Canada’s Biggest Stars: Then and Now

Starting from Hollywood celebs to musicians, many talented individuals have managed to make their way into the hearts of Americans. Although many of these stars hail from the U.S., there are more than we thought who come from the land of maple — Canada.

Céline Dion

There must be very few people who haven’t heard “My Heart Will Go On,” one of the songs from the soundtrack of Titanic. The voice behind the beautiful melody is none other than Céline Dion. You could mistake her for a Frenchwoman, as she comes from Charlemagne, Quebec.

Céline Dion

Jim Carrey

Brave 10-year-old Jim Carrey penned a letter to comedian Carol Burnett to sign him on her show, The Carol Burnett Show, as he was good at “doing impressions.” Although that role never came through, he has done pretty well for himself.

Jim Carrey

He was born in Newmarket, Ontario. He blasted onto the big screen in 1994 with roles in Ace Ventura: Pet DetectiveDumb and Dumber, and The Mask. The star has two Golden Globes and was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2004.

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson was born and raised in Ladysmith, British Columbia. She graced the covers and pages of Playboy magazine multiple times — so much so, in fact, that she remains the person with the most covers to this day.

Pamela Anderson

Her sultry red bathing suit in Baywatch from 1992 to 1997 remains one of her most memorable works, but she also appeared in Home Improvement and V.I.P. She holds both American and Canadian. As of July 2019, though, Anderson has moved back to Canada and is living on Vancouver Island.

Wayne Gretzky

“The Great One” — Wayne Gretzky has been titled as the best hockey player of all time on numerous occasions by sportswriters, players, and even the NHL itself. Between 1979 and 1999, he played 20 seasons for four teams.

Wayne Gretzky

He ranks first on the list of players with the most goals and assists in NHL history. He retired in 1999 while holding 61 NHL records in total. Gretzky hails from Brantford, Ontario. He started his hockey-playing journey by practicing on a backyard rink.

Elisha Cuthbert

You may know her from the rom-com — The Girl Next Door — or the action drama series 24. Elisha Cuthbert is one of Canada’s most beloved stars. Born in Calgary, Alberta, she moved to Los Angeles when she was 17 to pursue her dreams.

Elisha Cuthbert

Before she became Kim Bauer on 24, she was also a child model. The star has been complimented on her beauty countless times, scoring high ranks on most beautiful people lists.

Keanu Reeves

Regardless of whether you’ve watched him in any movie or not, you’re bound to fall for this humble and pleasant celebrity who is Keanu Reeves. He was born in Beirut but his father is American while his mother is English. He started acting as a child and brought his first movie role in 1985.

Keanu Reeves

However, his role in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure made a teen heartthrob. He became a household name with Speed — and The Matrix only further glorified his career.

Carey Price

The professional ice hockey goaltender was born for the game! His father, Jerry Price was also a goaltender. Carey Price hails from Vancouver. EA Sports, The Hockey News, and many of his colleagues have often termed him as one of the best in the field — or on the ice, in his particular case.

Carey Price

Currently, he plays for the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. He has represented his country on international levels. In 2014, he earned a gold medal in the Winter Olympics in Sochi and won his first World Cup of Hockey Championship in 2016.

Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline grew to fame for her portrayal of Kate Austen in the ABC series, Lost. This role garnered her a Golden Globe nomination as well as a win from the Screen Actors Guilds. She comes from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

Evangeline Lilly

She got introduced to the world of acting after a Ford Modelling Agency approached her on the streets of Kelowna. Although she had her reservations about Lost, it went on to become one of the most acclaimed shows of the decade and won 10 Primetime Emmys!

Clara Hughes

Multiple time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes aces in both cycling and speed skating. The sports star from Manitoba is the only Canadian athlete to win medals at both summer and winter versions of the Olympics, bagging two medals in cycling and four in speed skating!

Clara Hughes

In 2004, Speed Skating Canada named her the “Female Athlete of the Year.” She received the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Community Trophy in 2006. She became a permanent part of Canadian sports history when she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Seth Rogen

Superbad, Knocked Up, Neighbors — these are some of the hit films Seth Rogen has starred in. He hails from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Seth Rogen

He won the Vancouver Amateur Comedy Contest at the tender age of 16 and shortly after, his family moved to Los Angeles to support him in his comedy career. Thankfully, Judd Apatow discovered him for Freaks and Geeks and the world found a comedic genius!

