The Greatest Canadian (2004)

TV Mini-Series  |  Documentary, Biography, History
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After listing the top 50 Canadians voted as the greatest, 10 celebrities each state their case to the viewers why they should select their top 10 member is the greatest of all.

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5 nominations. See more awards »


Series cast summary:
(1 episode, 2004)
Mike Enright ...
(archive footage) (1 episode)


In this series, Wendy Mesley presents a list that the participating public has voted as the Greatest Canadians in the country's history. However, the top 10 list is listed alphabetically, not by vote. Among those 10, who is the Greatest of all? One of the Prime Ministers like John A. Macdonald, Lester B. Pearson or Pierre Trudeau? One of the scientists like the insulin inventing Dr. Frederick Banting, the environmental crusader, David Suzuki, or the multi-disciplined inventor, Alexander Graham Bell? The ardently conservative hockey pundit Don Cherry or the equally steadfast socialist politician, Tommy Douglas? Is it the great hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, or the courageous cross-country runner/cancer activist hero Terry Fox? Celebrities from various walks of life state their case for why their particular Canadian should be the one, but it will be the votes of the viewers that will make the final decision. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

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Release Date:

17 October 2004 (Canada)  »

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Did You Know?


The 10 greatest Canadians according to the show:
  • 1. Tommy Douglas

  • 2. Terry Fox

  • 3. Pierre Elliott Trudeau

  • 4. Sir Frederick Banting

  • 5. David Suzuki

  • 6. Lester B. Pearson

  • 7. Don Cherry

  • 8. Sir John A. Macdonald

  • 9. Alexander Graham Bell

  • 10. Wayne Gretzky

See more »


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User Reviews

We stand of guard for thee.
19 May 2005 | by (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I have to agree that this list is somewhat of an embarrassment.

This show was a bit of a shock to me. As Canadians we pride ourselves on our nation as a whole. Though we do have many Canadians who distinguish themselves, we have a tendency to defer to a national gestalt rather than single out one specific person. We pride ourselves on our clean air, safe cities, our cultural mosaic, and our health care system; that, despite its problems, is still the envy of many nations.

To celebrate a past or present citizen who contributed to this nation is something that is long past due. However, to rate them like a pop music billboard chart is absurd.

Within that top ten format the selections are a tapestry of the distinguished and the ridiculous. Many have objected that Don Cherry is on this list. I have to agree. Cherry, no doubt is a Canadian icon. It just seems ironic that an illiterate, ex-hockey coach is sitting pretty at number seven when Mordacai Richler, Margaret Atwood and - gasp - Glenn Gould are absent!

Perhaps we should take a long hard look at our nation the next time we choose to rate the contribution of it citizens. Perhaps we should look past the fleeting pop culture consumerism that has engulfed us to see what has got our nation to where it is, and perhaps a clearer picture of where we are heading.

Stephen McDonald May 19, 2005 Whitby, Ontario, Canada.

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