Toronto, Canada has long been a center for the performing arts, which might explain why the city has managed to produce so many big name stars. Many of the hottest celebrities at the moment hail from Canada, but there’s a surprisingly large number that come directly from Toronto. Drake is probably the city’s best-known celebrity at the moment, but there are a host of others who are just as famous.
Tory Lanez, born Daystar Shemuel Shua Peterson, is a Canadian rapper who was born in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, which is a suburban city on the outskirts of Toronto. After the death of his mother, Lanez and his father moved to Atlanta, Georgia. As a teen, Lanez moved around a lot due to his behavioral issues. He was sent to live in New York City for a while before being sent to stay with his grandmother in Toronto. By the age of 15, however, Lanez was living on his own away from his family, a period of time that he later credited as the reason why he became the man he is today.
Tristan Thompson is also from Brampton, Ontario. He, too, wound up spending a great deal of time in the US as a teen thanks to his talents on the basketball court. After completing his freshman year of high school in Brampton, Thompson took his skills to Newark, New Jersey, where he attended Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School before eventually attending Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. Each of these moves were made in order to further Thompson’s basketball career, which paid off in droves since he’s now a star player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also shares a daughter with reality star Khloé Kardashian, as well as a son with model Jordan Craig.
Shawn Mendes might be an international superstar now, but he’ll always be Canada’s golden boy. The 22-year-old singer/songwriter was born in Pickering, Ontario, which is just outside of Toronto. He was born to a Portuguese father and an English mother and has one younger sister. He first experienced success after uploading a cover of the Justin Bieber song “As Long As You Love Me” to Vine and that early success helped catapult his career to where it is today. Mendes is also in a hot and heavy relationship with fellow recording artist Camila Cabello.
The Matrix star Keanu Reeves called a lot of different places home during his childhood. Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964, but after his parents split up, he moved with his mother and sisters to Australia before the family briefly settled in New York City. By 1971, however, Reeves and his family made the move to Toronto. Shortly after turning 20-years-old, Reeves moved to Los Angeles to further his dreams of becoming an actor. Obviously, that move worked out very well for Reeves, since he soon reached Hollywood dreamboat status in no time at all, where he remains today.
One of Canada’s greatest comedians, Jim Carrey, was born in the small suburb of Newmarket, which sits just outside of Toronto. His family ran into hard times when Carrey was a teen after his father lost his job and Carrey wound up dropping out of school and working at a nearby factory while also pursuing a career in comedy. Luckily his family was supportive of his dreams, which wound up paying off big time. After landing a gig on the ensemble comedy show In Living Color in 1990, Carrey’s star continued to rise until he became one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, starring in hit after hit over the last three decades.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known by his stage moniker of The Weeknd, was born in Toronto to a pair of Ethiopian immigrants. After his parents divorced, the “Heartless” singer lived with his mother and grandmother. As a teen, he moved out on his own with a few friends and lived an admittedly reckless life. He did drugs, and sold them, and would sometimes shoplift from local shops. He eventually managed to turn his life around and launched his music career, which has really only begun to take off.
Celebrity chef and wife of Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, Ayesha Curry was born in Toronto and lived there until she was 14-years-old. After that, Curry and her family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, which is where she first met her future husband. The two later reconnected in California and eventually tied the knot in 2011. Since then, the Curries have welcomed three children to their family. Curry has also made a career for herself as a chef and has written a cookbook so fans can try her recipes in their own home.
America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel was born and raised in a small, north Toronto neighborhood. He was a cutup from the start and reportedly got himself expelled from high school after he imitated a school official and convinced a construction company to begin work on a new building for the school. Mandel soon went on to take the Canadian comedy scene by storm, which eventually garnered the comedian American notice. After years on the club circuit, he became one of the most popular stand-ups in the industry. He went on to host Deal Or No Deal for several years before eventually landing his current gig as a judge on America’s Got Talent.
Canadian darling Rick Moranis, who was, unfortunately, the recent victim of an unprovoked attack in New York City, also hails from Toronto, where he was born and raised. He began his career as a DJ at a few different Toronto radio stations in the early 70’s before branching out into comedy. One thing led to another and Moranis soon found himself starring in some of the biggest hit movies of the 1980s and ’90s, like Big Bully, Ghostbusters, and Little Shop Of Horrors. After the death of his wife, Moranis retired from acting to focus on being a single father for his two children. He just re-emerged publicly for the first time in years when he appeared in a commercial for Mint Mobile alongside fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds.
Lego Batman star Will Arnett, who was married to comedian Amy Poehler for 13 years before their divorce, is another funnyman from Toronto. Much like Mandel and Carrey, Arnett got into his share of trouble as a youth. He was sent to Lakefield College School to shape up, but he only lasted for a single semester before he was asked not to return thanks to his troublemaker ways. After he graduated, he became interested in acting and, encouraged by his mother to pursue his dreams, he moved to New York City to study his craft. His breakout came as one of the stars of Arrested Development, playing the iconic Gob Bluth.
Clearly, Toronto has way more famous people to offer than just Drake, though he’s certainly one of the city’s favorite sons. The 6ix, as the rapper affectionately nicknamed the city, will likely continue producing singers, comedians, and actors that the entire world will enjoy. When a city has this much talent, it stands to reason that more is yet to come.