Browse "Explorers"

Article

Albert Peter Low

Albert Peter Low, geologist, explorer (b at Montréal 24 May 1861; d at Ottawa 9 Oct 1942). Low joined the Geological Survey of Canada on graduation from McGill. The Québec-Labrador border was eventually defined on the basis of his 1893-95 explorations.

Article

Alejandro Malaspina

Alejandro Malaspina, explorer (b at Mulazzo, Italy 5 Nov 1754; d at Pontremoli, Italy 9 Apr 1810). Born to an illustrious but impoverished family, Malaspina entered the Spanish naval service. In 1784 he sailed around the world in the frigate Astrea.

Article

Alexander Murray

Alexander Murray, geologist, explorer (b at Crieff, Scot 2 June 1810; d there 18 Dec 1884). Murray served in the Royal Navy 1824-35, and then in 1837 immigrated with his young bride to Woodstock, Upper Canada.

Article

Roald Amundsen

   Roald Amundsen, arctic explorer (b at Sarpsborg, Norway 16 July 1872; d between Norway and Spitsbergen 18 June 1928). Amundsen went to sea as a young man. Determined to navigate the NORTHWEST PASSAGE, he purchased the Gjoa, readied it for arctic waters and embarked in 1903.

Article

André Michaux

André Michaux, botanist, explorer (b near Versailles, France 8 Mar 1746; d on Madagascar 11 Oct 1803?). He compiled the first North American flora which includes many plants collected in Lower Canada in 1792.

Article

Anthony Henday

Henday, Anthony, explorer (probably b on the Isle of Wight, Eng; fl 1750-62). Henday travelled farther into western Canada than any white person had before him, and his journal contains important glimpses of how the indigenous population lived at that time.

Article

Arthur Oliver Wheeler

Arthur Oliver Wheeler, surveyor, mountaineer (born at Lyrath, Ireland 1 May 1860; died at Banff, Alta 20 March 1945). Qualifying in 1881 as Ontario land surveyor, he also obtained Dominion (1882), Manitoba (1882), British Columbia (1891) and Alberta (1911) credentials.

Article

Canadian Astronauts

An astronaut is an individual involved in flight beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the Canadian Space Agency held its first recruitment campaign in 1983, 14 Canadians have completed astronaut training and nine have participated in 17 missions to space. Specifically, they have flown as payload specialists, mission specialists, and flight engineers on NASA shuttle flights and expeditions to the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian astronauts have played key roles in repairing satellites and building the ISS using the Canadarm and Canadarm2 robotic technologies, and have advanced scientific knowledge by conducting a variety of experiments in space.

Article

Frederick William Beechey

Frederick William Beechey, naval officer, artist, explorer (b at London, Eng 17 Feb 1796; d there 29 Nov 1856). Beechey joined the British navy at the age of 10, and saw action at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

Article

Bernhard Hantzsch

Bernhard Adolf Hantzsch, explorer, ornithologist (d near the mouth of Hantzsch R, NWT June 1911). Hantzsch sailed with a German ornithological expedition to the eastern Arctic in 1906 and during that summer explored and collected specimens along the coast of Ungava Bay and northern Labrador.

Article

Robert Brent Thirsk

Robert (Bob) Brent Thirsk, biomedical engineer, astronaut (b at New Westminster, BC 17 Aug 1953). He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Calgary (BSc, 1976) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MSc, 1978), and he received an MD from McGill University in 1982.

Article

John Cabot

John Cabot (a.k.a. Giovanni Caboto), merchant, explorer (born before 1450 in Italy, died at an unknown place and date). In 1496, King Henry VII of England granted Cabot the right to sail in search of a westward trade route to Asia and lands unclaimed by Christian monarchs. Cabot mounted three voyages, the second of which, in 1497, was the most successful. During this journey Cabot coasted the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, possibly sighted the Beothuk or Innu people of the region, and famously noted that the waters teemed with cod. At the time, the land Cabot saw was thought to be the eastern shore of Asia, the fabled island of Brasil, or the equally fabled Isle of Seven Cities. Cabot and his crew were the second group of Europeans to reach what would become Canada, following Norse explorers around 1000 CE. Despite not yielding the trade route Cabot hoped for, the 1497 voyage provided England with a claim to North America and knowledge of an enormous new fishery.

Article

François Dollier de Casson

François Dollier de Casson, explorer, superior of the Sulpicians in New France (1670-74, 1678-1701), seigneur of Montréal, vicar general, historian (b in the château of Casson-sur-l'Erdre in Lower Brittany 1636; d at Montréal 27 Sept 1701).

Article

Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain, cartographer, explorer, colonial administrator (born circa 1567 in Brouage, France; died 25 December 1635 in Québec City). Champlain played a major role in founding New France from 1603 to 1635.

Article

Charles Francis Hall

Charles Francis Hall, Arctic explorer (b in Vermont 1821; d in Greenland 8 Nov 1871). An engraver by trade, Hall was fascinated by accounts of the search for Sir John FRANKLIN and in 1860, as a private citizen, he went by whaling ship to Baffin I.

Article

Chris Hadfield

Chris Austin Hadfield, OC, OOnt, astronaut, military test pilot (born 29 August 1959 in Sarnia, ON). After a distinguished career as a test pilot, Hadfield became an astronaut in 1992. Over the course of his career, he achieved a series of Canadian firsts: he was the first Canadian to be a space mission specialist, to operate the Canadarm in orbit, to do a spacewalk and to command the International Space Station. He was also the first to record a music video in space — a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” — adding to his celebrity status. Hadfield retired from the Canadian Astronaut Corps in July 2013. In 2014, he began teaching in the University of Waterloo’s aviation program.