Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Canadian Americans

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Canadian Americans

Canadian Americans are American citizens or nationals who were born in and/or largely grew up in Canada, but later moved into the United States. It can also be used to refer to American-born citizens who either have parents who immigrated from Canada or have significant Canadian ancestry and/or identity. The term is particularly apt when applied or self-applied to people with strong ties to Canada, such as those who have lived a significant portion of their lives or were educated in Canada, and then relocated to the United States. To others, especially for those living in New England or the Midwest, a Canadian-American is one whose ancestors came from Canada.


The term Canadian refers to some as nationality, and to others as ethnicity. English-speaking Canadian immigrants easily integrate and assimilate into American culture and society as a result of the cultural similarities and in the vocabulary and accent in spoken English. French-speaking Canadians, because of language, culture, and religion, tend to take longer to assimilate. However, by the 3rd generation, the assimilation is complete, and the Canadian identity is more or less folklore. This took place, even though half of the population of the province of Quebec emigrated to the US between 1840 and 1930. Many New England cities formed Little Canadas, but many of these have gradually disappeared.

This cultural "invisibility" within the larger U.S. population is seen as creating stronger affinity amongst Canadians living in the U.S. than might otherwise exist. According to U.S. Census estimates the number of Americans of Canadian ancestry was around 640,000 in 2000. Some sources have cited the number to possibly be over 1,000,000.

Canadians who travel to the U.S. to escape their colder winter are known as "snowbirds". They sometimes have residences in the Southern half of the U.S. (e.g. Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia, Southern Texas, Southern California, and Arizona).

Americans of Canadian descent

  • Max Baucus (born 1941), politician, former long-time U.S. Senator from Montana (1978-2014), and former U.S. Ambassador to China (2014-2017)
  • Walter Chrysler (born 1875, d. 1940), automotive industry executive and founder of the Chrysler Corporation
  • Madonna (full name Madonna Louise Ciccone) (born 1958), singer-songwriter, dancer, actress, and businesswoman also known as "The Queen of Pop"
  • Marcus Chong (born 1967), actor and son of Tommy Chong
  • Walt Disney (born 1901, d. 1966), animator
  • Will Durant (born 1885, d. 1981), historian and philosopher
  • Thomas Edison (born 1847, d. 1931), inventor
  • Marcus Foligno (born 1991), ice hockey player
  • Nick Foligno (born 1987), ice hockey player
  • Missy Franklin (born 1995), Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer
  • Brendan Fraser (born 1968), film and stage actor
  • Rene Gagnon (born 1925, d. 1979), U.S. Marine hero
  • Robert Goulet (born 1933, d. 2007), singer and actor
  • Mike Gravel (born 1930), politician, former U.S. Senator from Alaska (1969-1981), and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate
  • Matt Groening (born 1954), cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, voice actor, and creator of The Simpsons
  • Gene Hackman (born 1930), retired actor and novelist
  • Phil Hendrie (born 1952), radio personality and comedian
  • Jimi Hendrix (born 1942, d. 1970), musician
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (born 1972), actor, semi-retired WWE wrestler, and producer
  • Jack Kerouac (born 1922, d. 1969), poet and writer
  • Paul LePage (born 1948), 74th Governor of Maine since 2011
  • Joel McHale (born 1971), comedian, actor, writer, television producer, and television host
  • Grace Metalious (born 1924, d. 1964), author
  • Walter Mondale (born 1928), politician, 42nd Vice President of the United States, and 1984 Democratic presidential nominee
  • Elon Musk (born 1971), inventor, engineer, owner of SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and SolarCity
  • Tyler Myers (born 1990), ice hockey player
  • Rudy Vallée (born 1901, d. 1986), saxophone player
  • Mark Wahlberg (born 1971), actor, and retired rapper
  • Robin Thicke (born 1977), R&B singer-songwriter
  • Born in/lived in Canada, with American citizenship

