We’re now in the year 2017, and there is no better time to be celebrating our country and new arrivals than right now. New parents who will be greeting their littlest family member this year will all be going through the same ritual: naming the baby. If you’re struggling to choose a name AND show your pride in the most epic way possible this year, you’ll be able to find solutions to each of those dilemmas right now.
What better way to celebrate your nation and newborn than to pick a name that is Canadiana to its core? Be your nations cheerleader and instil Canadian pride in your child by naming them something that will stand for more than a placeholder on their birth certificate. When your baby boy grows up and declares his name and birth year for his driver's’ license, he’ll be known not only for joining our nation in the year of Canada’s 150th birthday, but also for his parents’ wicked gift of honouring the True North with their son.
Whether you’ve been researching baby names for the past nine months or nine years, it’s normal to feel as if the endless lists aren’t quite right. Maybe they’re all too generic, or too obscure, or maybe it’s because they lack any significant meaning in your heart.
If Canada holds a special place in your heart alongside your baby-to-be, then let this list of names be the vein that connects the two. Once you pick one that is just right for you and your baby, be sure to pick up a Canadian flag on your way home from the hospital to swaddle your infant in warmth and pride.
Let’s just start this list off right, shall we? Current and second-youngest Prime Minister of Canada and son to long-reigning former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Justin is nothing but deserving to be on this list. A name which means to be fair or righteous – traits any good PM should put into practice – it is both strong and worthy of any accolades. This simple and modern name is no stranger to Canadian roots, either. Anyone hear of a little someone named Justin Bieber? This is a Justin who showed us all how Canadians can make their dreams come true. Be it pop music or politics, your little baby boy will be centre stage. And let’s not forget about the charm that is attached to this name! Is it a coincidence that both Mr. Trudeau and Bieber have both been professionally photographed without their shirts on? You’re welcome, world! Your Canadian boy will be the nation’s newest and littlest heartthrob.
Anyone who has had the advantage of growing up in Canada would have undoubtedly crossed paths with our nation’s infamous Anne. This redhead has graced the cover and pages of Anne of Green Gables, a book written by fellow Canadian Lucy Maud Montgomery, and has appeared on televisions from coast to coast. You may have even caught sight of her on stage in Anne & Gilbert, the musical adaptation of this classic piece of literature. With the latest reimagining appearing on CBC and Netflix this year, the name is making a comeback. And how cute is it to call your baby girl little Anne? It’s perfectly petite in its length and Canadian to a tee! As tempting as it would be to extend this name into its more syllabic version – Annie – don’t. Anne is a fierce name on it’s own, and doing so would defy the beautiful Canadian relationship.
If you’ve ever declared, “I am [insert name] and I. AM. CANADIAN!” then you’ll know the importance of this name. Coined by Canadian beer legend, Molson Canadian, Joe was a character used to target our humanity and pride all at once, and boy did it ever! This name and personality became a distinct icon for Canada through one of our country’s best beer promotions ever. When you hear the name Joe it brings back memories of when you were screaming at your television when the Montreal Canadiens scored against the Maple Leafs. It’s a name that is just so humble, simple, and Canadian. And reminds us all of our favourite national beverage. Another Canadian Joe we can’t dismiss is Joe Fresh, our national grocery store line of clothing that is surprisingly fashionable AND affordable. You’ll be shopping for your little Joe at the Joe Fresh nearest you, and you’ll be enjoying every minute of it.
Whether you’re a native Westerner or a fan of the flatlands, Regina is a powerful and feminine name for girl. In tribute to the capital city of Saskatchewan – one of Canada’s prairie provinces – Regina takes the crown for a name that toes the line between unique and overused. Speaking of taking the crown, the name Regina translates to Queen in both Latin and Italian. Now that’s adding extra elegance to a Canadian name that’s already first-class! If you’re in search of other connections to convince you of the Canadian ties to this name, Regina has warmed our Canadian hearts by way of pop culture, too. Who could forget Miss Regina George, Mean Girls’ most wicked queen bee? Canadian actress Rachel McAdams brought true regality to this role. And let’s not forget Regina Mills, another evil queen turned sweetheart, in Once Upon A Time – a show that, get this, is filmed in Canada! NO. WAY.
