Famous Toronto

Famous Torontonians

  • Ever wondered who's Canadian and who's not? Check out our list of Famous Torontonians and find out if your favourite celebrity is from Toronto!
  • Olympic Athletes Born in Toronto

  • Baldwin, Robert (1804-1858)

    Baldwin was a Toronto lawyer, Canadian statesman and the leader of the movement for representative government in Canada which meant, among other things, that England's governor stopped having so much power over Canada. Baldwin gave Canada many other important reforms as well, one of which made the University of Toronto a non-sectarian (no longer associated with a church) university..

  • Banting, Fredrick (1891-1941)

    Dr. Banting was the co-discoverer of insulin - a therapy that saves the lives of diabetics. In 1923, he won the Nobel Prize (along with Dr. John MacLeod) but shared his prize money with Charles Best, his fellow researcher. If you had been alive during Banting's time, you would have read magazine polls that named him the most famous living Canadian.

    More information on Frederick Banting here.

  • Bell, Marilyn (1937- )

    When she was 16 years old, Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. She swam the 51.5 kilometres (32 miles) in 20 hours and 59 minutes. Later, she became the youngest person to swim the English Channel and the Strait of Juan de Fuca (off Vancouver Island.)Read more.

  • Blackburn, Thornton (? - 1890) and wife Lucie Blackburn

    The Blackburns were two of the many escaped slaves who found freedom in Canada. Thornton Blackburn is best remembered for starting the first taxicab  service in Toronto.

    More Thornton and Lucie Blackburn information here.

  • Boyd, Edwin Alonzo (1914 - 2002)

    The son of a Toronto policeman, Boyd became a famous bank robber and member of the notorious Boyd Gang. They committed several daring bank robberies in the late 1940s and early 1950s, mostly in the Toronto area.

  • Bush, John "Jack" (1909 - 1977)

    In the 1960s and 1970s, John Bush (called "Jack") was Canada's leading abstract painter and a world-famous artist. His awards included the Order of Canada and a financial award from the Guggenheim Foundation in New York.

    More on Jack Bush

  • Candy, John (1950 - 1994)

    You may have seen this actor/comedian in re-runs of SCTV, or in some of his many movies - Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Planes, Trains & Automobiles and others. A real Torontonian, Candy was born here and became the co-owner of The Toronto Argonauts. More

  • Carrey, Jim (1962 - )

    The actor with the plasticine face started his career as a stand-up comedian in Toronto. Carrey has gone on to star in many Hollywood movies, such as Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

    Visit Jim Carrey Online for more information.

  • Chuvalo, George (1937-)

    Canadian Heavyweight boxer never knocked off his feet in his 93 professional bouts, including two with Muhammad Ali. .

    For more information

  • Coombs, Ernie (1927 - 2001)

    An actor and singer, Coombs entertained generations of children on the CBC-TV show that everybody loved - Mr. Dress-Up.

  • Cox, Rita

    She's a librarian, teacher, author and storyteller. Rita Cox is so well known and respected that she received the Order of Canada.

  • Cronenberg, David (1943 - )

    He's the filmmaker and movie director of radical and acclaimed movies like The Dead Zone and Crash.

  • Dunn, Alexander (1833 - 1868)

    He was the first Canadian to receive the Victoria Cross, the British Empire's highest military decoration. Dunn won it during the Crimean War, at the famous Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.

    Visit here for more information about Alexander Dunn.

  • Hanlan, Ned (1855 - 1908)

    Canada's first world-famous oarsman, Hanlan won over 300 races, including the Canadian (1877), United States (1878), and World Championships (1880-1884). Hanlan's Point on the Toronto Islands is named after him.

    For more information visit the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

  • Hart, Evelyn (1956 - )

    One of this country's most loved ballerinas, Hart has won many awards in Canada and around the world.

  • Hilliard, Marion (1902 - 1958)

    Hilliard was a respected medical doctor at a time when very few women became physicians. After joining Women's College Hospital in 1928, she became known for her books and articles about women's health.

  • Johnson, Basil (1929 - )

    Johnson is a writer, teacher and expert in the study of ethnic groups. His main area of writing and research is his own Ojibwa culture.

  • Johnston, Francis (Frank) (1888 - 1949)

    He was a founding member of the Group of Seven (http://www.mcmichael.com/collection/seven/johnston.cfm) - the art movement inspired by the power and spirit of the northern Ontariolandscape. Johnston took part only in the Group's first show at the Art Gallery of Toronto in May 1920. He resigned from the Group ofSeven in 1924.

  • K'naan(1978-)

    Born Keinan Abdi Warsame in Mogadishu, Somalia, moved to Rexdale at age 13. This rapper's hit song "Wavin' Flag" became the theme song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. .

    K'naan Official MySpace site

  • k-os (1972-)

    Torontonian/Trinidadian rapper/songwriter/producer Kevin (or Kheaven) Brereton usually performs with a live band, unusual for hip-hop. He performed at the Vancouver Olympics closing ceremonies. .

    k-os Official MySpace site

  • Longboat, Tom (1887 - 1949)

    This powerful runner set a record at the 1907 Boston Marathon and represented Canada in the Olympic Games of 1908. A member of the Onandaga tribe, he is in the Indian Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Longboat was also a World War I hero. Read more.

  • Massey, Vincent (1887 - 1967)

    Massey was the first Governor General of Canada who was actually born in Canada. He was the grandson of Hart Massey, owner of the Massey Ferguson farm-equipment factory on King Street West in Toronto.

  • Mirvish, Ed July 24, 1914- 2007

    American-born Honest Ed Mirvish was an institution in Toronto. His discount store was the first in Canada and he rejuvenated theatre in Toronto after he saved the historic Royal Alex Theatre from demolition.

    Find out more.

  • Myers, Mike (1963 - )

    Actor/comedian, star of Austin Powers and the Wayne's World movies. Although "Wayne's World" became famous during his 5 years on Saturday Night Live, the character was first created when Myers was a teenager in Scarborough.

    Visit the Northern Stars Website for more Mike Myers information.

  • Pickford, Mary (1883 - 1979)

    The actress and movie star known as "America's Sweetheart" was actually born in Toronto. Pickford formed the movie studio, United Artists, along with Charlie Chaplin, director D.W. Griffith and husband Douglas Fairbanks. She started this company, in part, to make sure she was paid as much as the male stars.

    Visit the Mary Pickford Website for more information.

  • Podborski, Steve(1957-)

    Olympic downhill skier from Don Mills, the first North American to win the World Cup season title. .

    For more information

  • Sauriol, Charles (1904 - 1995)

    This well-known conservationist was the author of many books on the history of the Don Valley, including Pioneers of the Don.

  • Shuster, Joe (1914 - 1992)

    Shuster the cartoonist (along with Jerome Siegel the writer) created the one and only Superman - the most famous comic-book hero ever. Superman made his debut in Action Comics, No.1, June 1938. In the original story, Clark Kent worked at the Daily Star, named after the Toronto newspaper. Later, the Daily Star was changed to the Daily Planet.

    Visit this Website for some more facts on Joe Shuster.

    Or read about him here.

  • Tracy, Paul (1968- )

    This Scarborough native was the youngest Canadian Formula Ford Champion ever.

    Visit the official Paul Tracy Website for more information.