Justin Bieber

This star had the entire world singing “Baby, baby!” back in 2010 with his chartbuster track, “Baby.” He was just getting started then! Justin Bieber’s hometown is Stratford, Ontario. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he had once said that “Canada is the best country in the world.”

Justin Bieber

After tying the knot with model Hailey Baldwin, though, the star decided to settle in Los Angeles. Still, he does own a lakeside estate right beside his hometown. In fact, he and his wife spent most of their time at this estate during the spring of 2020.

Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin holds the title for the second-youngest Oscar winner in history for her role of Flora McGrath in The Piano in 1993. She was born in Manitoba and has some Kiwi descent from her mother’s side.

Anna Paquin

Apart from her super successful career as a child star, Paquin’s role as Rogue in the X-Men franchise got the critics — as well as the audiences — clapping for her all over again. She has also been credited for several other films including Jane Eyre, The Good Dinosaur, and Amistad.

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland was basically born into acting royalty — the Canadian version! His parents — Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas — were famous in their respective fields.

Kiefer Sutherland

He was born in London, England, although he spent most of his childhood in Toronto where he attended many schools including St. Andrews College — one of the most expensive private schools in the country. The ’80s and ’90s saw him in many hit movies including The Lost Boys. In 2001, he hit the real lottery when he landed a role as Agent Jack Bauer in 24. He earned $250,000 per episode!

Ryan Reynolds

This is only one of the famous Ryans whose hometown is in Canada. Ryan Reynolds hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite being a huge deal in Hollywood with roles like Deadpool and Green Lantern under his belt, Reynolds still holds a special connection to his roots.

Ryan Reynolds

He’s known to be one of the most good-looking men alive.

Dwyane Johnson

We bet you didn’t know this one! Dwayne Johnson wasn’t technically born in Canada but he did attain his Canadian citizenship in 2009. His father hails from Nova Scotia. Also known as “The Rock,” he has had a pretty impressive career.

Dwyane Johnson

He holds a degree in criminology and physiology. He played professional football before moving into his regime as a wrestler, cementing him as one of the most legendary wrestlers of all time. He slowly took up acting and has since appeared in numerous films.

Alanis Morissette

Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Alternative-Rock Angst.” Alanis Morissette is from Ottawa, Ontario but relocated to Los Angele in 2005 with the goal of releasing her third studio album titled Jagged Little Pill. She received her American citizenship in 2005 but held onto her Canadian one, too.

Alanis Morissette

She was romantically involved with fellow Canadian celebrity Ryan Reynolds. They met at another high-profile event — Drew Barrymore’s birthday bash in 2002. The couple lasted till 2007. She’s currently wedded to Mario “Souleye” Treadway, an American hip-hop artist.

Ryan Gosling

Gosling was raised in Ontario, Canada. Before he stole hearts as the charming Noah in The Notebook, he became a child actor at 13 years old. Along with fellow celebrities Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Gosling joined Disney’s The All-New Mickey Mouse Club crew.

Ryan Gosling

The star moved to Florida for filming after passing the Disney audition. Funnily enough, Gosling has a pretty strong American accent now because he tried to shake off his Canadian one as a child, as he thought it wasn’t “tough” enough.

Elliot Page

While the newbies may know him for his portrayal as Vanya on the American superhero series, The Umbrella Academy, many still recognize him from his titular role in the film Juno. Even from a very young age, Elliot had worked hard to become a household name in his home country.

Elliot Page

Originally from Nova Scotia, his first beloved role was in Pit Pony, a hit Canadian TV series played at just 12 years old. Today, he’s married to choreographer Emma Portner, and the two currently reside in Los Angeles.

Sidney Crosby

Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League, Sidney Crosby is the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. His hometown is located in Nova Scotia.

Sidney Crosby

It’s clear that Crosby had a passion for hockey from a young age considering that he began playing the sport all by himself at two years old. He became a member of the Triple Gold Cup in 2015, becoming the only player in the club who has led all three winning sides.

Will Arnett

Will Arnett comes from Toronto, Ontario, otherwise known as the 6ix. The Emmy-nominated star has appeared in projects like Arrested Development, and The Lego Movie franchise. In 2019, he received an Annie Award — Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production — for his work in BoJack Horseman.

Will Arnett

He relocated to The Big Apple in 1990 to study acting and holds dual American-Canadian citizenship. He still adores his hometown sports teams like the Raptors, the Maple Leafs, and the Blue Jays.

James Cameron

Someone who directed films like Titanic, Avatar, and The Terminator must be nothing short of a visual genius! James Cameron is definitely one of the most successful Canadian celebrities out there.