  • Pamela Anderson (born 1967), actress
  • Paul Anka (born 1941), singer-songwriter and actor
  • Dan Aykroyd (born 1952), actor, comedian, producer, and musician
  • Samantha Bee (born 1969) comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, media critic, and television host
  • Marty Biron (born 1977), ice hockey goaltender and commentator
  • Brett Boyko (born 1992), professional football player with the San Diego Chargers
  • Dayana Cadeau (born 1966), Haitian-born Canadian/American professional bodybuilder
  • Jim Carrey (born 1962), comedian and actor
  • Rae Dawn Chong (born 1961), actress and daughter of Tommy
  • Tommy Chong (born 1938), comedian, actor, writer, director, activist, musician, and contestant from Dancing with the Stars season 19
  • Hayden Christensen (born 1981), actor and producer
  • Kim Coates (born 1958), actor
  • Adam Cohen (born 1972), singer-songwriter, and son of Leonard
  • Leonard Cohen (born 1934, d. 2016), singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist
  • Laura Creavalle (born 1959), Guyanese-born Canadian/American female professional bodybuilder
  • Rafael Bienvenido Cruz (born 1939), Cuban-born Canadian/American Christian preacher and public speaker; father of Ted
  • Ted Cruz (born 1970), politician, U.S. Senator from Texas since 2013, and 2016 Republican presidential candidate
  • Geoff Davis (born 1958), politician and former U.S. Representative from Kentucky (2005-2012)
  • Marie Dressler (born 1868, d. 1934), actress
  • Nathan Fillion (born 1970), actor
  • Brent Fitz (born 1970), musician and multi-instrumentalist
  • Michael Fougere (born 1956), politician and Mayor of Regina, Saskatchewan since 2012
  • Michael J. Fox (born 1961), actor, author, producer, and advocate
  • David Frum (born 1960), speechwriter and journalist
  • Frank Gehry (born 1929), architect
  • Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) (born 1986), rapper, singer-songwriter, and actor
  • Jennifer Granholm (born 1959), politician and former Governor of Michigan (2003-2011)
  • Wayne Gretzky (born 1961), ice hockey player
  • Bret Hart (born 1957), professional wrestler
  • Owen Hart (born 1965, d. 1999), professional wrestler
  • Phil Hartman (born 1948, d. 1998), actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist
  • Ernest “Tommy” Hughitt (born 1892, d. 1961), professional football player
  • Chris Irvine (born 1970), professional wrestler known as Chris Jericho; lead singer of Fozzy
  • Rick Jeanneret (born 1942), sportscaster. Jeanneret has full residency rights in the U.S. and identifies as Canadian-American; he has not made it clear whether or not he secured citizenship.
  • Peter Jennings (born 1938, d. 2005), TV journalist and anchor for ABC
  • Jason Jones (actor) (born 1973), actor and comedian known for The Daily Show with John Stewart,
  • Stana Katic (born 1978), actress
  • Brittany Kennell (born 1987), singer and contestant from NBC's The Voice season 10
  • Mario Lemieux (born 1965), retired ice hockey player and current owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Guy Lombardo (born 1902, d. 1977), bandleader and violinist
  • William Lyon Mackenzie (born 1795, d. 1861), Scottish-born Canadian/American journalist, politician, and the 1st Mayor of Toronto
  • Sean Patrick Maloney (born 1966), politician and U.S. Representative from New York since 2013
  • Louis B. Mayer (born 1884, d. 1957), film producer
  • Eric McCormack (b. 1963), actor, comedian, singer, voice actor
  • Burt Metcalfe (born 1935), television and film producer, director, and writer
  • Joni Mitchell (born 1943), singer-songwriter and painter
  • Alanis Morissette (born 1974), singer-songwriter
  • Elon Musk (born 1971), South African-born Canadian/American businessman, investor, engineer, and inventor; founder of Tesla Motors
  • James E. Murray (1876-1961), politician and longtime U.S. Senator from Montana (1934-1961)
  • Mike Myers (born 1963), Canadian-born British/American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer
  • James Naismith (born 1861, d. 1939), inventor of basketball
  • Leslie Nielsen (born 1926, d. 2010), actor, comedian, and producer
  • Justin Nozuka (born 1988), singer-songwriter
  • Catherine O'Hara (born 1954), actress, writer and comedian
  • Dustin Penner (born 1982), ice hockey player
  • Mary Pickford, actress and film executive
  • Jason Pominville (born 1982), ice hockey player with the Minnesota Wild
  • Jason Priestley (born 1969), actor and director
  • Keanu Reeves (born 1964), Lebanese-born Canadian/American actor, producer, and musician
  • Charles Revson (born 1906, d. 1975) cosmetics pioneer, founder of Revlon
  • Joe Sakic (born 1969), retired hockey player and current general manager of the Colorado Avalanche
  • Jack Scott (born 1936), singer and songwriter
  • Mack Sennett (born 1880, d. 1960), film director
  • Patrick Sharp (born 1981), ice hockey player with the Dallas Stars
  • George Beverly Shea (born 1909, d. 2013), gospel music singer-songwriter
  • Martin Short (born 1950), actor, comedian, singer, voice actor
  • Joe Shuster (born 1914, d. 1992), comic book artist, co-creator of Superman
  • Hank Snow (born 1914, d. 1999), country music singer-songwriter
  • Paul Stastny (born 1985), ice hockey player with the St. Louis Blues
  • Stan Stephens (born 1929), politician, broadcaster, and former Governor of Montana (1989-1993)
  • Tara Strong (born 1973), voice actress for various film and television series
  • The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) (born 1990), singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor
  • Daniel Thompson (born 1921, d. 2015), inventor of the automatic bagel maker and the folding ping pong table
  • Alex Trebek (born 1940), host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy!
  • Jack L. Warner (born 1892, d. 1978), film executive
  • Richard Verma (born 1968), politician and former U.S. Ambassador to India (2015-2017)
  • Jason Wu (born 1982), Taiwanese-born Canadian/American fashion designer; dress designer of former First Lady Michelle Obama
  • American cities founded by or named after Canadians

  • Biloxi, founded by Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville
  • Bourbonnais, named after François Bourbonnais
  • Chandler, founded by Dr. Alexander J. (A.J.) Chandler
  • Dubuque, founded by and named after Julien Dubuque
  • Juneau, named after Joe Juneau
  • Milwaukee, founded by Solomon Juneau
  • Mobile, founded by Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville
  • New Orleans, founded by Lemoyne de Bienville
  • Ontario, founded by George Chaffey
  • Saint Paul, first settled by Pierre Parrant
  • Vincennes, founded by François-Marie Bissot
  • Canadian American Day

    The Connecticut State Senate unanimously passed a bill in 2009, making June 24 Canadian American Day in the state of Connecticut. The bill allows state officials to hold ceremonies at the capitol and other places each year to honor Americans of Canadian ancestry.

    Aboriginal Canadian Americans

    As a consequence of Article 3 of the Jay Treaty of 1794, official First Nations status, or in the US Native American status, also confers the right to live and work on either side of the border.


    Some institutions in the United States focus on Canadian-American studies, including the Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine, the Center for Canadian American studies at Western Washington University, and the SUNY University at Buffalo Canadian-American Studies Committee.


    Canadian Americans Wikipedia