You wouldn’t think that Will and Grace actor Eric McCormack had much in common with tennis star Emma Raducanu, but the two share a surprising connection. As do Neil Young, Drake, Christopher Plummer, Mike Myers, and a host of other stars. The connection is Toronto, a place that each and every one of them has called home at some point. Find out which other famous names have links to the city with our round-up of our 20 favorite celebrities from Toronto.
20. Stephen Amell
Stephen Amell was born in Toronto on May 8, 1981. Since rising to fame as Oliver Queen on The CW superhero series Arrow, he’s continued to enjoy success in the Starz drama series Heels and in the superhero film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Outside of acting, Amell has made several appearances for WWE.
19. Dan Levy
Actor, writer, director, comedian, and producer Dan Levy was born in Toronto in August 1983. Considering who his father is (actor Eugene Levy), it probably came as no surprise to anyone when he went into the family business. It probably didn’t surprise too many people when he and his father wound up creating a massive hit together, either – the hugely successful sitcom Schitt’s Creek, which Dan and Eugene co-created and co-starred in between 2015 and 2020. The show became so successful, Levy became the first person in history to win a Primetime Emmy Award for producing, writing, directing, and acting all in the same year.
18. Emma Raducanu
She might be the British No.1 tennis player, but the reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu actually hails from Toronto. She was born in the city in November 2002 and spent the first two years of her life there. At that point, her father, Ion Răducanu, who comes from Bucharest, Romania, and her mother Renee Zhai, who comes from Shenyang, China, decided to move the family to London in the UK. Raducanu, who holds dual British and Canadian citizenship, began playing tennis at the age of 5. In 2021, she made headlines when she became the first British woman since Virginia Wade to win a Grand Slam singles title.
17. Eric McCormack
Actor Eric McCormack was born in Toronto on April 18, 1963. After spending most of the early 1990s appearing in minor roles on TV shows, he landed his breakthrough role as Will Truman in Will & Grace in 1998. The series landed him six Golden Globe nominations and four Emmy nominations, along with a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Since then, he’s continued to enjoy success in the likes of Trust Me, Perception, and The New Adventures of Old Christine.
16. Corey Haim
Actor Corey Haim rose to prominence in the 1980s alongside Corey Feldman. After acting together in The Lost Boys, they became known as The Two Coreys, appearing in a slew of films together as well as the reality TV show, The Two Coreys. Sadly, Haim suffered drug addiction and mental health issues throughout his life. He died in March 2010 of pneumonia at the age of 38.
15. Will Arnet
After graduating from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Will Arnet spent several years trying to get his foot on the ladder without success. In 2003, he finally made his TV breakthrough with the role of George Oscar “Gob” Bluth II in the comedy series Arrested Development. Since then, he’s enjoyed continued success on shows such as BoJack Horseman and 30 Rock, and for his voice-over work on Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ratatouille, Monsters vs. Aliens, Despicable Me, and others.
14. Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson’s first job was in a traveling carnival. His second was as an assistant at a freak show. Fortunately for the music world, his third was as a guitarist for Little Caesar and the Consuls, an experience that convinced him to pursue music full time. After a stint with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, he and the rest of the Hawks broke away to form their own band, called, appropriately enough, The Band. Since going solo in the late ’70s, Robertson has released several solo albums and worked extensively on film scores, most notably alongside Martin Scorsese.
13. Samantha Bee
Samantha Bee was born and bred in Toronto. She got her start in showbiz with the Toronto-based sketch comedy troupe The Atomic Fireballs, subsequently landing the job of correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2003. Since then, she’s launched her own TV show (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), authored several books, founded a production company, and created both a TV series (The Detour) and three children (Piper, Fletcher, and Ripley) with her husband, Jason Jones.
12. Frank Gehry
He might not be a household name in the way most of the other celebs on our list are, but for architect buffs, the best thing to have ever come out of Toronto is Frank Gehry, a world-renowned architect whose works are widely considered to be among the most important in contemporary architecture. Described by Vanity Fair as “the most important architect of our age,” it’s said that his fascination with incorporating everyday materials like corrugated steel and chain link fencing into his constructions was inspired by the Saturday mornings he spent at his grandfather’s hardware store as a kid.
11. Mike Myers
Whether you know him best from Wayne’s World, Saturday Night Live, or Austin Powers, if you know comedy, you’ll know the name Mike Myers. Although he lives in New York these days, he’s not forgotten his roots, even going so far as to publish a book, Canada, that combines stories from his life with thoughts on Canada’s history, heritage, and popular culture. He can next be seen in the upcoming period film, Amsterdam, due for release in November 2022.