James Cameron

After all, two of his films — Avatar and Titanic — are the second and third highest-grossing films of all time. In 2010, Time magazine named the Ontario star one of the most influential people in the world. He was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2019.

Michael J. Fox

Hailing from Alberta, Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox holds dual citizenship and currently resides in New York City with his family. Regardless, he couldn’t be prouder to be a Canadian.

Michael J. Fox

He was granted the honor of speaking at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and he was incredibly vocal about how much respect he has for his home country. That same year, Fox was also given the “Freedom of the City” honor by the city of Burnaby, British Columbia.

Shawn Mendes

The “Senorita” singer hails from Pickering, Ontario. In 2013, Shawn began sharing song covers on Vine, a video-sharing app. From there, he slowly climbed the stairs of stardom with his first studio album — Handwritten — being released when he was just 18.

Shawn Mendes

The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, crowning Shawn Mendes as the youngest artist to get that honor since fellow Canadian Justin Bieber. He’s been nominated for three Grammys since 2019. He feels proud to come from the “True North Strong and Free!”

Shay Mitchell

Many might know her as the strong Emily Fields from the cult-favorite series, Pretty Little Liars. Shay Mitchell hails from Mississauga, Ontario. At the age of 10, she relocated to West Vancouver in British Columbia.

Shay Mitchell

The star is currently residing in Los Angeles, but she makes sure to visit her childhood home from time-to-time for some quality time with her family. Mitchell even documented her vacation in Vancouver in August 2019, cleverly naming it Shaycation. She had a daughter, Atlas Noa, in October 2019.

Drake

Born Aubrey Drake Graham, rapper Drake comes from Toronto, Ontario. The singer-songwriter may have established himself as one of the best in the industry right now, but before all that, he was just another kid from Canada.

Drake

As a kid, Graham landed an acting gig and began portraying Jimmy on Degrassi: The Next Generation. His character was always finding himself in melodramatic situations. Then again, though, that’s pretty much the base of the series.

Alessia Cara

Singer-songwriter Alessia Cara was born and brought up in Brampton, Ontario. In 2014, the Canadian musician released her debut single titled, “Here.” The song managed to take the sixth spot on the ’25 Best Songs of 2015 Year-End’ list by Billboard.

Alessia Cara

Cara has received four Grammy nominations to date and brought home the Best New Artist Award in 2018. She received the most award nominations out of all the other artists in the 2020 Juno Awards, including Album of the Year and Artist of the Year.

Eugene Levy

A beloved face in the world of comedies, Eugene Levy hails from Hamilton, Ontario. Before the role of disturbed millionaire-turned-bankrupt father Johnny Rose on the celebrated CBC TV series Schitt’s Creek, he was best known as Mr. Levenstein in the adult comedy film series, American Pie.

Eugene Levy

Eugene has appeared in over 60 motion pictures. He and his son, Daniel, co-created and starred on Schitt’s Creek. His family owns properties in Canada as well as LA, Florida, and St. Augustine.

William Shatner

William Shatner played attorney Denny Crane in the ABC series, The Practice — as well as its spinoff, Boston Legal. Before that, though, starred as the titular character in T.J. Hooker. Still, nothing will overshine his role as the Commander of the USS Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk, in the Star Trek franchise.

William Shatner

The iconic actor, producer, and author comes from Montreal and got his Bachelor of Commerce degree from a Canadian institute, McGill University.

Michael Cera

Hollywood projects like Arrested Development may have shot him to stardom. Before this, though, he was a part of a Canadian series called I Was a Sixth Grade Alien from 1999 to 2001. Michael Cera comes from Brampton, Ontario.

Michael Cera

He has teamed up with some other Canadian celebs from time-to-time. In 2007, he starred alongside Seth Rogen in Superbad. He also appeared in Juno as the titular character’s love interest. Michael will be lending his voice to the 2021 animated film, Blazing Samurai.

Mike Myers

Mike Myers calls Scarborough, Ontario home. He became a cast member on the famed American late-night comedy showcase Saturday Night Live in 1989. Until now, the actor has appeared in multiple movies including the popular ShrekWayne’s World, and — of course — Austin Powers.

Mike Myers

He lives in New York City with his wife but retains his Canadian roots. He’s a member of the Canadian charity, Artists Against Racism. Additionally, he also published a book in 2016 entitled Canada to explain his relationship with his home country.

Shania Twain

Shania Twain is here to tell you that amazing country stars don’t come from Nashville only — they can come from Canada, too! Windsor-born, Shania Twain saw such immense success in her city of Timmins that the authorities decided to name a street after her!

