Top 10 Canadian Inventions

No, we’re not just known for inventing lacrosse and hockey… Canadians are credited with some very important inventions, in fact, that make every day life more manageable. From sports to gadgets to all-important supporters, here are the top 10 Canadian inventions that the world can thank us for.

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In 1891, James Naismith was a Canadian gym teacher who is credited with creating the game of basketball. Although this may be a more popular sport south of the border, we Canucks can be credited with inventing it.


The walkie-talkie as we know it today was produced by Canadian inventor Donald Hings in the 1930s. He created it for his company CM&S in British Columbia and it was originally known as a “packset.”

Snow blower

Of course we’re the ones behind this helpful gadget – how else would we get out of our driveways from January till March? Canadian Arthur Sicard produced the first snow blower in 1925, and today we hail him as a true Canadian idol (not… probably very few Canadians even know we’re responsible for this invention).


The world over should give Canada a big collective “thank you!” for helping support the lowest and droopiest of the bunch so that perkiness can prevail. The Wonderbra brand was made in Canada by Moses (Moe) Nadler, founder and majority owner of the Canadian Lady Corset Company.


Probably one of the most notable and important Canadian inventions ever, insulin, which was created by Dr. Frederick Banting, an Alliston, Ontario native and Nobel laureate. He shared credit with his colleague Dr. Charles Best.

Peanut butter

Jelly was never the same after this Canadian invention. While Native Americans may have been slathering this sweet and savoury spread on toast (?) for centuries, Canadian and Montreal native Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented the concoction in 1884 and therefore gets credit for “inventing” peanut butter.

Garbage bag

Thank goodness for Winnipegger Harry Wasylyk, the man behind the modern-day garbage bag. He, along with Larry Hansen of Lindsay, Ontario, invented a disposable green polyethylene garbage bag – they were first intended for commercial use at places like hospitals and quickly became a household must.


How else would we keep our ski jackets closed in the chilly winter months?! Canadian electrical engineer Gideon Sundback made the first modern-day zipper in 1913, improving upon models of inventors before him.


We all know that Alexander Graham Bell wins the prize for inventing the telephone, but did you know that he did so while living in Canada? Born in Scotland, his family emigrated to Nova Scotia when he was young and hence the telephone is credited as being a Canadian-made invention.


Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird (no, not a goose), it’s a plane (not Air Canada), no, it’s Superman, a hero across the globe but one who was created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster in 1932. We’ll definitely take some of the credit for this one!

Photo: DC Comics