If you’re looking for a chill boy name with little explanation attached to it, Ryan is a safe bet. Two of Hollywood’s most hunky-hunks and distinguished, talented sweethearts were born in Canada. I don’t even have to say their names because you know exactly who I’m referring to, but I will. Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds, duh! Aside from your hard-core crushing, you can feel better about choosing this name because, not only is a prime Canadian choice, but both men are awesome fathers! It’s all about the connections, people! Choosing this name may be a stretch in determining whether or not your name choice was attributed to Canadian pride or Canadian lust, but deep down you know its Canadian origins. But if you’re looking for a little more justification to sweeten the deal, Ryan means “little king”. Awwww! Who doesn’t want to give their little man the title he truly deserves? And if you’re having boy/girl twins, choosing both Ryan and Regina will mean you’ve got royal roots tied to those Canadian ones.
Continuing along this royal path, we can’t forget about Victoria. It’s a name that’s super sweet, but also super significant to Canadian history. Queen Victoria is a former monarch of Canada and, coincidentally, was in power at the time that Canada was established in 1867. If that wasn’t enough to have you jumping at this opportunity, Queen Victoria has also been a former yet prominent figure on our nation’s coins! But if you’re tired of the royal connections being made on this list, we don’t blame you. Sometime’s your baby just ain’t as much of a prince or princess as we’d all like to claim. If that’s the case, then you could still use Victoria in reference to one of B.C.’s most beautiful and adventurous cities. It’s salty waterfront is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this epic Canadian destination. Some of the most laid-back people you’ll ever meet hail from Canada’s west coast, and that’s not the worst attitude your baby could adopt, is it?
14 John / Jean
John, in all its forms, is a name that is a wildly popular designation for anyone. It’s straightforward and without complications. While John Doe is commonly noted for being an anonymous gent, it became synonymous with being average. But how wrong can society be? It is a name that is actually rooted back as far back as 400 BC and originated from the word gracious. In Canada, we’ve made excellent use of the name in our cities and our countrymen. On the east coast, we can visit Saint John, New Brunswick or St. John’s Newfoundland; two friendly and tranquil places bringing honour to their given names. Also, one of Canada’s most impactful prime minister’s, John A. Macdonald, helped shape Canada into the home we know and love. In paying tribute to our country, we must acknowledge our nation’s second language. John may be a popular English name, but Jean is a favourite among our French neighbours. From Jean Chrétien (PM of Canadian) to Jean Coutu (Canadian pharmacy chain), Jean has equal value alongside John when opting for a baby name with both influence and Canadian heart.
Okay, okay. I just can’t get away from our royal ties! Britain, after all, has had a lot of authority over our country. The littlest royal to grace our world is Princess Charlotte, the dainty daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William & Kate. If you’re a follower of His & Her Royal Highnesses, then you’re well aware of the newest addition to their family. Once Charlotte entered the world and the tabloids, little Charlotte’s were popping up nationwide. It is currently the fourth most popular girl name in Canada! We can’t deny that the name is elegant. It is a name that was based off of the male name, Charles, but on its own stands for being petite and feminine. Those are two descriptive words that are just flat out adorable for any baby girl. And the cherry on top? Charlottetown is the capital of another Canadian province, Prince Edward Island, a place that is also deserving of its “petite” namesake.
In a turn towards something less regal, we’re getting down to what really matters most to Canadians – hockey, coffee, and doughnuts. NHL hockey player turned international cafe-founder, Tim Horton, brought the nation together over pastries and hot coffee. In making his menu simple, cost-efficient, and delicious, the Tim Hortons’ franchise was established and spread far beyond its Hamilton, Ontario roots. The perfect pit-stop on the way to early morning hockey games and road trips across our country, Tim Horton’s is commonly referred to as Tim’s and Timmies. The nationally adored coffee shop even gives back to the sport that started it all with their Timbits minor sports program. How cute is that?! So you can be extra proud when you take your little Tim to his first Timbit game, box of Timbits in tow. Oh! And all of this will prove just how proud your Canadian family is of our home and native land!