Shania Twain

What’s more, the singer-songwriter was also given keys to the city and Shania Twain Center was built. The center only lasted until 2013 but the honor still counts. In 2005, she got an office in the Order of Canada — the second highest order of merit in Canada.

Rachel McAdams

A critically-acclaimed actress with undeniable talent, Rachel McAdams hails from London, Ontario. She was in a long-term relationship with fellow Canadian Ryan Gosling after they appeared as a couple in the legendary film, The Notebook.

Rachel McAdams

For the most part, she stays in her hometown although she has mentioned that she does love spending time in the states. Rachel McAdams told Entertainment Weekly how she often finds herself missing LA when she’s not there. Luckily, she can have the best of both worlds!

Taylor Kitsch

Tim Riggins may be the collector of hearts in Dillion, Texas, but the actor who plays him is from Kelowna, British Columbia. Taylor Kitsch’s family relocated to Vancouver when he was quite young. Like any average Canadian, he developed a love for ice hockey throughout his childhood.

Taylor Kitsch

In 2002, he moved to New York City in order to pursue a career in acting and modeling. Fast forward to 2006 — two years after heading to Los Angeles — when he landed the role that changed his career trajectory, NBC’s Friday Night Lights.

Nina Dobrev

Originally born in Bulgaria, Nina Dobrev is another one coming from the 6ix — Toronto, Ontario. Her family immigrated to Canada when she was just two years old.

Nina Dobrev

Fortunately for her, she was one of the stars who was able to pave her career through Canadian teen soap opera Degrassi: The Next Generation. Slowly, she transitioned into Hollywood and made quite an impression with audiences for her portrayal of Elena in The Vampire Diaries.

Cobie Smulders

Let’s be real — How I Met Your Mother would be incomplete without sassy Canadian reporter Robin Scherbatsky.

Cobie Smulders

This role may have been easier for actress Cobie Smulders to play as she hails from Canada herself. The Avengers star is said to have her green card and is planning to get her U.S. citizenship, but she has yet to apply for it.

Bryan Adams

While 1969 was a long time ago, most people are familiar with Rocker Bryan Adam’s iconic song, “Summer of ‘69” from his 1984 album, Reckless. However, what fans may not know about the guitarist, singer, composer, and record producer is that he is originally from Kingston, Ontario.

Bryan Adams

He started working in the Vancouver music scene as a studio singer and at age 15 he became the vocalist for the band Sweeney Todd. by the 1980s, Adams’ songs gained international recognition and his world touring days kicked off.

Patrick Adams

You will most probably recognize Patrick’s face as the male protagonist, Mike Ross, from the mega-successful American legal drama series, Suits. Before landing the role in the show that changed his life and catapulted his career, Adams actually grew up in Toronto.

Patrick Adams

After finishing high school he moved over to Hollywood where he earned his BFA at the University of Southern California. Adams was such a star student that he was even awarded the Jack Nicholson Award in 2004 for his outstanding performances.

Joni Mitchell

Canadian singer-songwriter, Roberta Joan Mitchell was named as “one of the greatest songwriters ever” by Rolling Stone magazine. AllMusic has even said that “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century.”

Joni Mitchell

Few may know that this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta in 1943. At 77 years old with nine Grammy Awards under her belt amongst numerous other accolades, Joni sure can be proud of her career successes.

Tommy Chong

Canadian-American actor, musician, writer, director, comedian and activist, Tommy Chong hails from Edmonton, Alberta back in 1938. He is best known for his Cheech & Chong comedy albums and movies with Cheech Marin.

Tommy Chong

His face is also associated with the character Leo whom he played on That ‘70s Show. Chong became a naturalized US citizen in the late 1980s, but his mother is of Scotch-Irish descent and his father was a Chinese-Canadian immigrant.

Emmanuelle Chriqui

Emmanuelle Chriqui is a Morrocan-Candian actress and model who is best known for her performance on HBO’s Entourage as Sloan McQuewick. She also played the role of Dalia in the comedy movie, Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Lorelei Martins in the drama series, The Mentalist.

Emmanuelle Chriqui

In May of 2010, she topped the AskMen.com Most Desirable Women charts. Emmanuelle also has ties to Israel and her family practices Orthodox Judaism.

Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado is known for her music variety and internationally-acclaimed songs that dominated the early 2000s, such as “I’m Like a Bird”, “Maneater”, and “All Good Things.” Furtado was born in Victoria, British Columbia, and started to rise to fame in 1999 after signing with DreamWorks Records and producing her first single, “Party’s Just Begun (Again).”

