Archives for category: Art


20. Feist – “Mushaboom”
“1,2,3,4” got the iPod endorsement and the “Sesame Street” remake, but “Mushaboom” was Feist’s first proper introduction to the masses with that unique vocal style and a narrative about the pastoral fantasies of hipsters stuck second-floor living without a yard over playfully light instrumentation and a finger-snapped beat That manic pixie dream video didn’t hurt.



19. k-os – “Man I Used To Be”
The greatest inspired-by Michael Jackson track ever didn’t just jack the “Billie Jean” disco beat, it also lyrically put k-os into late MJ’s mindset. Its also a good reminder that Drake didn’t invent the skill of singing and rapping.



18. Bruce Cockburn – “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”
The post-9/11 era may have felt scary, but it had nothing on the terror of 80s Cold War when the end of the world truly felt nigh. That’s the subtextual background of this Bruce Cockburn classic, later covered beautifully by Barenaked Ladies, which gives the song much of its power. Lines like “Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight” don’t hurt, either.



17. Metric – “Hustle Rose”
Admittedly something of a deep cut, despite its former status as the band’s go-to encore, Hustle Rose might not be as well known as, say Dead Disco, but it should be. Perfectly capturing what makes Metric so special, the song starts off like an Anthems of a 17-Year-Old Girl sequel before settling into a finger-picked ballad and then exploding into an dance-rock epic soaring on a crunchy guitar, double-time drums and synths aimed squarely at the outer solar system.



16. Neil Young – “Harvest Moon”
Right around the time the music industry was painting Neil Young as the godfather of this newfangled “grunge” movement in 1992 he pulled a swerve and put out the decidedly not-grunge country album “Harvest Moon.” Young collaborators Pearl Jam have covered the title track during their shows.



15. Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know”
Long before every pop starlet broke free of her pop and/or Disney past with a racy new image and a leaked nude photo, Ottawa’s Alanis Morissette, formerly known as Alanis, ditched her neon crop tops and mall pop past with this blisteringly angry, confessional, and raunchy alternative hit in 1995. Dave Coulier has both confirmed and denied that he is the subject of the song’s woman scorned fury.



14. K.D Lang – “Constant Craving”
This single from cowpunk rebel-turned-grand dame of Canadian song K.D. Lang’s 1992 album, “Ingénue,” topped the charts in Canada, the U.S. and U.K and earned Lang a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Music Video. If imitation is, indeed, the best form of flattery, then The Rolling Stones flattered the crap out of Lang and “Constant Craving” with their 2007 song, “Anybody Seen My Baby?” The Stones later gave her and her songwriting partner a writing credit for the tune.



13. Baby Blue Soundcrew – “Love ‘Em All”
Before Drake’s OVO and its crew love, there was Baby Blue, a DJ collective that came out of the party and mixtape scenes. In 2001, they put out their second compilation album containing this criminally underrated gem featuring Can-Hop legend Choclaire and American rapper Mims. It’s a surprisingly street-focused club jam with an indelible pinging beat and anthemic rhymes showing up the haters with sheer dexterity.



12. Thrush Hermit – “From The Back Of The Film”
Joel Plaskett’s old band Thrush Hermit were victims of bad timing, having been signed to a major label after alt-rock’s mid-90s decline and then releasing their CanRock masterpiece “Clayton Park” just before the early-00s indie rock revival. But while that impacted sales, it didn’t affect songs like this East Coast neo-retro riff-rocker which to this day make me bummed out that they broke up.



11. Stompin Tom Connors – “Sudbury Saturday Night”
Late country legend Stompin’ Tom Connors’ ode to hard-living Northern Ontario miners remains one of his best known songs. Connors knew the north well, having scored his first big singing break at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ontario, home of Shania Twain.



10. Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
There is no bottom lower in hip-hop than the one reserved for a half-white, Jewish, Canadian child star, even if he grew up in a good neighbourhood, but “Started From the Bottom” isn’t Drake’s song anymore. It belongs to everyone now, and much like “Hold On, We’re Going Home” boasts his best singing turn, this is Drake in his fiercest rap form. We will be hearing this song forever.



9. Bryan Adams – “Summer of 69”
The meta nostalgia of Bryan Adam’s greatest hit runs deep–from “Got my first real six-string” onward, it inspires warm feelings for the 80s and the 60s, for any summer anytime, really. Despite its propulsive riffs and soaring guitar solos, it’s actually a bleak song about growing up and realizing that your dreams didn’t come true, that “nothing can last forever.” And yet this 1983 song somehow has, and that incongruity gives it an optimism it didn’t have at the time.



8. Gordon Lightfoot – “If You Could Read My Mind”
Orillia folk legend Gordon Lightfoot reached the top of the Canadian charts and the top 5 of the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 with this beautifully ponderous song, inspired by his divorce, from the album “Sit Down Young Stranger.” It’s probably the only folk song that sounds almost as good as a disco number.



