Cartier, basketball and Winnie the Pooh: Ranking the 10 best Heritage Minutes

Heritage Minutes have become well known across Canada as both heartwarming and hilarious.

CBC writer Justin McElroy has ranked all 78 of the famous historical vignettes

There are a total of 78 Heritage Minutes that have been released by Historica Canada. (Historica Canada)

If you grew up watching Canadian television, there is no doubt you are familiar with Heritage Minutes.

The 60-second snippets of the country's past first appeared more than two decades ago, and have since become well known across Canada as both heartwarming and hilarious.

Justin McElroy, a writer with CBC Vancouver and self-proclaimed "ranker of stuff," said he was at a bar with friends one night when they began arguing about which Heritage Minute was the best.

According to McElroy, the videos — which can now be found online — were a "gateway pill" that inspired an interest in Canadian history for millennials.

"It's the introductory way that so many of us learned about interesting Canadian facts, or themes throughout our country's history, even if those individual minutes themselves may have been a little bit manufactured," he said.

After the bar dispute, McElroy said he immediately went online and discovered that no one had done a comprehensive list ranking all 78 of them.

As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th, you can now find said list on McElroy's own website. The Vancouverite looked at every single Heritage Minute and has proclaimed his rankings.

While McElroy admits that the list is subjective, it is now a resource for people who want to find all the videos in one place.

What makes a great Heritage Minute, you may be wondering? According to McElroy, it should be both silly and celebratory.

McElroy's Top 10 Heritage Minutes

10. Halifax Explosion 

9. Jennie Trout 

8. Richard Pierpoint 

7. Wilder Penfield

6. Basketball 

5. Superman 

4. Agnes Macphail​

3. Winnie

2. Sam Steele

1. Jacques Cartier 

With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition