In advance of Canada’s 150th birthday, Canadians have sent the federal government a top 10 list of the country’s greatest heroes. Most of them are famous or really well-known, so we decided to dig a little deeper and find out some of their best-kept secrets. Check them out below:
10 things you didn’t know about Canada’s greatest heroes
What you did know:Romeo Dallaire was the head of the UN Peacekeeping force sent to stabalize Rwanda during the genocide in 1994.
What you didn't know:In 2000, Dallaire attempted suicide by combining alcohol with his anti-depressant medication. He's remained an outspoken supporter of veterans' mental health ever since.Getty Images
What you did know:Wayne Gretzky was an incredible hockey player who scored a record 50 goals in 39 games.
What you didn't know:No other NHL player will ever wear No. 99; the league has retired it.Getty Images
John A. Macdonald
What you did know:Our first Prime Minister helped confederate the provinces to form Canada in 1867. He also oversaw the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
What you didn't know:He was the first person to throw up in the House of Commons.The Canadian Press
What you did know:Jack Layton's final election campaign saw his party become the Official Opposition for the first time in history.
What you didn't know:Olivia Chow's mother didn't like him. That changed after he attempted to say "Thank you" in Cantonese, only to realize he actually said "Thank you for the good sex."Getty Images
What you did know:Environmental activist and host of The Nature of Things, David Suzuki is an advocate for world issues ranging from the AIDS/HIV epidemic to global warming.
What you didn't know:Following the attack on Pearl Harbour in WWII, Suzuki and his family were sent to an internment camp in British Columbia.The Canadian Press
What you did know:Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station.
What you didn't know:Chris Hadfield actually helped build the International Space Station (ISS), installing the Canadarm2 in 2001. Getty Images
Lester B. Pearson
What you did know:Lester B. Pearson ditched the old British-Canadian flag, introduced universal medicare and also ushered in the Canada Pension Plan.
What you didn't know:While working with the Royal Flying Corps in WWI, he crashed his first solo flight. After recovering from that, Pearson was hit by a bus in London.The Canadian Press
What you did know:Known as the father of socialized medicine in Canada, Douglas introduced both universal hospitalization in Saskatchewan in 1949 and a Medicare plan for the province in 1959.
What you didn't know:Actor Kiefer Sutherland is the grandson of Tommy Douglas (his mother is Shirley Douglas).The Canadian Press
What you did know:Terry Fox inspired millions with his Marathon of Hope, where he ran an average of 42 km per day with the goal of collecting one dollar from every Canadian for cancer research.
What you didn't know:Fox was the first Canadian to appear on a Canadian coin (The Terry Fox dollar).The Canadian Press
What you did know:Pierre Trudeau fought and won to keep Quebec a part of Canada during the referendum, and passed a reform to completely separate Canada from Britain.
What you didn't know:He dated some interesting women, including singer Barbra Streisand and movie star Margot Kidder. The Canadian Press