7. Arcade Fire – “Rebellion (Lies)”
Arcade Fire have never been shy about crafting anthems, but none have been quite as anthemic as “Rebellion (Lies)” off their breakthrough debut album, “Funeral.” As the song gathers momentum, you can almost imagine Win and Regine leading an uprising against the liars-that-be.



6. The Band – “The Weight”
One of the best songs of all-time according to Rolling Stone magazine, this narrative tale from ’68 was inspired by Band member Levon Helm’s connection to the American Deep South. Artists from Diana Ross to Panic At The Disco to The Muppets have covered it.



5. Handsome Furs – “When I Get Back”
Taken from the electro-rock duo’s 2011 album “Sound Kapital,” the SOCAN Prize-nominated song “When I Get Back” chronicles a traveler’s need to find their way home even as it induces culture shock with its synthesized sound.



4. The Guess Who – “American Woman”
A North American number one hit for The Guess Who in 1970, this song has been interpreted as anti-American over the years, though songwriter Jim Kale denies that assertion. Lenny Kravitz’s 1999 cover of the song hit number three on the rock charts.



3. Constantines – “Nighttime Anytime (It’s Alright)”
Pitchfork considers Constantines 2003 album “Shine A Light” one of the best of the 2000s. The marquee track for the album was the urgent “Nighttime Anytime (It’s Alright).”



2. Leonard Cohen – “Everybody Knows”
Countless Cohen songs could have made this list, and many might call for would want “Hallelujah” or “Suzanne” but “Everybody Knows” it’s hard to deny Cohen as beat apocalyptic prophet. Presumably with a black turtleneck on, he pessimistically baritones that the boat is leaking, the fight is fixed, the good guys lost and the plague is coming over synth stabs and flamenco guitar licks.



1. Maestro Fresh Wes – “Let Your Backbone Slide”
First there’s that sample-n-scratch-bolstered breakbeat, which places the song in its historical era long before Maestro proclaims that “it’s 89 y’all, not Beethoven’s 5th.” Yet it sounds as fresh today as it did a quarter century ago, and can just as quickly fill a dancefloor.

Then there are the rhymes, a tough yet erudite demonstration that not only was Maestro “a hip-hop tic-tac-tician” but that he was “not American.” That may seem like an obvious line now, but back then Canadian rappers were loathe to admit such on wax in hopes of crossing over down south. Maestro stayed true to his northern roots, broke into the US top 40 anyway, and held the best-selling Canadian hip-hop single title for two decades. Yes, it’s still a throw down.





30. Corey Hart – “Sunglasses At Night”
Montreal synthpop singer and heartthrob Corey Hart burst onto the new wave and pop scenes in 1983 with this earworm-worthy single from his debut album, “First Offense.” Since then, the pop rock classic has been featured everywhere from video game soundtracks to an episode of “Daria” and referenced by the likes of Wyclef Jean and “Degrassi.”



29. Blue Rodeo – “Lost Together”
The title track from Blue Rodeo’s 1992 album “Lost Together” remains a popular and emotional sing-along at the Toronto band’s concerts to this day. And it might just be the best us-against-the-world anthem that roots rock has ever heard.



28. The Weeknd – “High For This”
Even removed from the mystery of its release — back before we knew who Abel Tesfaye was, much less saw him presenting at the MMVA — or the excitement of hearing such such a new talent, this dark, disturbing debut single remains as powerful and gorgeous as ever, especially when the drums drop.



27. The Dears – “Lost In The Plot”
Some bands have a song so outrageously good, they will always be primarily associated with it. For the Dears, that songs is “Lost in the Plot,” where Murray Lightburn goes all-in with his Morrissey impression and wings up with his best vocal ever, especially in the epic climax. The guitars and drums amp up the post-9/11 paranoia while Murray warns: “don’t mess our love.”



26. Paul Anka – “Diana”
The modern music era began in the 1950s, and thanks to then-teenage Anka Canadians were there from the get go. Need proof? “Diana,” his first of many hits, went to number one in the U.S. sandwiched between Elvis’ “All Shook Up” and Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day.”



25. Sloan – “Money City Maniacs”
It’s not often that good rock and roll and commerce go together so well. “Money City Maniacs” the first single from 1998’s “Navy Blues,” is probably the most commercially successful song that Halifax Nova Scotia’s indie rock royalty Sloan ever released. It even appeared in a beer ad in the late nineties. And yet it’s every bit as brilliant and critically acclaimed as any of the band’s more underground hits like “Underwhelmed,” “Coax Me,” and “The People of the Sky.”