A delicate and ladylike name, Céline is sweet to pronounce and has, unsurprisingly, French origins. If it sounds heavenly to you, that’s because it is. The name means “sky” or “heaven”, which is why we have to mention the gift from heaven that entered our country’s pop culture scene. One of Canada’s most epic songstresses to grace the world with her presence is balladeer Céline Dion. This French-Canadian hails from our most Francais province, Quebec. Defying society's expectations, Céline brought the world to their knees with her heavily-accented voice. That’s a pretty powerful influence for someone who’s name is so soft and wholesome. So if you’re one to belt out My Heart Will Go On while eating poutine along the banks of Lake Louise, then maybe your daughter-to-be is meant for this name. The two of you can have sing-offs when you finally introduce her to the music that is Canadian-made.
Any true Canadian knows the importance of beer and the worth it holds over America’s; better taste, better price, higher alcohol percentage. The value could not be more obvious! If paying tribute to Canada’s PM or hockey players isn’t up your alley, then maybe you’d like something that honours our most consumed beverage come Canada Day? Beer drinkers are the most easygoing group in Canada and it’s only natural that our thoughts would veer that way when we think of our country. From our freshwater basins to our lips in their newly fermented states, this crisp beverage is truly Canadian, much like the beer brand Alexander Keith’s. This premium lager hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia and is the most toasted drink at your Muskoka cottage. Make the ultimate toast to your country, and your country’s national beverage, by choosing Alexander to be your boy’s name. If you’re not comfortable explaining to your grandma how you came about choosing your little boy’s name, you could always reference Alexander Mackenzie, another great Canadian PM.
This name is very in your face. Holt not only demands attention, but it also sounds a little brawny and assertive. It’s a dudely name that would make any boy feel proud to wear it, and even prouder to know it’s fixed in Canadian soil, (kind of) literally. One of the best things about Canada is its vast, uninhabited land. Thousands and thousands of trees make up 10% of the world’s forests. And guess what else? Holt plays right into that remarkable fact. A name which means “grove of trees” or “unspoiled forest” there is not a better name to speak of Canada’s magnificent terrain and wilderness. Also, Holt may sound familiar to you if you’re a frequent shopper at one of our nation’s largest retailers, Holt Renfrew. The name is both high-end and high-branched! However you want to spin the name choice, you can maintain your stance that it is, in fact, Canadian.
It’s French, adorable, and it’s currently on the list of the most popular baby names in Canada, if you care about that sort of thing. If you’re looking for a name that is accepted across the nation, and works exceptionally well for your bilingual family, Sophie is the cutest Canadian choice. It means great wisdom or skill, so don’t be surprised if she’s got more slapshot skills than her daddy and more Canadian stats in her back pocket than Alex Trebek. To say that she’ll be sharp as a tack would be an understatement. Sophie will move mountains, or the Canadian Rockies, with how far she’ll go. Sophie is also the name of current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau's, wife. So if you want a Justin, but end up with a girl, Sophie is a great substitute in paying respects to our nation’s leader.
A little less conventional, but certainly fun! Lulu is spunky, edgy, and flirty! It’s also darling and super loveable. It’s been said that the name holds the meaning of calmness and peace. Perhaps that’s why national retailer Lululemon used it in its title? A retailer based out of British Columbia, Lululemon is a Canadian brand that was built on selling comfortable, flattering, and stylish workout clothing and gear women, with a special niche of targeting yogis. If you’re yearning for a little more zen in your life during your stressful decision over choosing a perfectly Canadian baby name, Lulu is your blessing. Whether or not you’re a fan of the butt-shaping tights the brand sells, the name has a certain cuteness to it we just can’t get over. Let’s face it, once you get your newborn home your namaste’s might be met with mid-meditation objection. Better add a little Canadian tranquility to her name to keep your relationship serene.
