Photo cred - Canada Dry Canada

Torontonains are a creative and intelligent bunch. Unsurprisingly, we're responsible for a lot of the awesome things in the world, as well as some not so awesome things. Want to know some of the ways Toronto has left it's mark on the planet? Read on.

Buckley's Cough Syrup

Inventor: William Knapp Buckley

When: 1918

That's right son, the world's most awful-tasting-but-effective cold medicine came from right here in Tranah. To this day, you can find their headquarters up in Mississauga.

Crispy Crunch

Inventor: Harold Oswin

When: 1920s

Harold Oswin, an employee at Neilson Dairy, brought Crispy Crunch into the world by submitting his idea for a chocolate bar with peanut butter in the middle of it to a candy bar making contest (how awesome does that sound?). He won $5 for it, but at least he helped make the world a more delicious place.

Photo cred - DonkerDink

Instant replay

Inventor: CBC Television

When: 1955

Obviously, if instant replay came into existence in Canada, it would have to do with hockey. It all started during a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, when one of the producers decided to use a kinescope to play back some of that sweet, sweet action for the viewers at home.

The electron microscope

Inventor: J. Hillier, A. Prebus, E.F. Burton

When: 1938

The majority of the practical data we're able to observe about organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye got its start at U of T, where Hillier, Prebus, and Burton rolled in to change the science game forever.

The Jolly Jumper

Inventor: Olivia Poole

When: 1959

Poole was part Ojibway, and grew up watching people in her family putting babies in papooses. Once she'd gotten a baby of her own, she remembered how much babies love being slightly suspended from the ground, and put together the world's first Jolly Jumper for him, using a diaper and a harness.

Five-pin bowling

Inventor: Thomas F. Ryan

When: 1909

This may not come as too much of a shock, since this game can only be played in Canada. Ryan invented this game for a customer at his bowling alley who complained that ten-pin bowling was too much work. This dude was massively committed to customer service.

The pager

Inventor: Alfred J. Gross

When: 1949

The sexiest of all communication technology, brought to you by Toronto.

Photo cred - Terry Guy

Key-frame animation

Inventor: Nestor Burtnyk and Marcelli Win

When: Early 1970s

Key frames, for you laymen, are the significant frames that define major movement in any animation. So next time you're watching Bob's Burgers, remember that this wouldn't be happening to you if your home town didn't rock as much as it did.

Canada Dry

Inventor: John James McLaughlin

When: 1904

It's not a huge stretch to imagine that Canada Dry comes from Toronto, given our love for industry and carbonated beverages (I honestly have never seen anyone drink Perrier outside of this city).

The Whoopee cushion

Inventor: JEM Rubber Co

When: 1930s

FART, you guys! It sounds like FART! Good to know humour wasn't any more sophisticated in the 1930s.


Inventor: Frederick Banting and J.J.R. Macleod

When: 1922

Still saving the world, Torontonian scientists are responsible for figuring out that insulin is what the body uses to regulate its blood sugar, and extracting it for the use of people with diabetes.

Inventor: Avid Life Media

When: 2001

If it weren't for these guys, how would you have that discrete affair you've been itching for? Thanks to Avid Life Media for helping destroy marriages, one suspiciously nice new cologne at a time.

Photo cred - Kip Voytek


Inventor: Frederick Tisdall and Theodore Drake

When: 1930

Pablum was developed at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and was marketed to help protect kids from rickets and other nasty diseases by providing them with lots of vitamin D. People still give it to their babies today, that's how much it revolutionized the baby food game.


Inventor: MDA Space Missions

When: 1981

Canadarm is the series of robotic arms that space shuttles use to grab and manipulate objects floating out there in the big nothin'. Since space is like, the coolest, there is no reason why this is not the best shit you'll hear today.

The electric lightbulb

Inventor: Henry Woodward

When: 1874

That's right ladies and gentlemen. Woodard invented the first basic light bulb concept, then sold it to Thomas Edison (you know, that Thomas Edison) five years later so he could tweak into the light bulb idea we have now.

Antigravity suits

Inventor: W.R. Franks

When: 1940

Ye boy, going off of that space theme: U of T is where the first space suits were invented. Like there wouldn't even be astronauts if it weren't for Toronto.

Electric railways

Inventor: J.J. Wright

When: 1850s

Yep, despite the fact that our streetcars are slow and squeaky as hell, we've actually had plenty of time to get them right. Toronto is where the concept of electric railways was first put into practice, so we did indeed give the world streetcars (and I guess trams if you're being British about it).

Photo cred - sharyn morrow

Paint rollers

Inventor: Norman Breakey

When: 1940

Weirdly enough, this is the one I'd heard most about before researching this article. Canadians are really fucking proud that they brought the world paint rollers for some reason, despite them being the least exciting thing on this list.

Sphynx cats

Inventor: Riyadh and Yania Bawa

When: 1966

The story goes that a cat in Roncesvalles gave birth to a hairless kitten, and the Bawas took it in, which is nice. Why they then decided to try and breed it into what would eventually become the most demonic-looking breed of cats in existence is beyond me. Look at that thing. Fucking monster.


Inventor: John Hopps

When: 1950

Hopps' original external pacemaker design- which came into the game at Toronto General Hospital- is the reason we have these life saving devices today.

Looking for more? Click here for 19 Toronto Mind Blowing Facts You Never Knew About >

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