24. Broken Social Scene – “Almost Crimes”
“Almost Crimes” was one of the anchor tracks from Broken Social Scene’s 2002 commercial breakthrough album “You Forgot It In People.” Featuring a pre-iPod commercial fame Leslie Feist, the song helped pave the way for a generation of indie rock collectives.



23. Spirit Of The West – “Home For A Rest”
Spirit of the West’s alcoholic anthem mixed Canada’s Celtic influence with folk-rock to create a song that was guaranteed to get dance floors and residence rooms bouncing in unison as everyone chanted “You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best, I’ve been gone for a month, I’ve been drunk since I left.”



22. Plastikman – “Plasticine”
Canada’s most acclaimed electronic artist, Richie Hawtin, made his name playing techno parties across the river in Detroit, but he cemented his legend with his minimal techno alter-ego Plastikman. The acid-laced “Plasticine”from his landmark “Sheet One” album is considered one of the greatest techno tracks ever and is a bit more dancefloor targeted then some of Plastikman’s more esoteric earphone-focused productions.



21. K’Naan – “Wavin’ Flag”
The Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup version of this song, “Wavin’ Flag (Celebration Mix)” is a cool sports anthem and the all-star Haiti fundraiser was for a good cause, but we’re even bigger fans of the original “Wavin’ Flag” as it appears on Somali-Canadian hip hop artist’s 2009 album, “Troubador,” for its powerful testament to the hopes and strengths of the people of Somalia.





40. The Grapes Of Wrath – “All The Things I Wasn’t”
This melancholy, finger-picked ballad by the Vancouver folk-rockers was deservedly their biggest hit and soundtracked countless pity parties when it came out on the late-80s.



39. Rascalz ft. Kardinal Offishall, Thurst, Checkmate, and Choclair – “Northern Touch”
Frustrated by the poor treatment that Canada’s hip-hop scene was receiving at home, Vancouver rap group The Rascalz assembled a superstar team of fellow Canadian artists to celebrate the talent and resilience of the domestic scene. The resulting track, 1998’s “Northern Touch,” was successful both as a rallying cry and a single. It helped establish Canadian hip-hop as a creative and commercial force and it became the country’s most successful hip-hop single since The Dream Warrior’s “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style” in 1991.



38. Stars – “Elevator Love Letter”
Stars’s cinematic soft revolution first ignited with this beautiful ballad about star-crossed love and quarter life crises as sung by the band’s boy-girl co-lead singers.



37. Deadmau5 – “Ghosts N Stuff”
For a long time, Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman was dismissed by the electronic cognoscenti, his Maus head seen as a gimmick to get bros onto the dancefloor. “Ghosts n Stuff” was his chance to prove himself as a mask-less producer and he scored with this instantly iconic EDM track that mixes a distorted vocal with buzzy synths and an infectiously dirty beat.



36. Anne Murray – “Snowbird”
Many artists have covered Canadian Gene MacLellan’s most famous song, including Elvis, Loretta Lynn, Bing Crosby, and Burl Ives. But it was Anne Murray’s sweetly earnest take on the tune in 1970 that made “Snowbird” a hit and an enduring classic. It was one of the first songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.



35. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
If Carly Rae winds up a one-hit wonder, at least the former “Canadian Idol” also-ran’s hit was this wondrous piece of pure pop perfection that was so relatable it pretty much took over popular culture for months.



34. Kardinal Offishall – “BaKardi Slang”
Toronto often doubles as Anycity, USA in TV and film and used to be similarly disguised in Toronto hip-hop for fear hometown pride might make it harder to crossover south of the border. But then Kardi’s Tdot anthem arrived, proudly describing the ins and outs of local slang and reminding rappers that it’s about both where you’re from and where you’re at.



33. Stan Rogers – “Northwest Passages”
Two years before his tragic and untimely death, Hamilton, Ontario’s folk phenom released this haunting exploration of the Canadian landscape and the Canadian psyche. Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called “Northwest Passage” an “unofficial Canadian anthem” in a pro-Mackenzie Pipeline speech, but let’s not hold that against the poor song.



32. Weakerthans – “Diagnosis”
Winnipeg’s Weakerthans pack a hell of a lot of hooks and heartbreak into two and a half minutes in this perfect folk punk rock single from the band’s 1997 debut album, “Fallow.”



31. The Tragically Hip – “Courage”
The third single from The Hip’s 1992 album, “Fully Completely,” was a top 10 hit in Canada and a top 20 hit stateside. Which likely makes it the most successful rock song that quotes an entire passage from a literary novel. The entire “There’s not simple explanation…” verse is lifted directly from Canadian novelist Hugh MacLennan’s The Watch That Ends The Night, hence the full name of the song, “Courage (For Hugh MacLennan).”





