“I am a teacher. It's how I define myself. A good teacher isn't someone who gives the answers out to their kids but is understanding of needs and challenges and gives tools to help other people succeed. That's the way I see myself, so whatever it is that I will do eventually after politics, it'll have to do a lot with teaching.” - Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau was born in Ottawa on Christmas Day 1971 to Margaret Trudeau and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He is Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister and the current leader of Canada’s Liberal Party. Here are 43 facts about Canada's charismatic commander-in-chief.
Justin Trudeau Facts
1. A Capital Birth
Trudeau is the first Canadian Prime Minister to be born in the nation’s capital, Ottawa.
2. Only Once Before
Trudeau is only the second child in Canadian history to be born to a serving Prime Minister. The first instance was when Margaret Mary Macdonald was born to Sir John A. Macdonald.
3. Like Father, Like Son
Another record-breaker: As the son of Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau is the only Canadian Prime Minister who is related to a previous Prime Minister.
4. October 18
October 18 has special meaning to Trudeau: It is his father’s birthday, the day he proposed to his wife Sophie Gregoire, and the day that his first child was born.
5. A Family Acquaintance
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau was a classmate and friend of Trudeau’s youngest brother Michel, and spent a lot of time in the Trudeau home before she started dating Justin.
6. A Royal Proposal
Following a couple’s massage with champagne and oysters, Trudeau proposed to Sophie at the Royal Suite of the St. James Hotel in Old Montreal. The site was also the location of their wedding reception.
In the 2007 mini-series The Great War, Trudeau portrayed soldier and Rhodes Scholar Talbot Mercer Papineau; Papineau was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele. Coincidentally, Trudeau won the nomination for the riding of Papineau in Quebec the same month the mini-series aired on TV.
8. Eight and Eight
Trudeau is the eighth person whose name starts with the letter J to become Prime Minister. He is also the eighth person to do so while in their 40s.
9. Young but not Youngest
Joe Clark holds the record for being Canada’s youngest Prime Minister; he was sworn in one day before his 40th birthday. Trudeau, having been sworn in at the age of 43, is the second youngest Prime Minister in Canada’s history.
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10. Professor Trudeau
Before getting into politics, Trudeau taught high school French, drama and math.
11. A True Heavyweight
Nobody can accuse Trudeau of not being able to take a punch! The PM has participated in several charity boxing matches, and famously beat Canadian Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity match in 2012.
Justin has a large tattoo on his arm that is actually composed of two separate tattoos. He first got a globe when he was 23, and then added a Haida raven around the earlier tattoo when he turned 40. The raven represents the Aboriginal people who live in the Haida Gwaii territory in British Columbia and parts of Alaska.
13. What a Girl Wants
Trudeau raised around $1,900 Canadian for liver disease by performing a partial strip-tease at a the "What a Girl Wants" Gala in 2011. While Trudeau is known for his abs, he kept things PG and only stripped down to his tank top.
14. Famous in Iceland
In August 2017, a friend of Radio Host Bill Carroll discovered a Trudeau shirt for sale in Reykjavik, Iceland. The tee depicts a shirtless Trudeau in front of mountains, flanked by a moose and a bear.
15. You Can Go Home Again
Trudeau’s childhood home was 24 Sussex Drive, which is the official residence of Canada’s Prime Minister. When the renovations and repairs on the residence are complete, Trudeau will move back into the residence with his family.
16. Balancing Act
Most politicians stick with simply holding babies, but Trudeau has a trick that separates him from the rest of the pack. He credits his dad with teaching him how to balance babies, which makes for a great photo op and a souvenir for the proud parents.
17. Life of the Party
Trudeau has a party trick: he throws himself down a flight of stairs and gets up unscathed. He even performed the stunt at his wedding reception.
18. Family Tragedy
Trudeau suffered the loss of his younger brother Michel: the sibling was swept away by an avalanche while skiing in 1998. The tragedy inspired Trudeau to get involved with the Canadian Avalanche Foundation, and he later became its director.
19. Burying the Hatchet
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney called Pierre Trudeau his nemesis, even spending an entire chapter of his memoirs criticizing him. Despite this rivalry, Justin Trudeau and Ben Mulroney, Brian's son, are good friends. Brian Mulroney even endorsed Justin for PM.
