Important Names


People you should probably know....

All names appearing on this list can be found in the "Discover Canada, The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship" official Study Guide and are intended to be used in conjunction with the study guide. This list is not exhaustive.


Looking for a List of historical Dates?

Listed in the order found in "Discover Canada"

 Printable PDF here


King George III of England: Territorial rights were guaranteed through the royal proclamation of 1763. Established the basis for negotiating treaties with the newcomers.

Bill Reid: Totem pole artist from the Haida

John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir): Popular Governor General of Canada. Said immigrant groups should retain their individuality.

Marjorie Turner-Bailey: Olympian and descendant of black loyalists.

John Cabot: Italian immigrant to England who was the first to map Canada's Atlantic shore in 1497.

Jacques Cartier: Made 3 voyages to Canada between 1534- 1542 to claim the land in the name of the King of France. Cartier heard locals speak the Iroquoian word kanata – meaning “village”. Where the name Canada comes from.

Pierre de Monts & Samuel de Champlain: In 1604 established the first European settlements north of Florida.

Jean Talon, Bishop Laval & Count Frontenac: Leaders who built a French Empire in North America that reached from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

King Charles II of England: In 1670 this King granted the Hudson Bay Co. exclusive trading rights over the watershed draining into Hudson Bay.

Brigadier James Wolfe & Marquis de Montcalm: In the 1700's France and Great Britain battled for control of North America. In 1759 the British defeated the French at Quebec City (Plains of Abraham).These 2 commanders of both armies were killed in battle.

Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'lberville: A hero of New France. Won many victories over the British in the later 17th and early 18th centuries.

Sir Guy Carleton: Governor of Quebec who defended the rights of the Canadiens. Defeated an American led invasion of Quebec. Supervised the loyalist migration to Nova Scotia and Quebec in 1782.

Lt. Colonel John Graves Simcoe: Was Upper Canada's first Lt.Governor and founder of the City of York – now Toronto.

Mary Ann (Shadd) Carey: An outspoken activist in the abolition of slavery in the USA. In 1853 became the first woman publisher in Canada.

Major Gen. Sir Isaac Brock & Chief Tecumseh: Together fought against the American's attempt to conquer Canada in 1812.

Lt. Colonel Charles de Salaberry: In 1813 along with 460 soldiers, turned back 4,000 American invaders at Chateauguay.

Major Gen. Robert Ross: In 1814 led an expedition from Nova Scotia that burned down the White House.

Duke of Wellington: Chose Bytown (Ottawa) as the endpoint of the Rideau Canal. Thereby playing a huge role in deciding the national Capital.

Laura Secord: Pioneer wife & mother who made a dangerous 19 mile journey on foot to warn Lt. James Fitzgibbon of a planned American attack.

Lord Durham: An English reformer sent to report on the rebellions. Recommended that Upper & Lower Canada be merged and given Responsible Government. Also stated that French speakers should assimilate into English speaking culture.

Sir Etienne-Paschal Tache & Sir George-Etienne Cartier: Reformers who later became Father's of Confederation. Cartier was the key architect of Confederation from Quebec and helped negotiate the entrance of Northwest Territories, Manitoba and B.C. into Canada.

Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine: A champion of French language rights. Became the first head of Responsible Government in Canada in 1849. Worked with Robert Baldwin & Jospeh Howe and British Governors toward Responsible Government.

Lord Elgin: The Governor of United Canada. Introduced Responsible Government – the system we have today.

King George V: King of Britain who in 1921 assigned Canada's national colours – Red and White.

Sir Leonard Tilley: A father of Confederation from New Brunswick who suggested the term Dominion of Canada in 1864. He also inspired the phrase From Sea to Sea.

Sir John Alexander Macdonald: Canada's first Prime Minister. Father of Confederation. Born in Scotland 11 Jan. 1815. His portrait is on the $10 bill. January 11th is Sir John A. Macdonald day. He was a lawyer from Kingston, Ontario.

Louis Riel: Led an uprising when Canada took over the Northwest region from the Hudson's Bay Co. 12,000 Metis were not consulted about this. Seen by many as a hero, a defender of Metis rights and the Father of Manitoba.

Sir Sam Steele: A great frontier hero, Mounted Policeman and soldier of the Queen.

Gabriel Dumont: The Metis' greatest military leader.

Donald Smith: Also known as Lord Strathcona. Director of the Canadian Pacific Railway who drove in the last spike of the railway to the west coast.

Sir Wilfred Laurier: The first French Canadian Prime Minister of Canada since confederation. His portrait is on the $5 bill. 20th November is Sir Wilfred Laurier day.