49. Bran Van 3000 – “Drinking In L.A”
In 1997, an electro-alterna-rock collective from Montreal called Bran Van 3000 came out of nowhere and conquered the Canadian (and U.K.) airwaves with the irresistibly infectious “Drinking In L.A.” It remains the single catchiest pop song that has ever been written about ennui and career dissatisfaction.



48. Men Without Hats – “Safety Dance”
We have a real-life “Footloose” situation to thank for this ubiquitous new wave hit from 1983. Singer Ian Doroschuk wrote “Safety Dance” after getting kicked out of a club for pogoing.



47. Joni MItchell – “A Case Of You”
This classic from the 1971 album “Blue” sees Alberta’s folk giant Joni Mitchell at her most poignant and piercing. Given that Mitchell is responsible for an entire career’s worth of poignant and piercing songs like “Free Man In Paris,” “People’s Parties,” “Both Sides Now,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “River” and “Woodstock,” that’s saying quite a lot.



46. Rough Trade – “High School Confidential”
This unflinching and unsentimental look at teenage sexual frustration from the Toronto new wave band Rough Trade’s 1980 album “Avoid Freud” became one of the most sexually explicit songs to ever appear on the Canadian pop charts when it cracked the top 20 the following year. The lyrics, even the infamous “She makes me cream my jeans when she comes my way” line, might be borderline tame by today’s standards, but the song remains every bit as cool as the day it was released.



45. Jann Arden – “Could I Be Your Girl”
The sweet, melodic melancholy of this 1994 single from Calgary’s Jann Arden makes the singer’s biggest hit, “Insensitive,” look positively perky by comparison. “Could I Be Your Girl” took home the Single Of The Year Juno in 1995.



44. Sarah McLachlan – “Good Enough”
“Good Enough” was the third single from Sarah McLachlan’s 1993 breakthrough album “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.” That album would sell almost three million copies in the U.S.



43. Ian and Sylvia – “Four Strong Winds”
CBC Radio listeners voted this the best Canadian song of all time in a 2005 poll for 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version, and with good reason. The iconic sixties folk classic by Toronto’s Ian and Sylvia remains one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking things to ever come out of this country. And the covers – by the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Neil Young and many more – are all pretty swell, too.



42. Death From Above 1979 – “Romantic Rights”
“Romantic Rights,” the first single from Death From Above 1979’s 2004 debut “You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine” was a perfect introduction to the Toronto duo’s doing it-themed noise rock. As happy as we are about the band’s reunion and upcomiong second album, we have problems believing that anything could ever top this.



41. Dream Warrior – “My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style”
There’s something uniquely Canadian about sampling the theme music from a nerdy CTV game show for your hip-hop track. Which is exactly what Toronto’s Dream Warriors
did with the theme from “Definition” (“Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones) on this massive jazz hip hop hit from 1991.





64. Grimes “Oblivion”
Electro-pop breakout Grimes pairs her chipmunk vocals, la la las and burbly beats, not to mention that adorable video, with dichotomously dark lyrics about the mental aftermath of a sexual assault.



63. Cowboy Junkies – “A Misguided Angel”
With “Sweet Jane,” the sexy and smoky first single the Cowboy Junkies’ debut album, The Trinity Sessions, the Toronto alternative folk band proved that they were good enough to cover a legendary band like The Velvet Underground. With their second single, the haunting and dreaming “A Misguided Angel,” they proved that they were even better when they played their own songs.



62. Danko Jones – “Cadillac”
This 1996 song from the Toronto rock trio is basically the Platonic Ideal of a Danko Jones song: naughty, boastful, bombastic, and bad ass with a killer rock riff and a refreshing lack of stereotypical Canadian meekness.



61. The Demics – “New York City”
This 1979 single from London, Ontario’s The Demics was named the greatest Canadian song of all time in Chart Magazine’s inaugural Best Canadian music poll in 1996 and was ranked fifth in a follow-up poll in 2000. In 2014, this punk ode to small-ish town frustration remains as vital as ever, and no Best Canadian Song list worth anything would be complete without it.



60. The Rheostatics – “Record Body Count”
This song from The Rheos’ beloved and critically acclaimed 1991 album, “Melville,” sees the Etobicoke, Ontario rock band at their strangest, most unique and most arresting. The short tune about about a suicidal young man named Joey remains a favourite of disaffected weirdos and art rockers the world over.



59. Bachman Turner Overdrive – “Takin’ Care Of Business”
It didn’t take long for Randy Bachman to make his mark when he split from The Guess Who in 1970. By 1974 BTO were an established band and “Takin’ Care Of Business,” their ode to getting things done, was a hard rock hit. Oddly, it was their song “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” from next album “Not Fragile” that became an international number one.



