Although Canada does not have a large population, given its land mass, we certainly can produce high-quality A-listers. Some of Hollywood’s finest celebrities, including actors, musicians, athletes and directors, actually got their start in Canada. Do you know who these famous Canadian celebrities are?
Here, in no particular order, are 14 celebrities—from A-listers on down—that were born and raised in Canada.
1. Ryan Reynolds
We’ve been swooning over Ryan for years—and even more so when he sends out those hilarious viral tweets. Mostly known for his latest role and aggressive humour in the Marvel Comics movie, Deadpool, he actually broke through after starring in a film adaptation of the television show Sabrina the Teenage Witch.Born on October 23, 1976, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Reynolds began his acting career at age 15 by starring in the Canadian soap opera Hillside. From a family sitcom to a fictional antihero, Reynolds has come a long way.
Reynolds is currently married to actress Blake Lively and the couple have two daughters, which he loves to joke about, though Lively admits he’s actually a great father.
2. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber—otherwise known as The Biebs—certainly loves the limelight. Whether he’s stirring up the news with his relationship drama (is he with Selena Gomez or not?), he’s never failed to top the charts with his musical talents or signature haircuts.
Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London, Ontario, but was raised just an hour car ride away in Stratford, Ontario by his mother Patricia Mallette and his grandparents. Stratford is well known for its passion for gardening and for their annual Stratford Festival, which hosts plays by the famous bard, among other playwrights. Growing up in a city such as Stratford would certainly explain Bieber’s strong artistic and theatrical background!
Bieber was first discovered in 2007 by a marketing executive of So So Def Recordings when he was just 13-years-old. Shortly after, he began singing with Usher and was signed to the Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG). Then the albums started coming year after year and Bieber grew into a world-famous singer and songwriter — with our favourite can’t-get-them-out-of-your-head hits such as “Baby,” and “Never Say Never,” and “Despacito.”
3. Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, but grew up just four provinces over in Markham, Ontario, which is located just 30 kilometres outside of Toronto. He has three siblings named Kaylen, Hejsa, and Tove.
Christensen debuted on the television show Higher Ground and the movie Trapped in a Purple Haze. Christensen has one child named Briar Rose with actress Rachel Bilson. The two split up after almost 10 years together. They’d originally met on the set of Jumper in 2008.
4. Elisha Cuthbert
Elisha Cuthbert has the mark of a true Canadian. While she’s always been a huge NHL fan, she even went as far as to marry Alberta-born Dion Phaneuf in 2013.
Elisha was born on November 30, 1982, in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Greenfield Park, Quebec before moving to Toronto, Ontario.
After high school, Cuthbert moved to Los Angeles, California. She first began modelling as a child and later made a television appearance on the children’s television show Are You Afraid of the Dark? before joining the show on a permanent basis. More recently, Cuthbert plays Abby in the Netflix show, The Ranch.
One of Drake’s biggest hits says he “started from the bottom,” which I guess is shorthand for TheSix (his name for Toronto, Ontario). A huge basketball fan, Drake became an ambassador for the Toronto Raptors—and fellow Canadians couldn’t be more thrilled!
Born as Aubrey Drake Graham (now known as Drake) his parents gave birth to him in Toronto, Ontario in 1986. At first, he began an acting career at the age of 15 with a starring role as Jimmy in Degrassi: The Next Generation.
In 2006, Drake switched gears and turned to music. As a rapper, he released his debut mix-tape called “Room for Improvement.” More recently, Drake released his fourth studio album called “Summer Sixteen.” Yes, we know. “Hotline Bling” is stuck in our heads now, too.
6. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario in 1962. As a small city just north of Toronto, Newmarket was known to attract families who wanted a small-town feeling but with big city amenities. Jim grew up the youngest of four children.
This famous actor and producer began his career on The Carol Burnett Show at age 10. Carrey has since starred in many popular movies, such as Dumb and Dumber, The Truman Show, Me, Myself & Irene, Man on the Moon, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He is known for his mad ad-lib skills and has produced some of the most iconic movie lines that are still used to this day.
