace. John Hopps was an electrical engineer working at the Banting Institute in Toronto in 1949. At the time medical & engineering teams did not collaborate. Until one day when John Hopps was approached by cardiac surgeons Dr. Wilfred G. Bigelow and his assistant Dr. John C. Callaghan, who were working on trying to slow down a heartbeat during open heart surgery. By 1950 John Hopps designed and built the first external pacemaker.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cardiac_pacemaker#History

#11 Garbage Bags

Inventor: Harry Wasylyk & Larry Hansen

Origin: Winnipeg, Manitoba (1950)

In 1950, Canadian inventors Harry Wasylyk from Winnipeg, Manitoba & Larry Hansen from Lindsay, Ontario invented the garbage bag. This product was created to help solve a problem. What would you do with your garbage before their invention? The garbage bag was first intended for commercial use & was sold to the Winnipeg General Hospital. It was later sold to Glad and transformed into an everyday household product we use today!

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Wasylyk

#12 Alkaline Battery

Inventor: Lewis Urry

Origin: Ohio (1950s)

Canadian inventor Lewis Urry studied Chemical Engineering at The University of Toronto in 1950. When he finished his studies, he started working for Canadian National Carbon Company. At the time they were making Eveready batteries. A few years later the company moved him to work at their research lab in Ohio. Lewis Urry was tasked to create a longer lasting battery. The battery he developed was tested on a toy car. After a very successful test, Everyready batteries had their product on the market fast. Today we know Everyready as Energizer!

Source: https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/lewis-f-urry

#13 Fiberglass Hockey Goalie Mask

Inventor: Jacques Plante

Origin: New York City (1959)
Hockey without facemasks would be a dangerous game. Jacques Plante is a former Montreal Canadians goalie who invented an essential piece of hockey equipment. Jacques Plante took one too many pucks to the face, after many stitches he designed & wore the first fiberglass goalie mask. The mask first debuted at a Montreal Canadian / New York Rangers game at Madison Square Gardens in New York City on November 1st, 1959.

Source: https://www.nhl.com/news/the-night-plante-made-goaltending-history/c-383063


#14 IMAX

Inventor: Robert Kerr, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and William Shaw

Origin: Expo 67, Montreal (1967)

In 1967 a group of Canadian filmmakers introduced the creation of IMAX! Robert Kerr, Graeme Ferguson and Roman Kroitor participated in various multi-screen film experiments at Expo 67 in Montreal. They were tasked with creating a large-format film for a different festival in Japan. The team needed help & recruited engineer William Shaw. They designed a new camera system & filmed in image maximum (IMAX). The first IMAX movie aired at an expo in Osaka, Japan. The film was Tiger Child! In 1971 the first permanent IMAX theatre was setup in Toronto at Ontario Place.

Source: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/imax-systems-corporation

#15 Caesar Cocktail

Inventor:  Walter Chell

Origin: Calgary, Alberta (1969)

In 1969 Walter Chell was working at the Calgary Inn. He was challenged to make a signature cocktail for the new Italian restaurant opening at the Inn. He believed the drink should taste like an Italian dish. Walter Chell perfected the recipe & now the Caesar cocktail is a drink enjoyed by many Canadians today!

Source: https://www.foodnetwork.ca/shows/great-canadian-cookbook/blog/boozy-history-caesar-cocktail/