Can You Name These Famous Canadian Heroes?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s best-known heroes and heroines.

1 / 20
Hawker Hurricane Fighter planes
Photo: Paulpixs/Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Woman who headed Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes flown by Canadian and Allied airmen in the Battle of Britain.

2 / 20
Elsie MacGill
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Library and Archives Canada/Public Domain

Answer: Elsie MacGill

Known as the “Queen of the Hurricanes,” Elsie MacGill was the first woman to earn her master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (which she received in 1929) and became the first female engineer in Canadian history.

Learn about the Canadians who helped make D-Day a success.

3 / 20
Great Wall of China
Photo: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Man who rode the Great Wall of China in a wheelchair to raise money for spinal cord research.

4 / 20
Rick Hansen
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Francesco Cataldo /CC BY-SA

Answer: Rick Hansen

A three-time world champion in wheelchair racing, Hansen wheeled more than 40,000 kilometres in 34 countries to raise awareness for spinal cord research and wheelchair sports between 1985 and 1987.

Did you know the electric wheelchair was invented by a Canadian? Find out 20 Canadian inventions that changed the world.

5 / 20
Painting of the War of 1812
Photo: Everett Historical/Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Woman who walked 32 kilometres through the bush and swamps to warn British soldiers of a pending American attack in the War of 1812. (Hint: think chocolates!)

6 / 20
Painting of Laura Secord
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Lorne Kidd Smith/Public Domain

Answer: Laura Secord

In 1913, Frank P. O’Connor, the founder of a Toronto-based chocolate business, chose her name for his company because she was “an icon of courage, devotion and loyalty.”

Find out why 1815 is known as the year Canada didn’t have a summer.

7 / 20
Canadian highway
Photo: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Young man with an artificial leg who began in Newfoundland to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in 1981.

8 / 20
Statue of Terry Fox
Photo: meunierd/Shutterstock

Answer: Terry Fox

The annual Terry Fox Run has now been held in more than 60 countries around the world, making it the largest one-day fundraiser in cancer research.

These good news stories from around the world will brighten your day!

9 / 20
Sign describing racial segregation
Photo: Everett Historical/Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Nova Scotia woman who fought against racial segregation in 1946 and the first woman (other than the Queen) to have her photo on a Canadian bill.

10 / 20

Viola Desmond
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Viola Desmond

Prior to her 1946 arrest, Desmond mentored many young Black women in Nova Scotia through her beauty school business. She died in 1965 at the age of 50. In 2010, she was granted a posthumous pardon—the first ever in Canada.

Read up on more incredible Canadian women you didn’t learn about in school.

11 / 20
Manitoba official flag
Photo: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

A founder of the province of Manitoba and a political leader of the Métis people seeking to preserve their rights and culture.

12 / 20
Louis Riel
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Louis Riel

Riel was executed in 1885 for high treason. Initially regarded as a traitor by early Canadian historians, Riel is now commonly seen as a hero who fought to protect his people from the Canadian government.

Did you guess Louis Riel correctly? You might find these tricky history questions more challenging.

13 / 20
Medicine lodge of Siksika Nation
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Provincial Archives of Alberta

Name This Canadian Hero

A Siksika leader’s quote: “What is life? The flash of a firefly in the night. The breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. The little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

14 / 20
Chief Crowfoot
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Alex Ross/Public Domain

Answer: Chief Crowfoot

Crowfoot played an essential role in the passing of Treaty 7 in 1877: a deal in which the Canadian Crown promised the Blackfoot Confederacy financial compensation, hunting privileges and reservations in exchange for land rights of what is now southern Alberta.

Here are 10 Canadian history podcasts worth adding to your playlist.

15 / 20
Vintage sewing machine
Photo: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

On a snowy Friday night in 1964, this woman fired up her Singer sewing machine and sewed the first version of the Canadian flag as we know it.

16 / 20
Row of Canadian flags
Photo: GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

Answer: Joan O’Malley

The new flag made its first official appearance on Feb. 15, 1965—now the National Flag of Canada Day.

Don’t miss these other mind-blowing facts about Canada.

17 / 20

Canadian heroes - vintage microscope
Photo: Shutterstock

Name this Canadian hero

Together with Charles H. Best, this Canadian doctor isolated insulin—a medical discovery that saved millions of lives by making diabetes a manageable condition.

18 / 20

Canadian Heroes - Dr Frederick Banting
Photo: Public domain / Archives of Ontario / Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Dr. Frederick Banting

Dr. Frederick Banting made his world-changing discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 2021. Although it wasn’t a cure for diabetes, it would add years to the life expectancies of those living with the condition.

Find out the 10 greatest Canadian health discoveries.

19 / 20
Pacific coast of Canada
Photo: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

A woman who raised sheep dogs, wrote stories and found her inspiration for painting in the tall forests and Indigenous villages of the Pacific Coast.

20 / 20
Canadian heroes - Emily Carr Painting
Photo: Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Emily Carr

Closely associated with the Group of Seven, Carr was one of the few major female painters in North America and Europe.

Next, read up on 20 Canadian heroes you might not know about—but should.

Originally Published in Our Canada

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