7. Ellen Page
Back in 2007, Ellen Page had her breakout role in the witty yet compelling movie, Juno. She charmed the pants off of many people and has since tackled some more well-received movies alongside big-name celebrities such as Leonardo Dicaprio and Hugh Jackman.
Ellen Page was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 21, 1987. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a graphic designer.
Page began her career in acting at the age of 10 when she starred in the television series Pit Pony. She then went on to act in the film Marion Bridge and made a name for herself in the movie X-Men 3: The Last Stand where she played the comic book character Shadowcat.
8. Keith Magnuson
If you’re Canadian, chances are high that you know big name NHL stars such as Wayne Gretzky and Lanny McDonald—but what about the lesser-known hockey players that made a bang during the same era?
Keith Magnuson was born in 1947 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Magnuson attended the University of Denver where he was a student-athlete. He became a professional hockey defenceman and played in the National Hockey League between 1969 to 1979, winning a number of awards over the years. Magnuson died in a car accident on December 15, 2003.
9. Kevin Munroe
If you grew up eating pizza while fighting off friends to decide who got to be Donatello or Leonardo, you’ll probably know Kevin Munroe better than you think.
Kevin Munroe was born and raised in Moncton, New Brunswick, but most of us know him as a writer and director of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ratchet & Clank and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.
Munroe is married to Mignonne L. McKern, and the couple has four children.
9. Joanna Gleason
Let’s talk Tony’s! Joanna Gleason is an award-winning actress in the musical theatre world but that didn’t stop her from also breaking into the television and movie industry.
Born on June 2, 1950, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she was just 6-years-old, when Gleason and her family moved to New York so that her father, Monty Hall, could continue in his career as a game show host (you may remember him on Let’s Make a Deal). Surrounded by Broadway, Gleason gravitated to the stage and began her acting career in the musical Promises, Promises before going on to play roles in movies like The Wedding Planner, Let the Devil Wear Black, and Boogie Nights.
9. Ryan Gosling
The second Ryan on our list is Ryan Gosling. Growing up with Gosling, we were used to being seduced by his charm in Breaker High. What some don’t realize, however, is that he actually got his start in The Mickey Mouse Club, along with Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
Gosling was born on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario. But his fame rocketed after starring in the 2004 film, The Notebook, where he stole the hearts of women worldwide.
More recently, Gosling starred in Blue Valentine, The Ides of March, and Oscar-winning La La Land. In fact, we’re all still gushing over his Oscar acceptance speech dedicated to his wife, Eva Mendes and the couples’ daughters.
9. Stephen Dunn
With a jam-packed profile on IMDB, Stephen Dunn has done it all. Acting, directing, writing, cinematography and producing to name a few—and yet, this Canadian is still new to the tinsel-town industry!
Stephen Dunn was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland on January 18, 1989. While Dunn isn’t as familiar as some other Canadian celebrities, he’s still young with a growing career and resume. Some of the work he has accomplished include Closet Monster, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me and We Wanted More.
9. Mary Walsh
If you love to laugh, you’ll know Mary Walsh for her work on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, where she starred alongside Rick Mercer.
Mary Walsh is a writer and actress born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Some of her biggest accomplishments come from The Rosie O’Donnell Show and that good ol’ Canadian show, Codco.
Walsh is married to Donald Nichol and has founded the award-winning CODCO comedy troupe of Newfoundland—so, long may your big jib draw, Mary.
9. Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne keeps the public entertained with her fanbase blasting out conspiracy theories, marrying fellow Canadian Chad Kroeger and starting the trend of the casual tie.
Avril Lavigne was born on September 27, 1984, in Belleville, Ontario. Belleville is located along the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte. Lavigne is a singer-songwriter made famous for her pop-punk music. Lavigne released her first album in 2002 and is currently working on her sixth studio album.
She recently began an acting career, which includes making an appearance in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Flock, and voicing an animated character in Over the Hedge.