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Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, teacher of the deaf, inventor, scientist (born 3 March 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland; died 2 August 1922 near Baddeck, NS). Alexander Graham Bell is generally considered second only to Thomas Alva Edison among 19th- and 20th-century inventors. Although he is best known as the inventor of the first practical telephone, he also did innovative work in other fields, including aeronautics, hydrofoils and wireless communication (the “photophone”). Moreover, Bell himself considered his work with the deaf to be his most important contribution. Born in Scotland, he emigrated to Canada in 1870 with his parents. Bell married American Mabel Hubbard in 1877 and became a naturalized American citizen in 1882. From the mid-1880s, he and his family spent their summers near Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, where they built a large home, Beinn Bhreagh. From then on, Bell divided his time and his research between the United States and Canada. He died and was buried at Baddeck in 1922.

Article

Leo Yaffe

Leo Yaffe, OC, FRSC, educator, nuclear scientist, university administrator (born 6 July 1916 in Devil's Lake, North Dakota; died 26 May 1997 in Montreal, QC). Yaffe was an authority in nuclear chemistry and throughout his career he advocated for the peaceful use of atomic energy (see Nuclear Energy). He has been the recipient of many honours and awards.

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Peter Henderson Bryce

Peter Henderson Bryce, physician, public health official (born 17 August 1853 in Mount Pleasant, Canada West; died 15 January 1932 at sea). Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce was a pioneer of public health and sanitation policy in Canada. He is most remembered for his efforts to improve the health and living conditions of Indigenous people. His Report on the Indian Schools of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories exposed the unsanitary conditions of residential schools in the Prairie provinces. It also prompted national calls for residential school reform.

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Lillian Dyck

Lillian Eva Quan Dyck, OC, scholar, feminist, senator, advocate for Indigenous rights (born 24 August 1945 in North Battleford, SK). Lillian Dyck was the first Indigenous woman in Canada to earn a PhD in science. She was also the first Indigenous female senator and the first Chinese Canadian senator. During her time in the Senate, she was part of several actions to improve life for Indigenous people in Canada. This includes work on criminal justice and Indigenous education reform, and bills to reinstate Indian Status to women who had lost it based on sexist laws. Dyck was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2021.

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Laurent “Dr. Kill” Duvernay-Tardif, CQ, football player, doctor (born 11 February 1991 in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, QC). Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is an offensive lineman with the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He was the 10th player ever drafted into the NFL from Canadian college and university football, and is the first Quebec-born football player to win a Super Bowl championship. Duvernay-Tardif is also the first active NFL player to become a doctor. He opted out of the 2020 season to work at a Montreal long-term care facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was made a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec in 2019. In 2020, he was named a Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, as well as co-winner (with soccer player Alphonso Davies) of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.

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Judie Alimonti

Judie Barbara Alimonti, immunologist (born 13 March 1960 in Kelowna, BC; died 26 December 2017 in Ottawa, ON). Alimonti made a significant contribution to one of Canada’s greatest achievements in medical science and public health, the development of the Ebola vaccine. (See also Medical Research.) From 2010 to 2015, Alimonti managed the Ebola vaccine during a time when research was underfunded. Alimonti received little recognition for her work during her lifetime, and her colleagues have called her the unsung hero of the Ebola vaccine story.

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Werner Israel

Werner Israel, OC, FRS, FRSC, physicist (born 4 October 1931 in Berlin, Germany; died 18 May 2022 in Victoria, BC). Werner contributed new insights to the field of physics and is perhaps best known for his research on black holes. During his career, he collaborated with the English physicist Stephen Hawking.

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Canada’s Walk of Fame

Canada’s Walk of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to honouring Canadians who have achieved excellence in the fields of arts and entertainment, science and technology, business, philanthropy and athletics. Modelled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it stretches along 13 city blocks in Toronto’s Entertainment District. Each inductee’s name and signature are etched onto a plaque embedded on the sidewalk, along with a star resembling a maple leaf. Inductees are honoured at an annual, nationally broadcast gala in Toronto. More than 210 people have been inducted since the Walk was founded in 1998.

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Israel Halperin

Israel Halperin, CM, mathematician, human rights activist (born 5 January 1911 in Montreal, QC; died 8 March 2007 in Toronto, ON). Halperin advanced mathematical knowledge in the fields of operator algebras and operator theory. (See also Mathematics.) He became embroiled in the Gouzenko Affair in 1946 when he was accused of being an informant for the Soviet Union. After this ordeal, Halperin returned to his post as a professor at Queen’s University, later also teaching at the University of Toronto. Beginning in the 1970s, he created letter-writing campaigns that aimed to end human rights abuses and free political prisoners.

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Grant Allen

Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen, writer, historian, scientist (born 24 February 1848 in Alwington, ON; died 25 Oct 1899 in London, England). Grant Allen spent most of his youth in Canada, and completed his formal education in France and England, where he graduated from Merton College, Oxford, in 1871.

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David Suzuki

David Takayoshi Suzuki, CC, OBC, geneticist, broadcaster, environmental activist (born 24 March 1936 in Vancouver, BC). A Japanese Canadian, David Suzuki was interned with his family during the Second World War. He later became one of Canada’s most popular scientists and media personalities. He is best known as the host (1979–2023) of the longest-running science show on television, CBC’s The Nature of Things, and for his work as an environmental activist. He has received ACTRA’s John Drainie Award for broadcasting excellence and the Canadian Screen Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award. A Companion of the Order of Canada, he has also received the Order of British Columbia and been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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Flordeliz Osler

Flordeliz (a.k.a. Gigi) Osler (née Sharma), FRCSC, senator, physician and educator (born 1968 in Winnipeg, MB). Dr. Osler is an Otolaryngology – Head and Neck surgeon (ENT) surgeon and has practiced in Winnipeg since 1998. She was the past president of the Canadian Medical Association, making her the first female surgeon and the first woman of colour to assume the role. Osler was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2022, making her the second senator of Filipino descent and the first woman of Filipino heritage to sit in the Senate.

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Henri J. Breault

Henri Joseph Breault, medical doctor, anti-poisoning advocate (born 4 March 1909 in Tecumseh, ON; died 5 September 1983 in Exeter, ON). Breault is known for spearheading a national campaign to prevent accidental childhood poisonings. He advocated for the development of the Palm-N-Turn, a safety cap that drastically reduced child deaths due to poisoning in Canada and around the world.