58. The DeFranco Family – “Heartbeat It’s A Lovebeat”
In the early seventies, Canada had a pretty good reputation for folk music and a burgeoning reputation for rock, but the Great White North wasn’t really known for its boy bands and cheesy pop music. Port Colborne, Ontario’s DeFranco Family did their part to change all of that with this cheesy but catchy as hell ditty that hit number one in 1973 and landed the whole DeFranco family in Tiger Beat.



57. Esthero – “Heaven Sent”
Trip-hop gets a bad rap, which may be why rip-hop duo Esthero have ben laregly forgotten. The late-90s outfit’s best song, “Heaven Sent” mixed singer Esthero’s breathy, jazz-inflected and progressively tougher vocals over future Weeknd producer Doc’s impeccable quiet-loud production and turntable scratcing.



56. The Pursuit Of Happiness – “I’m An Adult Now”
This 1986 hit isn’t just a killer single that becomes more pointed and uncomfortably true with each passing year, it’s also one of the first and best independent success story in Canadian music history. In 1985, a little known band from Toronto recorded a song called “I’m An Adult Now,” filmed an extremely low budget video for it and released both by themselves. It became a massive hit and landed TPOH a record deal. Their debut album, “Love Junk,” went platinum in 1988.



55. 54-40 – “Baby Ran”
This track from 54-40’s eponymous second album was a breakthrough college radio hit for the Vancouver band in 1986. It remains the best 54-40 song that Hootie and the Blowfish never covered.



54. Poppy Family – “Which Way You Goin’ Billy”
The sweet and melancholy title track from The Poppy Family’s 1969 album was the Vancouver psychedelic pop rock band’s biggest hit. It was a number one single in Canada and Ireland, and reached number two of the US charts.



53. Michie Mee & L.A. Luv – “Jamaican Funk Canadian Style”
The godmother of Canadian hip-hop was the first northern rapper to sign to a U.S. label and be taken under the wing of an American star (KRS-One) and she did by representing the Tdot’s cultural mix with a healthy does of dancehall reggae as this classic single makes crystal clear.



52. Kathleen Edwards – “I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory”
Ottawa alt country singer/songwriter sings about eating at Toronto’s infamous Vesta Lunch diner, getting CBC airplay, and being more of a Marty McSorely than a Wayne Gretzky in this clever and thoroughly Canadian single from her critically and commercially successful 2008 album, “Asking For Flowers.”



51. Melanie Fiona – “It Kills Me”
This blistering and emotional track from Toronto’s Melanie Fiona topped cracked the Billboard Hot 100, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (the award eventually went to some up-and-comer named Beyonce), and established the singer as an R&B force on both sides of the border.



50. Zaki Ibrahim – “Draw The Line”
This striking and gorgeous lead track from Zaki Ibrahim’s 2012 album, “Every Opposite,” is a fine example of why the Canadian and South African soul and R&B singer garners so much praise, so many prestigious award nominations (including the Polaris 2013 short list), and opening slots for artists like Erykah Badu.





80. Loverboy – “The Kid Is Hot Tonight”
“Working For The Weekend” may get more attention, but leather pant rockers Loverboy’s first real hit was “The Kid Is Hot Tonight” from the band’s self-titled 1980 debut. Bob Rock, later to become a producer for the likes of Bon Jovi, Metallica and Aerosmith, was an engineer on this album.



79. D-Sisive – “Nobody With A Notepad”
Prolific and brilliant Toronto rapper D-Sisive, along with his longtime collaborator Muneshine, won SOCAN’s ECHO Songwriting Prize for this complex and confessional look at his life and career from the 2009 album “Let The Children Die.”



78. Red Rider – “Lunatic Fringe”
This 1981 song by the Tom Cochrane-led Red Rider was written to address the wave of anti-Semitism which took place in the late-1970s. Mixed martial arts champ Dan Henderson has used the song as his walkout music before fights.



77. Jane Siberry – “Mimi On The Beach”
This single from ethereal Toronto singer/songwriter Jane Sibbery’s 1984 album “No Borders Here” accomplished what few seven and a half minute-long art rock epics have ever managed: it received massive radio play and became a breakthrough hit for the ethereal Toronto singer/songwriter.



76. Shad – “The Old Prince Still Lives At Home”
Shad’s self-deprecating throwback track captured everything that was right about old-school hip-hop — clever references, catchy rhymes and a sense of humour. That this song about a grown man too broke to move out was released during the Great Recession adds some strong subext, too.



75. Payolas – “Eyes Of A Stranger”
This Police-style new wave/reggae song “Eyes Of A Stranger” was a Canadian hit in 1982. Perhaps more notable was that the band, anchored by super-producer Bob Rock and Paul Hyde, also featured David Bowie collaborator Mick Ronson and future Last Gang Records owner Chris Taylor at various points.



74. Skinny Puppy – “Assimilate”
The first track on Skinny Puppy’s first full-length album, “Bites,” released in 1985, is one hell of a way to kick off a disc and is the perfect introduction to the Vancouver industrial gods in general. “Assimilate” is Skinny Puppy at their most melodically sinister.