In the list of top 100 baby names in the past five years, Hudson has made an appearance. It was also in the top 20 boy names for 2016. It’s been rising in popularity for the last decade. Whether it’s for its ability to stand out among the Kyle’s and Shawn’s of the twenty first century, or for its unique composition, who knows? All we can say is it that it’s a name that stands out. Coincidentally, it is also a name that connects back to Canada. Hudson Bay is a very large body of saltwater that is present in six of Canada’s provinces, as well as some states. A vital part of Canadian history and economy, Hudson Bay made literal waves in our country. This includes the founding of the large retailer of the same name, Hudson’s Bay Company. This national brand is exclusive to Canada and has been around for more than a century! This name carries with it an ability to grow, persevere, and contribute to Canada in the biggest of ways.
Another tribute to Canadian literature is author and writer of the north, Farley Mowat. Mr. Mowat sold millions of books worldwide on topics that – can you believe it? – discussed our beloved country! He’s most known for his courageous journeys in the Arctic and chilling with wolves. Wow! This great author may have written works of Canadian art, but he also spoke about, and advocated for, Canadian wilderness and preserving our great land on CBC Radio’s The Current, even up until his death. Farley is a name that is not only ambitious and proud, it is also renowned and celebrated. If you want your son to not only pay tribute to Canada for his first name, but for his applauded actions, then Farley is a sure to have that effect. Canadian Farley Mowat gave back to his native land in more ways than one. In fact, I take it back. I’m naming my future son, Farley. Hands off!
Remember the days when you were little and your mom or dad would take you to the mall and, if you were a good little boy or girl, they rewarded you with a Super Kid ice cream cone with a piece of chocolate on top of it? If you were one of the lucky ones to enjoy this experience, then you’re already very familiar with the legacy of Laura Secord. Legacy is an understatement. Before there were chocolates and ice cream, there was the woman. This fearless Canadian is known as the heroine of Canada for having walked a far distance during the War of 1812 to alert our troops of an attack. You go, girl! Laura is not only helpful, she’s a supportive daredevil. Fast forward 100 years and you’ve got a chocolatier who celebrated her namesake. Although the woman and the chocolate company have no relation, you can’t deny that they both left their mark on Canada’s history.
If you’re loving the sound of Laura, but will be expecting a little boy, then maybe Lawrence will float your boat! One of the largest rivers of the world is the St. Lawrence, and it has been a significant asset to our country for centuries! One of Canada’s earliest explorers, Jacques Cartier, was the first to sail its waters and give it its name. This name stands for much more than supporting our nation’s transportation and economy, but connect back to our native ancestors. It even spans across two of Canada’s largest provinces – Ontario and Quebec. You can bet that there’s no better way to transport all that maple syrup we all know and love. So if you’re looking for a name that celebrates bringing the sugar bush into our Canadian homes and hearts, look no further. Lawrence is a name you can be proud to use in celebrating Canada’s heritage!
A name that was willingly accepted and passed down from our British ancestors, Alice is a picture-perfect gift of a title that is not only feminine, it’s noble (according to its origins). It was also a name that was made very popular right around the time Canada was established in 1867, when England’s Lewis Carrol published Alice in Wonderland (1865). It’s also a name that had maintained his relevance over the last 150 years, from families passing it down to pop culture bringing the story into theatres and our hearts all over again. So why not reuse a classic name that is as old and popular as it was back when Canada was born? Alice is a real winner. In fact, Alice Munro – another Canadian writer – has won the Nobel Peace Prize and the Governor General Award. Um, did I mention that it’s a winning name?
This name is a little less known, but it’s got hella meaning attached to it, and you just know your baby will stand out among his peers. Canada would never be the great country it is today if it were not for our brave soldiers who, decade after decade, fought to protect our united nation. Major is not only a military ranking, it is a title given to a park in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, located in Ontario. Major’s Hill Park is located right next to Parliament Hill, overlooks the Ottawa River, has a bridge which connects Ontario to beautiful Quebec, and is host to many Ottawa attractions and events, such as the Tulip Festival and of course, Canada Day. If what makes you most proud to be Canadian is the people who helped shape it into greatness, then honour your little Major with the title he deserves.