As Canadians, we obviously take pride in our internationally known superstars… but we’re especially proud of our fellow Torontonians’ successes. The world has Toronto to think for many of its greatest talents and brightest minds, so we just wanted to take a minute to remind everyone about those minds and talents. Without further adieu, take pride in these home-grown celebs!
Malin Akerman (born in Sweden, raised in Toronto)
Yes, this Swedish actress was born in Stockholm, but she and her family soon relocated to Toronto! From fan-favourite rom-coms like The Proposal, to critically acclaimed works like I’ll See You in My Dreams, Akerman. Sidebar: did you know she was the lead vocalist of an alternative rock band in the early 2000s? Look up “The Petalstones.” Go on, we dare you.
Michael Ondaatje (whose first name is Philip, by the way) and his legacy of award-winning brilliance gives Toronto much to be proud of. A prolific author, member of the Order of Canada, and winner of both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award (to name just a few of his accolades), Ondaatje also worked two decades with Coach House Press to foster new Canadian writings.
A former America’s Next Top Model contestant and working fashion model, Harlow is so much more than her striking beauty. She has become a major spokesperson for vitiligo, a skin condition that causes loss of pigment in patches across the body. Harlow herself has vitiligo and has discussed her experiences at length in her YouTube video “Vitiligo: A Skin Condition, not a Life Changer,” as well as giving a TED Talk on the subject.
Plummer is film and theatre royalty. He has an Oscar, two Emmys, and two Tonys to his name, making him the only Canadian to received the Triple Crown of Acting (that’s an EGOT minus the G). He has played many iconic roles over the course of his career, but we’ll always know him as Georg von Trapp.
Bee has built a career doing what all Canadians love; making fun of Americans. She was the longest-running correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, which arguably put her on the map as a political satirist. Although she is a US citizen as of 2014, she retains her Canadian citizenship. (We like to think she’s on some sort of secret, covert mission.)
Whether it was on Bojack Horseman or Arrested Development, Will Arnett has made us laugh. He’s been nominated for altogether too many Emmys and was formerly married to Amy Poehler (with whom he has two kids). Every now and again he’ll pop up in a Best Buy or Freedom Mobile commercial, just to keep us on our toes.
Yet another internationally renowned Toronto funny man! Although his career took a weird turn (you should check out his Twitter art), Carrey’s over-the-top, slapstick comedy style is a classic. Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, The Truman Show… it’s hard to name a Carrey film that hasn’t become iconic.
You likely know Egoyan as the film director who likes to get deep. Also, given his non-linear plot structures often rely on withholding information until the last minute, he might be the reason you have trust issues. Still, we’re proud to say the man who brought Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter is from Toronto!
Admit it; you’ve tried to imitate Moira Rose’s voice and just couldn’t get it. One of the many famous faces to emerge from Second City, O’Hara has made us proud as over-the-top mothers for decades. Whether it was Beetlejuice, Home Alone, or Schitt’s Creek’s beloved Moira, we know you’ve fallen in love with her.
Franklin was such an accomplished scientist and academic, there’s even a high school in her name in Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood. After a long and impressive career as a research physicist, author, and University of Toronto professor who also worked actively on behalf of pacifist and feminist causes, Franklin passed in 2016 at the age of 94. We couldn’t be prouder to call her a Torontonian.
And, surprise surprise, Drake. Maybe you know him as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi, or maybe for his international music career. Here in Toronto, we mostly know him as the guy who started calling our city “The Six”. No matter how you feel about the numerical nickname, you can’t deny Drake has established himself as a beacon of Toronto pride. (Also, he’s a Raptors fan).