73. Klaatu – “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft”
This hit 1976 song by Klaatu was inspired by the idea of earthlings trying to contact alien races telepathically. Though written by Canadians and Klaatu band members Terry Draper and John Woloschuk part of the song’s success can be attributed to the rumours when it came out that it was a secret Beatles side-project.



72. New Pornographers – “Mass Romantic”
This title track from indie supergroup The New Pornographers’ 2000 album featured Neko Case on lead vocals.The song has appeared in a number of places, including the TV show “Queer As Folk” and the curling movie “Men With Brooms.”



71. Tegan and Sara – “Closer”
This instant synthpop classic from Calgary’s beloved singer/songwriter twins Tegan and Sara was the lead single from their massively successful 2012 album “Heartthrob.” The platinum-certified single scored the duo “Single of the Year” honours at the 2014 Junos and got the “Glee” treatment in March of 2013.



70. Deborah Cox – “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here”
Think of this song as a dual citizen. It was written by American singer Montell Jordan of “This is How We Do It” fame and his songwriting partner Anthony “Shep” Crawford, but it was performed by Canada’s own R&B star Deborah Cox. It was a massive breakthrough for Cox, topping the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in October of 1998 and staying there for a record 14 weeks.



69. Change Of Heart – “There You Go”
In a perfect world, Toronto indie rock gods Change of Heart would have dominated the airwaves throughout their decades-long career. In the real world, they did have one moment of unexpected top 40 glory. This beautifully delicate little song from their epic 1992 album, “Smile,” briefly charted in Saskatchewan.



68. Barenaked Ladies – “Jane”
College rock goofballs the Barenaked Ladies named the titular character of this sweet love gone wrong song from 1994 after the intersection of Jane and St. Clair in Toronto. Stephen Duffy, who cowrote the song with BNL singer Steven Page, thought that it sounded like the most beautiful intersection in the world. Page didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t.



67. Peaches – “Fuck The Pain Away”
This breakthrough single from Toronto electroclash art rocker Peaches’ 2000 album, “The Teaches of Peaches” is about, well, fucking the pain away (and staying in school). The unabashedly dirty and undeniably addictive tune been featured on a bevy of film soundtracks and has been covered of Montreal and Bollo from The Mighty Boosh. Oh, and in “30 Rock” Liz Lemon used it as her ringtone.



66. Lowest Of The Low – “Salesmen, Cheats and Liars”
Toronto indie rock legends The Lowest of the Low were/are one of the smartest, sharpest, and most literate bands that Canada has ever produced. And this tune from their 1991 debut album, “Shakespeare My Butt,” is one of the smartest, sharpest, and most literate songs they ever produced.



65. Mystery Machine – “Brand New Song”
Vancouver shoegazers Mystery Machine scored their biggest hit with this swirling and swoony single from their second album, “10 Speed.” If social media had been around in 1994, all of the indie rock kids would have been tweeting about all of the feels this song gave them.





89. Bass Is Bass – “Funkmobile”
“I Cry” is the song that gave North York’s Bass is Base a top 40 hit, but the far superior sing-song jam “Funkmobile” is the song that scored the R&B trio their record deal in the first place. It’s also a lot more fun to break out at parties.



88. Martha And The Muffins – “Echo Beach”
This hit 1980 single by Toronto new wave artists Martha and the Muffins was so good they named a concert venue after it. Echo Beach, the venue, is located along Toronto’s waterfront, but it’s more fun if you tell people that it’s far away in time.



87. Rush – “The Spirit Of Radio”
One of the all-time classic tributes to the wireless music transmission, Rush’s “The Spirit Of Radio” was a worldwide hit from their 1980 album “Permanent Waves.” The song was a nod to Toronto alternative radio station CFNY, who were one of the first outlets to play Rush songs.



86. Ashley MacIsaac – “Sleepy Maggie”
The second single from Cape Breton native Ashley MacIsaac’s 1995 debut album “Hi, How Are You Today?” Only in Canada could an enfant terrible fiddler hook up with a Celtic folk singer and produce a ridiculously catchy, chart-topping pop hit sung in Scottish Gaelic.



85. Edward Bear – “Last Song”
This Toronto-based group who had neither an Edward or a Bear in the band, were one of the earliest Canadian acts to sign to a major U.S. label when they joined Capitol Records in 1969. Their 1972 hit “Last Song” reached number one in Canada and number three in the States, their best chart performance.



84. A Tribe Called Red – “Electric Pow Wow Drum”
First Nations DJ crew A Tribe Called Red have radically flipped what it means to make aboriginal music, combining modern beats and drops with traditional powwow drums and singing to create something completely new. “Electric Pow Wow Drum” is the signature song for the Ottawa trio.