20. Thank You!
The day after the election, Trudeau thanked voters in an unexpected place: He spent the morning in a Montreal Subway station saying thank you to commuters.
21. Surprisingly Open
Trudeau has repeatedly demonstrated that he isn’t afraid to get personal in an interview. He has spoken frankly about his mother’s mental illness (she has bipolar disorder) and his wife’s battle with eating disorders.
22. Planks like a Pro
A viral photo of Trudeau performing a yoga pose in an office on Parliament Hill shows off his core strength. The photo shows Trudeau supporting himself only with his hands on the table, while his legs jut out horizontally into the air.
23. A Sentimental Seat
One of the first things Trudeau did when he moved into his new office was reinstall his father’s old desk.
24. Comic Book Cameo
In 1979, Pierre Trudeau appeared in an issue of Uncanny X-Men. In 2016, Justin followed in his father’s footsteps, appearing on the variant cover of Civil War II: Choosing Sides.
25. I Want Her to Play Me!
Trudeau once said that if a movie was ever made about his life, he’d like to be played by Meryl Streep.
26. A Warm Welcome
When Canada welcomed its first group of Syrian Refugees, Trudeau went to the Toronto airport to personally greet them and help hand out winter coats.
27. Not His “Friend”
Matthew Perry and Justin Trudeau went to the same grade school in Canada. In a 2017 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Perry admitted to beating up Trudeau in 5th grade because he was jealous of the future PM's athletic ability.
28. Most Influential
In April 2016, Trudeau was named one of Time magazine’s “Most Influential People” in the "Leader" category. Fellow Canadian and SNL boss Lorne Michaels wrote his feature.
29. And Powerful too!
Trudeau was also ranked 66th on Forbes’ Most Powerful People of 2016.
Trudeau is a self-proclaimed feminist. He believes in gender equality, and even appointed a 50% female cabinet. When asked why he felt that this move was important, he replied: “Because it’s 2015.”
31. Not Just a Pretty Face
When a reporter assumed that Trudeau couldn’t understand the concept of quantum computing, Trudeau shocked the audience by explaining how the concept works without missing a beat.
32. A Presidential Prediction
At a state dinner attended by Trudeau’s father in 1972, Richard Nixon predicted that Trudeau, who was just a baby at the time, would one day succeed his father as Prime Minister.
33. Well That Was Awkward
Trudeau got caught in a rare awkward moment when he found himself in the middle of a three-way handshake between US President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the 2016 “Three Amigos Summit.”
34. Game Over, Man
Four years before he became Prime Minister for real, the video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution portrayed Trudeau as the Prime Minister of Canada.
35. Cousin of the Opposition
An Ancestry.com search revealed that Trudeau and former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair are 9th cousins. They are distantly related by their 8th great-grandparents dating back 400 years.
36. First PM to March
Trudeau made history in July 2016 when he became the first Canadian Prime Minister to march in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade. Trudeau had previously attended parades in Vancouver and Toronto, but never as the country’s leader.
37. From Flower Child to First Lady
Trudeau’s mother Margaret Trudeau was famous in her own right. She was a "flower child" before becoming the Prime Minister’s wife. In her youth she partied at Studio 54, and even dated Jack Nicholson and Ted Kennedy.
38. Showing an Artistic Side
Trudeau has a talent for drawing. His watercolor sketch of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was auctioned off for charity on e-Bay and sold for $25,000. Postcard prints of the sketch were given to Liberal Party donors.
39. Playing with Lego
Trudeau called Star Wars: The Force Awakens a “life-changing movie,” and admitted that he bought his son a LEGO Millennium Falcon set so he could build it himself.
40. It’s All About the Socks
Novelty socks are something of an obsession for the Canadian PM, and he’s been seen sporting special socks for different occasions. He’s worn socks with red maple leafs in tribute to Canada’s flag, NATO-themed socks for a NATO meeting, and Star Wars socks for a meeting that fell on May 4th, which is International Star Wars Day.
41. Prime Minister Panda Cuddler
The Internet went wild when Justin Trudeau was photographed cuddling with the baby pandas at the Toronto Zoo during their naming ceremony. Trudeau said that the cubs were a symbol of Canada’s strong relationship with China.
42. A Man of Substance
Trudeau has been criticized for the number of selfies that he takes with the people he meets, but he argues that being connected with people is essential to serving Canadians, and that government is not about image but substance.