It’s crazy to think that some of your favourite actors are born and raised in your very own backyard: Right here in the 6ix.
Everybody has to start somewhere and these stars call Canada home. While some live in the area and still own houses in the GTA, others visit from time to time to spend quality time with their friends and family.
Here are 15 celebrities who are originally from the Toronto area:
Started from the bottom now he’s here! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that Drake was born and raised right here in Toronto. Drake got his start on the popular TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation (it’s not as if anyone could forget his character, Jimmy). Drake left acting to pursue a career in music and was signed by Lil Wayne’s record label Young Money Entertainment in 2009. To this day, the famous rapper still calls the 6ix home and has a huge property located in North York.
Beloved actor and comedian Jim Carrey is also from the GTA and was born in Newmarket, Ontario. His family later relocated to the Scarborough area and he also briefly lived in Burlington before his rise to stardom. Carrey took to the stage for the first time at Yuk Yuk’s comedy club in Toronto when he was only 15 years old. With his hilarious jokes and die-hard work ethic, it’s safe to say that the rest is history! Carrey has starred in a variety of comedic roles since, from The Mask to the Dumb and Dumber films, and most recently as the villain in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, along with many others.
Actor and comedian Mike Myers was also born and raised in the Toronto area. He lived with his family in Scarborough, Ontario during his early years, and then went on to secure a spot with The Second City theatre troupe in Toronto. Myers is widely known for movies like Wayne’s World, the Austin Powers trilogy, and Shrek. You might remember seeing him recently as well in the Uber Eats commercial where he reprises his character from Wayne’s World almost thirty years later — Party time! Excellent!
You may remember her best as Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries, or maybe you know her from back in the day as Mia Jones in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Nina Dobrev moved to Toronto with her family when she was only two years old and briefly studied at Ryerson University before leaving to pursue a career in acting. She got her first major role on Degrassi back in 2006 and has since gone on to star in many movies and television shows. From TV series like The Vampire Diaries to movies like The Roommate, Let’s Be Cops, and Run This Town.
Keanu Reeves has been acting for the past 37 years, but before he made it big he was originally raised in the Toronto area. Born in Lebanon, Reeves moved with his family to Toronto at a very young age and was raised in the Yorkville neighbourhood. Eventually, Reeves moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in acting and went on to star in blockbuster movies like The Matrix films, the John Wick films, along with romantic dramas like Sweet November, The Lake House and Destination Wedding.
You may recognize her as Emily Fields from Pretty Little Liars, but believe it or not, Shay Mitchell grew up right here in Mississauga, Ontario. Mitchell has starred in many projects since her breakthrough role on Pretty Little Liars which ran from 2010-2017. Most recently she has starred in Netflix’s thriller series You and Hulu’s comedy series Dollface.
Michael Cera is originally from the GTA and grew up in Brampton, Ontario. Cera has been acting since he was a child and got his first acting job in a Tim Hortons commercial — how cute! He went on to star in some children’s shows growing up, before eventually making it on the big screen with movies like Superbad, Juno, and Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Of course, he is also known for his role as George Michael on the TV series Arrested Development.
Shenae Grimes-Beech was born and raised in Toronto, and she was once an intern at Toronto’s Fashion Television. She got her first reoccurring role on Degrassi: The Next Generation back in 2006, before going on to star as Annie Wilson in the CW’s reboot of 90210 from 2008-2013. Nowadays you can catch her and her husband Josh Beech on her YouTube channel where she uploads weekly vlogs.
Famous for his comedic roles, and even more famous for his one-of-a-kind eyebrows! Eugene Levy is a long-time actor who is originally from Hamilton, Ontario. Levy grew up in the Hamilton area and went on to study at McMaster University, and is also an alum of the Toronto theatre troupe The Second City. Levy has been in so many movies but is widely known for his reoccurring role of Noah Levenstein aka Jim’s Dad in the American Pie films, along with the popular series Schitt’s Creek in which he co-created with his son Dan Levy.
Of course, Dan Levy is also Canadian and was born in the Toronto area just like his father. He studied film at both York University and Ryerson University before going on to pursue a career in acting. He got his start in the industry as a host on MTV Live and The After Show, and then went on to act in movies like Admission and Cyberstalker. From there, he started a production company with his father and they co-created the series Schitt’s Creek in which he stars as David Rose.
Actress Catherine O’Hara grew up right here in Toronto, and like many others, she got her start with The Second City theatre troupe. O’Hara went on to be a series regular with the Second City Television comedy show, often referred to as SCTV. It was here that she met actors John Candy and Eugene Levy, who she worked with multiple times throughout the years. Most recently, O’Hara starred in Levy’s show Schitt’s Creek as Moira Rose. O’Hara has been in so many different productions over the years. You may remember her as Kate McCallister, Kevin’s Mom from the Home Alone films, and she has also been in a few of Tim Burton’s movies including Beetlejuice, and his animated movies The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie to name a few.
Perhaps best known for this role as Gob Bluth on the series Arrested Development, or the comedy Blades of Glory, or perhaps from the series 30 Rock. Will Arnett was born and raised in Toronto before he moved to New York City to study acting. Arnett credits his Mom for giving him the push he needed to pursue acting as a career — how sweet!
Born in the Willowdale neighbourhood located in North Toronto, Howie Mandel got his start doing stand-up comedy at Yuk Yuk’s in the city. Over the years he has starred in various roles from acting to hosting to comedy. These days he is best known for being a series regular host on the popular show America’s Got Talent since 2010. Back in 2009, he was awarded a star at Canada’s Walk of Fame in downtown Toronto.
Patrick J. Adams
In case you didn’t already know, Suits star Patrick J. Adams was born in Canada and lived in Toronto until he was 19 years old. From there he moved with his family to LA and started to pursue a career in acting. Adams has made appearances in a long list of television shows including Friday Night Lights, Cold Case, Pretty Little Liars, Lost, NCIS, Heartland, Legends of Tomorrow, Ghost Whisperer and of course Suits.
Best known for his role on the hit TV series Arrow that ran for eight seasons, Stephen Amell is a Toronto native who takes pride in his Canadian roots. While he has mostly worked on various television shows, making appearances in series like The Vampire Diaries, New Girl, Private Practice, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, Amell has also starred in a few movies such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Code 8.