83. The Parachute Club – “Rise Up”
One of the pillars of Toronto’s innovative Queen Street scene, The Parachute Club’s new wave dance track “Rise Up” was a hit in 1983. The self-titled album this came from was produced by future U2 conductor Daniel Lanois.



82. Helix – “Rock You”
One of ’80s most iconic songs, “Rock You,” with its helpful lesson “Gimme an R-R, O-O, C-C, K-K, whatcha got?” taught hair metallers everywhere how to spell Rock. Years later Sum 41 would cover the song and start a minor feud with the band.



81. Lee Aaron – “Whatcha Do To My Body”
Belleville, Ontario’s own Lee Aaron, further cemented her status as the Metal Queen with this 1989 single from her most successful album, “Bodyrock.” The record was nominated for Album and Rock Album of the Year at the Junos and “Watcha” received a nomination for Video of the Year.





100. Toronto – “Your Daddy Don’t Know”
Underappreciated gal rock act Toronto had a hit with the gals-get-to-cause-trouble song “Your Daddy Don’t Know” in 1982. The song experienced a renaissance in 2003 when The New Pornographers covered it for the “FUBAR” movie soundtrack.



99. Terry Bush “Maybe Tomorrow (The Theme From Littlest Hobo)”
Yes, it’s a theme for a cheesball Canadian TV show from the ’80s about a dog who saves people. And yes, you know all the words. Maybe tomorrow we won’t like it so much, but until tomorrow we’ll just keep listening.



98. Trooper – “Raise A Little Hell”
Trooper’s 1978 arena rock jam “Raise A Little Hell” was the band’s only song to become a hit in the U.S. The song was produced by BTO/Guess Who’s Randy Bachman.



97. Joel Plaskett – “Nowhere With You”
We make fun of the not so dearly departed Canadian discount department store Zellers, but they did at least one thing right: they picked up this infectious and rollicking 2006 single from Clayton Park, Nova Scotia’s indie folk rock hero Joel Plaskett for a television spot, which made the chain temporarily cool. “Nowhere With You” scored Plaskett Single of the Year and Songwriter of the Year trophies at the 2007 East Coast Music Awards.



96. Daniel Lanois – “The Messenger”
“The Messenger” was the lead-off track from Daniel Lanois’ 1993 album “For The Beauty Of Wynona.” Aspiring mystic rockers The Tea Party would cover the song in 1999.



95. Snow – “Informer”
This song is a punchline, but Snow’s skin colour shouldn’t colour our opinions on this radio smash. In hindsight we can appreciate how impressive his rapid-fire toasting actually is, how bold it was back then to shout-out Toronto and how cool it was he collaborated with rap legend MC Shan.



94. Sweeney Todd – “Roxy Roller”
Taken from Sweeney Todd’s self-titled 1975 album, the glam rock-ish “Roxy Roller” became a number one hit in Canada. Fun fact: Bryan Adams was part of Sweeney Todd when he was 15 years old.



93. Jully Black feat. DeMarco – “Sweat Of Your Brow”
Canada’s R&B and entertainment show queen, Jully Black, scored her first top 20 hit with this sexy single from her 2005 album, “This Is Me.”



92. Great Big Sea – “Mari-Mac”
The pride of St. John’s made traditional Newfoundland music cool with their playful and punkish take on the old comic folk song “Mari-Mac” from their 1995 album, “Up.”



91. Andy Kim – “Rock Me Gently”
“Rock Me Gently” was a Billboard number one hit for Andy Kim in 1974. The Montreal musician was a noted songwriter, scoring hits with songs like “Sugar Sugar” for The Archies. Kim is currently working on a new album with Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew.



90. Northern Pikes – “Teenland”
Part of Can-Rock’s breakout late-’80s scene, “Teenland” gave Canada its own answer to R.E.M. The band’s biggest hit would come three years later with “She Ain’t Pretty.”





Dates: June 13 – 22
Location: Toronto
Genre: Multi
Headliners: St. Vincent, Sleigh Bells, Ryan Hemsworth, A&AP Ferg, Spoon, Juicy J

Luminato 2014
Dates: June 6 – 15
Location: Toronto
Genre: Multi
Headliners: David Byne, Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, Josh Groban

World Pride
Dates: June 20 – 29
Location: Toronto
Genre: Multi
Headliners: k.d. Lang, David Morales, Against Me!, Carly Rae Jepsen

Sled Island 2014
Dates: June 18 – 22
Location: Calgary
Genre: Indie
Headliners: Killer Mike, Bob Mould, Spritualized, St. Vincent, Neko case

Digital Dreams
Dates: June 28-29
Location: Toronto
Genre: Electronic
Headliners: Tiesto, Justice, Deep Dish

Montreal Jazz Festival 2014
Dates: June 26 – July 6
Location: Montreal, QB
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Michael Buble, Ry Cooder, Ben Harper

Ottawa Blues Fest
Dates: July 3 – 13
Location: Ottawa, ON
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Lady Gaga, The Killers, Blake Shelton, Snoop Dogg, Journey, Queens of the Stone Age, Lady Antebellum, etc.

