There's so much to love about living in Canada. There's our vast, stunning landscape that spans from the rocky mountains in British Columbia to the ocean coast in Newfoundland. There's our incredible cultural diversity and our well-known, uniquely polite nature. Yet, we Canadians have even more to be proud of: we can lay claim to some of the world's greatest inventions. Fact is, Canadians are behind more than 100 famous inventions! We’re shining the spotlight on 7 things you may not know originated in our home and native land. Hint: as a CST planholder, you’re already using one of these. Read on to find out more.

1.  The telephone rang first in Canada.

Though the first telephone may have been built in the US, Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone when he lived in Brantford, Ontario, back in 1874. Brantford gets double kudos because 2 years later, it’s also where the first long-distance call was made to 13 km away in Paris, Ontario.

2.  Canada “saw the light” with the first light bulb patent.

In 1874, Toronto-based Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans patented a glass tube filled with carbon filament and nitrogen gas —known today as the incandescent light bulb. Unfortunately, the duo didn’t have money to produce the light bulbs commercially. Instead, they sold the second patent for their Canadian invention to Thomas Edison five years later, who then took over the spotlight, likely triggering considerable seller’s remorse

3.   A Canadian invented instant replay – so we can “see that again!”. 

Today, sports fans and officials the world over rely on George Rezlaff’s Canadian invention to call penalties, points and wins. It was in 1955 that the television producer invented the instant replay which was used to replay a goal during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

4.  A Canadian invented the US greenback which they still use today!

Ever wonder why money in the US is green? During the Civil War, banks were looking for a colour ink that counterfeiters couldn’t easily copy. Thomas Sterry Hunt, a Quebec university professor, invented the green ink colour in 1857. Officially called “Canada Bank Note Tint", the US adopted the colour not long after and continues to be used on their bills today.

5.  A Canadian helped make the world’s roads safer.

In 1930, a Canadian transport engineer got the first lanes in the world painted on a stretch of highway between Ontario and Quebec, to help drivers share the road more safely and separate traffic moving in opposite directions. Next time you signal to switch lanes, give John D. Millar silent thanks for his Canadian invention that helps make your drive that much safer.

6.  What came first: the egg or the Canadian egg carton?

Thanks to Joseph Coyle of British Columbia, people all over the world literally don’t have to put all their eggs in one basket. In 1911, after hearing about a delivery of broken eggs, Coyle “hatched” the Canadian invention of a cardboard carton containing individual pockets to protect eggs from knocking into each other and breaking, while being transported.

7.  The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

In 1974, the federal government created the RESP program as a way of encouraging Canadians to save for their children’s education. The Canadian invention came about after Canadian Jack Harvie Quinn, challenged the Tax Review Board on having to pay tax on income earned in an education savings plan offered by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. Jack’s position was that he shouldn’t have to pay tax since he wasn’t the one receiving the money; instead, it was going to fund his son’s post-secondary education. The Tax Review Board ruled in favour of Jack Harvie Quinn and the RESP program was born shortly after. Since then, the annual and lifetime RESP limits have been raised and smart parents like you have used this Canadian product to generate tax-deferred savings towards their children’s higher education. 

Did you know that The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is one of Canada’s leading providers of RESPs?  C.S.T. Consultants Inc., is the investment fund manager and exclusive distributor of the CST Plans; we currently manage over $5.3 billion in assets for plan holders like you. 

So, how many of these inventions did you know originated in Canada? You may have been surprised by some of the useful, everyday items that were on the list. From the telephone to the RESP, Canadians sure have a knack for innovative thinking! 

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