Underrated Canadian Heroes

A list of seven overlooked visionaries

I once read a quote, “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who often do”. I thought it was very insightful, but then I realized I was on Facebook, and it was just my aunt posting another one of those annoying inspirational memes and kept scrolling.

These seven Canadians are underappreciated heroes, visionaries, and geniuses. I think we should erect a statue of each of them and hold a day of celebration in their honour.

James Lewis Kraft

December 11, 1874 is a day that will be celebrated for generations to come, that is the day that James Lewis Kraft was born in Fort Erie, Ontario. He didn’t invent processed cheese, but he won a patent for a processing method that would later become key for Kraft Dinner.


(Photo by Andrea Vail)


Thomas F. Ryan

Your 7th birthday party would have sucked without Thomas F. Ryan, he invented five-pin bowling in Toronto in 1909 as an alternative to ten-pin which some people found too strenuous.


(Photo by Liza Lagman Sperl)


Walter Chell

The first Caesar was invented in Calgary, Alberta in 1969 when Walter Chell was opening a new restaurant. It was inspired by an Italian dish that consists of spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams. Some people say there is a fine line between genius and crazy, and I believe that to be true in this situation, because this crazy bastard thought clams and tomato sauce would make a good drink, and he was right.


(Photo by Ruth Hartnup)


Fernard Lachance

I cry a single tear every time I think of the fact that my grandparents once lived in a world without poutine. As the legend goes, it was invented in 1957 in Warwick, Quebec when Fernard Lachance, a restaurant owner was asked by a patron, Eddy Lainesse, to put a handful of cheese curds on his fries.


(Photo by Mathieu Plourde)


Marcellus Gilmore Edson

Peanut butter dates back to the Aztecs, but in 1884 A Montreal Pharmacist and absolute visionary, Marcellus Gilmore Edson, patented it for the first time as a food for people who can hardly chew. This sparked a kind of peanut butter revolution that would birth peanut butter as we know it today.


(Photo by Denise Krebs)


John McIntosh

Macintosh Apples are widely considered one of the worst apples in the apple community, but in 1811, farmer John McIntosh grafted the first tree that would produce McIntosh apples in South Dundas, Ontario. McIntosh apples were the inspiration for the name of Macintosh Apple computer, so their legacy lives on.


(Photo by The Marmot)


James Naismith

Basketball was invented by a Canadian, but not in Canada. James Naismith was working as a physical education professor in Springfield, Massachusetts when he invented a crude form of basketball to keep his students busy inside on a rainy day.


(Photo by Chilli Head)

(Main photo by Andrew Dobrow via )