Festival D’Ete
Dates: July 3-13
Location: Quebec City
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Lady Gaga, Snoop, Tegan and Sara, Journey, The Killers, Billy Joel, Blondie, Bryan Adams

Toronto Urban Roots Festival 2014
Dates: July 4 – 6
Location: Toronto
Genre: Folk, Rock, Folk-Rock
Headliners Violent Femmes, Sam Roberts Band, Jeff Tweedy

Halifax Jazz Fest
Dates: July 4 – 12
Location: Halifax, NS
Genre: Multi
Headliners: St. Vincent, Bettye LaVette, Bill Frisell

Cavendish Beach 2014
Dates: July 4 – 6
Location: Cavendish, PEI
Genre: Country
Headliners: Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Devin Cuddy

Stan Rogers Folk Festival
Dates: July 4 – 6
Location: Canso, NS
Genre: Folk
Headliners: Joel Plaskett, Alan Doyle, Ani DiFranco

Mariposa Folk Festival
Dates: July 4 – 6
Location: Orillia, ON
Genre: Folk
Headliners: Rosanne Cash, Ani Difranco

Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014
Dates: July 9 – 13,
Location: Winnipeg
Genre: Folk
Headliners: Bonnie Rait, Buffy SaintMarie, Ben Harper, Ani DiFranco

Evolve Music Festival
Dates: July 11 – 13
Location: Canso, NS
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Peaches, Grandmaster Flash, BADBADNOTGOOD

Big Music Fest
Date: July 11 – 13
Location: Kitchener
Genre: Rock
Headliners: Aerosmith, Bryan Adams

Dates: July 18 – 20
Location: Pemberton, BC
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Nine Inch Nails, Outkast, Deadmau5, Soundgarden

TIME Festival
Dates: July 19
Location: Toronto, ON
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Grimes, Death Grips, Action Bronson

Rock The Park 2014
Dates: July 24-26
Location: London, ON
Genre: Rock
Headliners: Weezer, Burton Cummings, Huey Lewis

Boots and Hearts 2014
Dates: July 31 – August 3,
Location: Bowmanville, ON
Genre: Country
Headliners: Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith

Dates: Aug 1 – 3
Location: Montreal
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Outkast, Jack White, Skrillex, Lorde

Sappyfest 9
Dates: August 1- 3
Location: Sackville, NB
Genre: Indie
Headliners: Constantines, Basia Bulat, PS I Love You, Rae Spoon

VELD 2014
Dates: August 2 – 3
Location: Toronto, ON
Genre: Electronic
Headliners: Calvin Harris, Deadmau5

OVO Fest
Dates: Aug. 3-4
Location: Toronto
Genre: Hip-Hop
Headliners: Drake, Outkast, Special Guests

Edmonton Folk Festival 2014
Dates: August 8-10
Location: Edmonton
Genre: Folk
Headliners: Blue Rodeo, Michael Franti, Ben Harper

Wolfe Island Music Festival
Dates: Aug 8 – 9
Location: Wolfe Island, ON
Genre: Multi
Headliners: K-os, Shad, Rural Alberta Advantage

Shambhala Music Festival
Dates: Aug 8 – 11
Location: Salmo, BC
Genre: Electronic
Headliners: Bassnectar, Datsik, A Tribe Called Red, Moby

Squamish Valley Music Festival 2014
Dates: August 8 – 10
Location: Squamish, BC
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Arcade Fire, Eminem and Bruno Mars

Mad Decent Block Party
Dates: Aug 15
Location: Toronto
Genre: Electronic
Headliners: Zed’s Dead, Claude Von Stroke, A Tribe Called Red

Dates: August 15 Sept 1
Location: Toronto
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Down With Webster, Platinum Blonde, Hanson

Riot Fest
Dates: Sept 6-7
Location: Toronto
Genre: All
Headliners: The Cure, Flaming Lips, Death Cab, City & Coour, Metric, The National, Death From Above 1979

Sonic Boom
Dates: August 29 – 31
Location: Edmonton
Genre: Indie
Headliners: Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Death Cab For Cutie, Tegan and Sara

Festival of Good Things
Dates: August 30
Location: Sarnia, ON
Genre: Multi
Headliners: Gord Downie, the Sadies, Small Town Get Up

Pop Montreal 2014
Dates: September 17-21
Location: Montreal,
Genre: Multi
Headliners: TBA


Chateau Frontenac Quebec City