Canadians You Never Knew: How’s Aboot That?


Canada is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It has some of the finest natural wonders around. There’s the Northern Lights, Niagara Falls, and of course Ryan Gosling.

But whilst we know Ryan Gosling as one of Canada’s finest exports, starring in the likes of Drive, The Ides of March, and the ladies’ favourite, The Notebook, the Great White North has also given us some of the most culturally important figures in history. And Justin Bieber.

Here, we take a look at those Canadians who you never know were natives, but have certainly left their mark on the world.

James Cameron


“I’m the King of the World!” “I’ll be back.” “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Just three gifts legendary director James Cameron has given us. But little did we know that all his dreams – dreams of making the two highest-grossing films of all time, dreams of creating one of the most iconic characters in science fiction history – all came from a bedroom in Kapuskasing, Ontario.

The Terminator creator attended school in Niagara Falls before moving to California when he was 17 which is where he would eventually make his breakthrough movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – a movie which spawned from a nightmare he had whilst ill with food poisoning.

30 years later, Cameron’s films have grossed approximately $6 billion worldwide, and there is plenty for us to look forward to with three sequels to Avatar expected from 2016.

Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu - correresmidestino

It’s common knowledge that Canadians lead the way in ice hockey and curling, but did you know one man from Toronto is also the main man when it comes to poker?  Daniel Negreanu has almost $30 million in poker tournament earnings, topping the all-time poker money list, and has collected six World Series of Poker bracelets.

Last year he won WSOP Player of the Year, and in 2009 he even appeared in a Katy Perry music video – although he couldn’t get the better of her as she trumped his four kings with four aces. Likely story.

Scott Abbott & Chris Haney

Every enjoyed a family evening answering questions on Science & Nature, Geography, and Entertainment? Then you have these guys to thank. Chris Haney and Scott Abbott – both members of the press in Montreal – invented the game of Trivial Pursuit in 1979 and have since sold over 100 million boards worldwide.

The pair met covering the 1976 Summer Olympics in the city, and got to work on creating the game which sits proudly in the Games Magazine Hall of Fame. Sadly, Haney passed away in 2010 following a long illness, but his legacy will be forever remembered as one of Canada’s greatest inventions.

Neil Young

Alongside Leonard Cohen, Neil Young is a true music legend. Although with songs like “Ohio” and “Philadelphia,” you might not expect that the 68-year-old rock god came out of Toronto.

To this day Young remains one of the hottest tickets in the world, headlining Glastonbury, London’s Hyde Park, and arenas across the planet. He’s even gone into technology as CEO of Pono Music, a digital music service. We’re just happy that with 20 million records sold, he’s still rockin’ in the free world.

James Naismith

James Naismith - correresmidestino

Of course we all know Rick Fox, Joel Anthony, and the great Steve Nash have represented the Maple Leaf in the NBA, but little did we know that the NBA wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for one James Naismith of Almonte.

Born in 1861, the sports coach invented the sport of basketball as a 30-year-old and introduced it to Springfield College in Massachusetts before founding the University of Kansas basketball programme that has seen Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Brown, and Kirk Hinrich all pass through the Jayhawks and into the NBA.

Matthew Perry Matthew Perry - correresmidestino

From Canada to Central Perk, Matthew Perry lit up our screens as Chandler Bing for 10 years. He, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey are synonymous with New York. They are New York’s finest. They are part of the way the city is shaped.

But actually there’s a little bit of Bytown that created that. Raised in the lovely city of Ottowa, the 45-year-old spent much of his childhood in the city before moving to LA to star in Friends alongside roles in The Good Wife, and The Ron Clark Story.



About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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