Who are the most famous celebrities born in Ontario?

Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, has been a cradle for nurturing exceptional talents. Many of these talents, with close access to the US fame factory machine, have made significant contributions to popular culture. 

It’s known for many reasons such as the CN Tower, the amazing Dundas Square, Toronto Island Park, or making Ontario gambling sites legal and being the first in Canada in this matter, building eSports arenas, and leading the world in many other forms of legislation. However, this article explores the most influential people behind Ontario’s success, and where it all began.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling, born in London, Ontario, began his journey from a small Canadian city to Hollywood stardom. Ontario’s vibrant cultural scene, particularly in London, provided Gosling with the initial platforms to showcase his acting skills. His participation in local talent shows and theater productions laid the foundation for his versatile acting career. Gosling’s success story highlights how provincial roots can propel individuals to global fame, with Ontario’s nurturing environment playing a big role in his development.

Rachel McAdams

Being from St. Thomas, Ontario, Rachel McAdams’s early interest in acting was significantly influenced by her hometown. Her involvement in the local theater scene and performances across Ontario honed her craft long before she graced international screens with the Notebook and Mean Girls. 

McAdams’s connection to Ontario extends beyond her birthplace. Her story reflects how Ontario’s acting culture serves as a fertile ground for nurturing world-class talent.

Justin Bieber

Stratford, Ontario, known for its Shakespearean festival, is also the place where Justin Bieber’s musical journey began. Bieber’s early life in Stratford played a fundamental role in shaping his musical talents, from busking on the streets during the festival to uploading videos on YouTube that catapulted him to global fame. Ontario’s music scene at this time was strong, creating a platform for his rise, though it could be said that the boom of Youtube was the key turning point.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey’s comedic genius was birthed in the suburbs of Newmarket, Ontario. His early life in the province was characterized by resilience and creativity, which later defined his career. Performing stand-up in Toronto clubs and exploring various vehicles of comedy, Carrey’s formative years in Ontario helped propel him to become a comedy icon, starring in the lies of Ace Ventura, but with a successful background in stand-up. His story exemplifies how the province’s diverse cultural experiences can create an all-rounder with many tools.

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood, one of the most prolific writers of our time who wrote The Handmaid’s Tail and Alias Grace, has roots that run deep in Ontario. Her connection to the province is mostly from where she received her education, but also the settings of many of her novels. 

Ontario’s busy city juxtapositioned with a quiet, ominous countryside, has often inspired the setting for Atwood’s haunting narratives. Her ability to intertwine Canadian culture and issues within her stories is reminiscent of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter being birthed in Edinburgh.

Keanu Reeves

Although not born in Ontario, Keanu Reeves’s move to Toronto during his childhood marked the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the province. His immersion in the local drama scenes and the city’s diverse cultural fabric played an important role in shaping his early interest in acting. 

Keanu Reaves has gone on to become one of the most beloved actors of a generation. Ontario provided a stage for Reeves, from performing in school productions to engaging with the city’s arts scene. Despite his global superstar status, Reeves’s connection to Ontario remains evident through his frequent visits and Canadian citizenship.

Neve Campbell

Neve Campbell’s journey from Guelph, Ontario, to international fame is a determination narrative. Neve, who is the face of the Scream franchise, had early exposure to the performing arts similar to some of the other local actors.

Campbell’s transition from ballet to acting and her subsequent rise to prominence in Hollywood shows the diversity of skills that many of her local co-stars also possessed.

Mike Myers

Mike Myers, who plays Austin Powers, is undoubtedly a comedy legend. Mike credits his comedic foundations to his upbringing in Scarborough, Ontario. The reason for this is because of the diversity within the city, along with the strong arts scene.

Ontario’s influence is palpable in Myers’s work, from his portrayal of characters on “Saturday Night Live” to the iconic “Wayne’s World” and “Austin Powers” series. Myers’s career is a testament to how Ontario’s diverse culture can inspire creativity and innovation in comedy.


The stories behind these celebrities highlight the importance of upbringing in one’s trajectory to fame. When we look at BRIT school in the UK, it alone has produced stars such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Katy B, Ella Eyre, Jessie J, and many more. It’s not just the infrastructure, but the networking and collaborative learning environment that makes places like Ontario a hub for growing talent.