British Columbia

Terry Fox tops list of people who make Canadians proud

Provincially, Fox made the top three from coast to coast

Wayne Gretzky, Celine Dion take 2nd and 3rd spots

Terry Fox inspired the entire country when he attempted a cross-country trek to raise money for cancer research in 1980. (Terry Fox Awards)

Terry Fox is still making Canadians across the country proud, 35 years after his death.

A survey by Abacus Data looked at what makes Canadians proud of their country. Participants were presented with a list of 78 different things that could evoke pride, 36 of which were people.

Of those 36 people, Terry Fox topped the list with exactly 50 per cent of respondents saying he made them "really proud." 

When it comes to stirring pride among Canadians, Gord Downie landed in the top 10 of 36 notable people selected to be a part of a national survey. (David Bastedo)

Chairman Bruce Anderson said Fox's ranking likely has something to do with his embodiment of Canadian values.

"At the top we see Terry Fox whose humility and dogged determination kind of characterized his role in our national psyche and I think that does tell us about the kind of people we like to root for," Anderson told CBC News.

"When I look at all the data about Canada, it's a very hopeful place. It's one of its very defining characteristics of our country — so the idea of a Marathon of Hope wouldn't be too far off a brand statement for the Canadian people."

Queen ranked in top 10

Wayne Gretzky and Celine Dion tied for a relatively distant third and fourth place at 29 per cent each. David Suzuki and Sidney Crosby rounded out the top five.

Queen Elizabeth II was ranked eighth.

Other names on the list included Gord Downie, Leonard Cohen, Eugenie Bouchard and Mike Myers.

"We've got people who, artistically, make the world pay attention," Anderson said. "I sense that people were proud not just of the product of those individuals but that they were known to be Canadian and that it signaled to the rest of the world that Canada can create amazing works and spur the soul beyond our borders."

Last on the list: Justin Bieber, with only one per cent of Canadian respondents saying he stirred pride.

The survey was conducted online from Dec. 12 to 14, 2016 with 1,848 Canadians over the age of 18. A random sample of panelists from a representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians was invited to participate.

The margin of error is plus or minus 2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.