General Sir Arthur Currie: Canada's greatest soldier.

Dr.Emily Stowe: Founder of the women's suffrage movement. First Canadian woman to practise medicine.

Sir Robert Borden: Gave women the right to vote in federal elections. First to nurses, then to women related to men in active wartime service.

Agnes MacPhail MP: In 1921 this woman became Canada's first female member of parliament.

Therese Casgrain: Due to this woman's work, Quebec granted women the vote in 1940.

Lt. Col. John McCrae: Composed the poem In Flanders Fields. Often recited on Remembrance Day.

Phil Edwards: A Canadian track and field champion from British Guiana. Won bronze medals in the '28, '32 and 1936 Olympics.

Orville Fisher: Artist whose painting depicts the D-Day landings on Juno beach.

Adolf Hitler: Dictator of Nazi Germany, who started the second world war when he invaded Poland in 1939.

Stephen Leacock, Louis Hemon, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, Pauline Johnson, Emile Nelligan, Robertson Davies, Margaret Laurence & Mordecai Richler: Novelists, poets, historians, educators & musicians who had a significant cultural impact.

Sir Ernest MacMillan & Healey Willan: Musicians.

Joy Kogawa, Michael Ondaatje & Rohinton Mistry: Writers.

Emily Carr: Part of the Group of Seven artists.

Jean-Paul Riopelle: Famous abstract artist from Quebec.

Louis-Philippe Hebert: Celebrated sculptor from Quebec.

Kenojuak Ashevak: Pioneered modern inuit art.

Denys Arcand, Norman Jewison & Atom Egoyan: Film makers.

James Naismith: Invented basketball in 1891.

Donovan Bailey: Olympic gold medalist in sprinting.

Chantal Petitclerc: Paralympic Gold medalist in wheelchair racing.

Wayne Gretzky: One of the greatest hockey players of all time.

Terry Fox: Lost his right leg to cancer. Began a cross- country run to raise funds for cancer research.

Rick Hansen: Circled the globe in a wheelchair to raise funds for spinal research.

Marshall McLuhan & Harold Innis: Pioneer thinkers in the fields of science and technology.

Gerhard Herzberg, John Polanyi, Sidney Altman, Richard E. Taylor,Michael Smith & Bertram Brockhouse: All Noble prize winning scientists.

Paul Henderson: In 1972 he scored the winning goal for Canada in the Canada-Soviet Summit series.

Catriona Le May Doan: Gold medal winner in speed skating at the 2002 winter Olympics.

Lord Grey: Governor General in 1909. Donated the famous Grey Cup to the Canadian Football League.

Alexander Graham Bell: Invented the telephone at his summer house in Canada.

Jospeh-Armand Bombardier: Invented the snow mobile.

Sir Sandford Fleming: Invented the worldwide system of time zones.

Matthew Evans & Henry Woodward: Invented the first electric light bulb and sold invention patent to Thomas Edison.

Reginald Fassenden: Contributed to the invention of the radio.

Dr. Wilder Penfield: Pioneering brain surgeon. Known as “the greatest living Canadian”.

Dr. John A. Hopps: Invented the cardiac pacemaker.

Mike Lazaridis & Jim Balsillie: CEO's of RIM (Research in motion)

Sir Frederick Banting & Charles Best: Discovered insulin to treat diabetes.

Queen Elizabeth II: Canada's head of state and Queen of Canada since 1952.

David Johnston: 28th Governor General since confederation. The sovereign's representative in Canada.

Lord Stanley: Governor General in 1892, and donated the famous Stanley cup for the National Hockey League.

Adrienne Clarkson: The 26th Governor General. Donated the Clarkson Cup for women's hockey.

Col. Alexander Roberts Dunn, Able Seaman William Hall, Cpl. Filip Konowal, Cpt. Billy Bishop, Cpt. Paul Triquet & Lt. Robert Hampton Gray: All awarded Canada's highest honour, the Victoria cross. The VC has been awarded to 96 Canadians since 1854.

Anne of Green Gables A much-loved story set in P.E.I by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Princess Louise Caroline Alberta: 4th Daughter of Queen Victoria. Both Lake Louise and the province of Alberta are named after her.

Robert W. Service: Poet. Famous for his poetry about the Gold Rush in the Yukon of the 1890's.

Sir William Logan: World famous geologist. Canada's highest mountain, Mt. Logan in the Yukon is named after him.

Martin Frobisher: An English explorer who explored the Arctic for Queen Elizabeth I. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut was formerly known as Frobisher Bay.


The above names appear in the Study Guide in the order listed to facilitate referring to the Guide for context and further information if required.


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