10. Margaret Atwood
One of the greatest figures in modern literature, Margaret Atwood is a multi-award-winning author, poet, essayist, and literary critic whose work has been inspiring, influencing, and entertaining readers since the ’60s. In addition to writing classic novels like The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, and Alias Grace, Atwood is also the creative genius behind the LongPen, a remote signing device that allows the user to write text and signatures in ink remotely using a robotic hand and a tablet PC.
9. Shawn Mendes
As blogto.com notes, Shawn Mendes might call Pickering his hometown, but the actor was actually born in Toronto. His career started back in 2013 when a video of him covering Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me” on Vine went viral. Within a year, he’d been signed to Island Records, and within two, he was sat at number one on the US Billboard 200 with his debut album, Handwritten. Since then, he’s become the youngest male artist in history to top the charts with four consecutive albums, released multiple hit singles, earned countless awards, and, according to Celebrity Net Worth, racked up a stonking $40 million net worth.
8. Jim Carrey
Slapstick comedians don’t get much bigger than Jim Carrey, who enjoyed a spectacular year in 1994 (he released three career-defining films – Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber – all in the same 12 month period) and hasn’t left the spotlight since. In 2020, he proved there’s more than one string to his bow with the publication of his first novel, Memoirs and Misinformation.
7. Kiefer Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland may have been born in the UK and raised in the US for the first few years of his life, but by the age of 9, he was firmly ensconced in Toronto. After making his acting debut in Max Dugan Returns alongside his father, acclaimed Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, Sutherland moved to Hollywood and started making a name for himself in films like Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, and Young Guns. In the 2000s, he made the move to TV with the role of Jack Bauer in the global smash hit, 24.
6. Rick Moranis
After beginning his career as a radio DJ in the 1970s, Toronto native Rick Moranis made the move to the big screen, becoming one of the biggest comedy draws of the ’80s in films like Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Parenthood. In 1997, he stepped back from the spotlight to care for his two kids after the tragic death of his wife, costume designer Ann Belsky. After a long hiatus, he returned in 2020 with the announcement that he would be starring in an upcoming sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
5. Christopher Plummer
With a career spanning 6 decades, multiple awards (including an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award nomination), universal acclaim, and a resume that includes such classic films as The Sound of Music Malcolm X, The Man Who Would Be King, and The Man Who Would Be King, Christopher Plummer is widely (and rightly) considered to be one of Hollywood’s all-time greats. The Toronto native died in 2021 at the age of 91.
4. Neil Young
For music fans, Neil Young is a name that needs no introduction. Since rising to fame with Buffalo Springfield in the ’60s, the Toronto native has enjoyed a hugely successful and influential solo career, as well as the occasional high-profile stint with supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Despite living in California for the past 60 years, Young has kept his Canadian citizenship and in 2009, was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada.
3. The Weeknd
Singer-songwriter and record producer The Weeknd was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto. Since releasing his debut album Kiss Land in 2013, his career has gone from strength to strength. To date, he’s amassed a string of awards (including four Grammy Awards, 19 Billboard Music Awards, 15 Juno Awards, six American Music Awards, and an Academy Award nomination), sold over 75 million records worldwide, and has even been appointed a World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador. Although he’s long since swapped Toronto for LA, his homeland hasn’t forgotten him, with Canada’s Walk of Fame awarding him the prestigious Allan Slaight Honour for “making a positive impact in the fields of music, film, literature, visual or performing arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy.”
2. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He moved to Sydney, Australia, and then to New York City when he was a couple of years old, and to Toronto when he was six. He spent the rest of his childhood being raised in the Yorkville neighborhood of the city, attending four different schools in five years (one of which, the Etobicoke School of the Arts, he was expelled from) before eventually dropping out of school at 17 and moving to LA three years later. After rising to fame in teen-based comedies like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, he made the jump to adult roles in the 1990s, winning acclaim (and quite a lot of superstardom) with his performances in the likes of Speed and The Matrix. Since then, he’s maintained his profile through the hugely successful John Wick franchise, among other projects. In 2020, he came in at number four on The New York Times list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.
According to Wikipedia, Drake’s home in Toronto is one of the most Googled houses in the world, generating over a million searches in 2021 alone. Considering it’s worth over $100 million and has an NBA-size indoor basketball court and Kohler Numi toilet, it’s understandable. Outside of owning a very expensive house, Drake’s main claim to fame is being one of the biggest exports to come out of Canada in years – since making his breakthrough with Thank Me Later in 2010, he’s sold over 170 million records worldwide, earned countess number ones, and, according to reports, helped add an extra 5 percent to Toronto’s annual tourism income.