Nelly Furtado[
To date, Nelly has received 84 awards from 197 nominations, including the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2002 Grammys and Best Pop New Artist Clip at the Billboard Music Video Awards.

Avril Lavigne

Known as the “Pop Punk Queen”, Avril Ramona Lavigne has paved the way for the female-driven punk-pop music scene in the early 2000s. Her 2002 debut album, Let Go was certified seven-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and is recorded as the best-selling album of the 21st century by a Candian artist.

Avril Lavigne

The people of Belleville, Ontario can be proud because that’s exactly where Lavigne hails from. The singer has raked in a ton of awards for her music contributions including nine Juno Awards and four Billboard Music Awards to name a few.

Victor Garber

Actor and singer Victor Garber is originally from London, Ontario, and is known for his many movie and TV series roles including in First Wives Club (1996), Titanic (1997), Legally Blonde (2001), and Argo (2012.)

Victor Garber

Garber is also a known face on the silver screen for his features in TV series like Schitt’s Creek, The Good Wife, Law & Order, and Frasier. Garber even took home the Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble in 2009 for the movie, Milk.

Carly Rae Jepsen

Born in Mission, British Columbia, Jepson is a singer, songwriter, and actress who received international fame after coming in third place in the fifth season of Canadian Idol. Her career was made after the success of her 2012 single “Call Me Maybe” which become the best-selling single of that year.

Carly Rae Jepsen

She was soon after signed to a joint record deal between School Boy Records and Interscope Records. Jepson has received numerous accolades for her songs including a Billboard Music Award, MTV Video Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and numerous Grammy nominations.

Chad Kroeger

When Chad Kroeger is not selling out stadiums as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the iconic Canadian band Nickleback, he might be visiting his hometown of Hanna, Alberta. The singer, songwriter, musician, and producer has also collaborated in other musical projects, including writing hit songs for other artists and film soundtracks.

Chad Kroeger

Kroger scored the Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year back in 2003 for his song “How You Remind Me” which is still popular to this day.

Kim Cattrall

Now 64 years old, actress Kim Cattrall was born in Liverpool but emigrated to Canada with her family when she was just three years old. The blonde bombshell is perhaps best known for her character, Samantha Jones, on the HBO series that took the TV industry by storm in the late ’90s and early 2000s — Sex and the City.

Kim Cattrall

Her role as the confident public relations manager fetched her five Emmy Awards and four nods from the Golden Globe Awards. Today, Cattrall resides on Vancouver Island with her partner, Russell Thomas.

Matthew Perry

“I’m not that great with advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” — this quote by Chandler Bing remains one of the most used lines by every other awkward individual on the planet. The brilliant actor behind this role, Matthew Perry, is originally from Massachusetts but grew up in Ottawa.

Matthew Perry

When he was just 15 years old, he moved back to the states to pursue a career in acting. He began by landing small roles here and there. Well, that was before he scooped up the role of Chandler Bing on the fan-favorite sitcom, Friends.

Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé hails from Burnaby, British Columbia. From his childhood, he dreamt of showing off his skills in the rinks as a professional hockey player for the Vancouver Canucks. Sadly, he didn’t make it as an athlete. However, his talent in music shone through and it certainly shows from the 75 million in records sold — not to mention his four Grammys!

Michael Bublé

Now, pair that up with his beautiful model-actress spouse Luisana Lopilato as well as their three cute kids, and we think it’s safe to say that he’s living his best life!

Howie Mandel

Born and raised in Toronto, Howie Mandel is now best known as a judge on America’s Got Talent, but his stardom roots go way back. In the late ’70s, he had an acting and stand-up comedy career when he joined YukYuk’s — a national comedy club chain in Canada.

Howie Mandel

Then, in the ’80s, Mandel starred in medical drama St. Elsewhere alongside icons including Ed Begley Jr., Mark Harmon, and Denzel Washington. Today, Mandel lives in LA with his wife and their three daughters.

Sandra Oh

Sandara Oh grew up in Nepean, Ontario with her parents. Way before she took on the role of cardiac surgeon Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, she was working in Canada for productions including The Diary of Evelyn Lau and Oleanna.

Sandra Oh

The star from Killing Eve started her career through ballet before taking up drama at the National Theater School in Montreal. Sandara moved to LA in 1996, but the transition was far from easy — that is until she landed her long-term role on the medical drama, playing alongside stars like Ellen Pompeo.