Photo cred - sports.nationalpost.com
Anyone who calls Toronto home has a lot to be proud of. Our beautiful city is boasting with culture, class, sophistication, intelligence and success. People from across Canada come here to pursue dreams and career goals but what about the tons of success stories that are born here? dayuuum do we have a lot of people to be proud of.
There are so many successful people to come out of Toronto, and names are constantly being added to the list. Journalists, directors, actors, activists, musicians and all around stand-up human beings. To name off every Torontonian to have ever done something that we should be proud of would be impossible, here are some standouts from the past year.
Known by his stage name, The Weeknd, Abel was born and raised in Scarborough and at only 24 he has already accomplished so much. He dropped out of high school one weekend (hence his stage name) at 17 years old and hasn't turned back since. He was honoured this year with The Allan Slaight Award at Canada's Walk of Fame. The Allan Slaight Award goes to a young Canadian who has achieved international success. The honour has previously been awarded to fellow Toronto artist, Drake.
Born Lorne Lipowitz, the creator of Saturday Night Live is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where he majored in English He started his career at CBC radio right here in TO before moving to LA in 1968 to work as a comedy writer. He started SNL in 1975 and the show is currently in its 40th season. He has been inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and received a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada's Walk of Fame.
Canada's boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos is an effin' gem. On top of being an outstanding Torontonian he is top five nicest humans on the planet, trust us. After 10 years at the CBC, hosting George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, he left to pursue what he has often said is what he has always wanted to do, work in sports, as the new host of Hockey Night In Canada, in a new format for Sportsnet. Further, he had the back of females everywhere after the CBC's Jian Ghomeshi scandal earlier this month when he said the following on his radio show, without, of course, mentioning Ghomeshi by name (always classy this guy), "There is no grey area when it comes to violence, and there is no grey area when it comes to sexual consent. And further to that, I hope we've all learned the value of creating a safer space for victims, so they don't have to hide or fear backlash. Men need to talk about this with each other, it's important." Stand up Toronto gentleman right there.
Joel Thomas Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, is an internationally successful DJ and EDM music producer. Despite his incredible success he still calls Toronto (or at least not too far) home. He recently purchased a massive $5 million home in Campbellville, rural Ontario. In 2014, he has single-handedly made for some incredible Toronto pop culture moments including the infamous coffee run he took with our controversial mayor, Rob Ford, which you should watch, if you haven't already.
Canada's darling was born in London and grew up in nearby St. Thomas before moving to Toronto at the age of nine. She has proven herself a versatile actress, playing mighty bitch Regina George in Mean Girls before truly breaking ground in The Notebook opposite Ryan Gosling- the other half to her position in Canada's most beloved couple. She attended a four-year theatre program at York University which she still credits as guiding her through her acting career. She is an environmentalist and does her part to keep Toronto, where she still lives, a greener place by powering her house with Bullfrog renewable energy, she also doesn't own a car and uses a bike to travel around the city. In 2005, she helped with clean-up efforts following Hurricane Katrina and last year she filmed two promotional videos in support of the Food & Water First Movement aiming to preserve farmland and source water in Ontario. She has also been a part of Occupy Toronto, Habitat for Humanity and the Alzheimer's Association. This year she received her rightful spot on Canada's Walk of Fame.
Mississauga born Shay is currently starring in the smash television hit Pretty Little Liars but her value as a standout Torontonian goes way beyond that. She is the Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo spokesperson and proud supporter of the non-profit organization Somaly Mam Foundation where she speaks out and fights against sex trafficking. Earlier this year, while Pretty Little Liars was on hiatus, she used her time off to travel to Kenya where she spent 10 days outside of Nairobi building a medical clinic for those in need with Free The Children. Finally, she has worked with The Trevor Project and the NOH8 campaign. Not only is she beautiful and successful in the acting game but she is a strong young female using her success for good, the true Canadian way.
Never heard of her? Chances are quite high that she is a large part of your daily activity. Torontonian Kirstine Stewart is a huge player in the Twitter game and 2014 has recently proven to be huge for her. In April 2013, Stewart left her gig as Executive Vice President English Services at CBC in favour of a position with the still new Twitter, Inc where she became the Managing Director and Head of Twitter Canada. In September of this year, Kirstine Stewart was promoted to VP of North American Media Partnerships, which is pretty major as her role will move from Canada to encompass all of North America.
The Subban Bros
Three for the price of one, on July 1st, Montreal Canadiens defenceman PK Subban tweeted the above photo with the following caption: "History sure does look good! Congrats boys! we did it!" We're willing to bet big money that Mr and Mrs Subban, who somehow manage to be regulars at the games of all three offspring, wake up every morning with tears of pure pride in their eyes. We all know about P.K.'s success with the Canadiens and his 2014 gold medal win at the Olympics. Middle brother, Malcolm is a goaltender for the Boston Bruins having been drafted in the first round, 24th overall, 2012 NHL draft entry. Younger brother, 19 year old, Jordan, was not going to be left out, he is the third brother drafted to the NHL. In 2013, he was drafted 115th overall by the Vancouver Canucks and currently plays for the Belleville Bulls in the OHL. We hope their parents get killer christmas presents.
Shane is an example that all young Torontonians, no, all young Canadians can learn from. He started Count Me In, when he was just 13 years old, in 2008, when he got involved in clubs at his high school that further inspired him to volunteer. Count Me In is all about helping young people find a love for volunteering. He attended Westmount Collegiate Institute and now, at the age of just 20, he is responsible for starting the largest youth-led organization in North America. He is one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 and this year he produced the first ever global broadcast of the organization featuring appearances by Cody Simpson, Nikki Yanofsky and Degrassi actors.
International comedy legend, Jim Carrey, has given the world some of its favourite comedic moments including all of the Ace Ventura movies, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber. He was born James Eugene Carrey in New Market and attended high school in Burlington. He got his comedy start doing stand-up at the now famous and legendary Yuk Yuk's before being discovered and debuting his act on American television, specifically on The Tonight Show. This year he brings us the very highly anticipated follow up to Dumb and Dumber, titled, what else? Dumb and Dumber To.
Well this just seems like one big massive, duuuuuuh. No matter how much you love or hate the international success story that is Drake you cannot deny his influence in this city. He sells millions of records, he never turns his back on this city, he is the brand ambassador for the Toronto Raptors and he brings us an insane hip hop festival every, single, summer. You cannot not be proud of this dude. We're so, we're so, we're so proud of you Drizzy.