Canadian Tech Innovations

This Canada Day, Celebrate Our Canadian Tech Innovations!

Canada is home to some great sports teams, majestic natural locales and, of course, our wonderful & diverse peoples. Add to that, our country has also been home to some prolific technological innovations that have truly helped change the course of the world.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most influential tech inventions that you may or may not know originated by Canadians, and in Canada, eh?

The telephone

This communications device and technology that changed the way we conversed with one another was invented by Alexandar Graham Bell way back in 1877. The Scottish-born entrepreneur lived in Brantford, ON when he used his interests in speech and hearing with the deaf to further his studies in sound transmission. Had it not been for Bell and his telephone, the smartphone that we have come to rely so heavily on today may never have seen the light of day.

Wireless radio/human voice transmission

Quebec-born Reginald Aubrey Fassenden, who was the first to transmit the sound of a human voice to another location without the use of wires in the early 1900s. His first broadcast was that of a Christmas concert to a series of ship crews that were sailing in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

The artificial pacemaker

The life-saving pacemaker was developed by John Hopps, an electrical engineer from Winnipeg. Basing his device on research from Dr. Wilfred G. Bigelow and Dr. John C. Callaghan from Toronto’s Banting Institute, he developed the first cardiac pacemaker in 1950. The device has been saving plenty of lives since the first version was implanted into a human in 1958.


Do you enjoy going to the movies and watching a film in IMAX? You have three Canadian filmmakers to thank for that – Grahame Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, and Robert Kerr.  They built an art installation for Expo 67 in Montreal back in 1967. Based in Mississauga, ON, they developed a projector that could really make films come alive, displaying a movie 10-times large than was possible using traditional 35mm frames, while still maintaining stellar quality. Several years later, the first IMAX movie was introduced, and the rest is history.

BlackBerry Messaging

Though mobile phones had been around for a while, the BlackBerry Messaging service, was the first means of mobile communications which allowed users of the phones to engage in text-based conversations with one another, in real-time. No cumbersome short messaging service (SMS), i.e. texting, but the ability to have a true line-by-line, encrypted conversation. Sadly, BlackBerry’s unwillingness to license the service to other companies led to the development of competing services, including WhatsApp, and Apple’s iMessage.  Still, it was BBM that started it all.


When it comes to combating the mountains of snow we can get in some areas of the country, it’s no surprise that it was a Canadian, Arthur Sicard of Montreal, who first came up with the idea for a snowblower. He invented the machine, which helps easily shift snow way back in 1925, saving many a Canadians’ back and arms from the terrible task of manually shovelling.

Instant replay

You know when you see an awesome play in the hockey game and wish you could see it again? Thanks to the instant replay, you can! That technology was developed by Canadian and CBC producer, George Retzlaff, and later first appeared during a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast way back in 1955. How did they do it? Simply by using a telerecording replay several minutes after the original clip aired live. The development of the instant replay then led to the idea of slow-motion replay, making every sports fan at home a referee as they watched the replay of an event in slow motion to determine the appropriate call. Today, of course, every TV and remote includes features like pause and rewind.

Computer trackball

How did we ever navigate through a computer screen without a trackball? While today’s computers include trackpads and touch screens, back in the early days, we needed a convenient way to navigate. In 1949, Canadian engineers Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff, along with British colleague Kenyon Taylor, developed the first trackball using … a five-pin bowling ball! While the original idea was to develop something that could be used for radar following World War II, and was called the DATAR, trackballs are now found in everything from our computer mice to other tracking gadgets.


George Klein is the inventor of the Canadarm – a robotic arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), used on NASA’s Space Shuttle in 1981. It was built in Brampton, ON by MDA Space Missions, and flew on 91 shuttle missions over a span of 30 years, helping to capture and repair satellites, position astronauts, maintain equipment, and move cargo.


On Canada Day, let’s celebrate our Canadian ingenuity and innovativeness.  Happy Birthday Canada! We wish you many, many more scientific and technological breakthroughs.


Adapted from Original Source: WifiHifi

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