When someone becomes famous - unless reporters dig up some steaming scandal about their past - we usually tend to forget what they were like before they had millions of dollars. No matter how celebrities got to their level of fame, acting, singing, or even YouTubing, they all worked hard to get to where they are. When we look at where celebrities come from, we gain a new appreciation for their work. Here are what some Canadian celebs were doing before they were famous.

Justin Bieber 

Everyone knows the story about how Justin Bieber was discovered. It's one of the first YouTube success stories that gave hope to aspiring artists everywhere.

Bieber was raised in Stratford, Ontario by his mom who was only 18-years-old when he was born. He spent most of his time writing music and performing on the streets of his hometown. His mom struggled at odd jobs to make enough money to afford the government housing they were living in.

Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager, found one of his videos, contacted his mother, and sent him to meet and record with Usher. The rest is history.


Drake's backstory is probably well known to those of us who grew up in Toronto. His parents divorced when he was five and he was raised by his mom. It wasn't until he was 11 that his mom was financially stable enough to move them to a better area in Toronto.

When he was 14, Drake landed his first job on the Toronto-based show, Degrassi. Although he was on TV, Degrassi was a lesser-known show in the US and only aired on the Canadian-owned network, Much Music. Before he became a household name, Drake was popular in Toronto for playing Jimmy.

In 2008, Drake left acting and rose to fame in the music industry. It didn't happen as quickly as he'd hoped. There was a time when he thought he'd have to get a part-time job after the money from Degrassi started dwindling. Luckily, his single, Best I Ever Had, saved him from that hardship and got him where he is today in the rap world.

Shania Twain 

Shania Twain has probably one of the most tragic lives out of all these Canadian celebs. In childhood, according to Country Fan Cast, Twain struggled with poverty and domestic abuse. Despite those hardships, she landed herself a performance on The Tommy Hunter Show.

Her career began to grow from there - until she was forced to return home and raise her younger siblings after her parents were killed in a car accident. She performed at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville in order to survive and raise her siblings. Twain put her career on hold until her siblings were independent enough.

She released her first album in 1993 that set her on track to sell over 100 million records.

Celine Dion

Celine Dione grew up in Montreal with 14 other siblings. Though she always sang for neighbourhood events and for her family and took inspiration for Michael Jackson. When she was 12 she decided she wanted to be like him and tour the world. According to Biography, in order for that to happen, producers believed that performing dental surgery and perfecting her English would lead to the worldwide fame she desired.

Although she consistently released music after her transformation, she didn't break to fame until the early 90s when she was featured on the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. She also fell in love with her manager around this time, who had known her since she was a child. The two went on to get married and have children.

She grew to become one of the music industries' most iconic voices.

Jim Carrey 

Jim Carrey's early life was full of ups and downs that made him into who he is today. According to the Youtube channel Before They Were Famous, he grew up in Newmarket, a suburb outside of Toronto. But rough times found his family and they were forced to move to Scarborough where his entire family worked as janitors (including himself).

Once they got back on their feet and moved back to Toronto, Carrey dropped out of school and made his comedy debut at the infamous Yuk Yuk's. After making his way around in the Toronto comedy scene, he moved to Los Angeles.

When he first got to LA, he worked as a cartoonist. Carrey soon made his way onto the big screen in 1985 and rose to fame.

Keanu Reeves 

Keanu Reeves wasn't born in Canada but settled down with his mother in Toronto as a child. According to Looper on Youtube, Reeves had huge cultural influences as a child - from both his mother who travelled the world and his grandmother.

He was also raised in the world of fame. Looper also discusses how his mother was a set costume designer who had many connections in Hollywood. He would spend much of his time with friends of his mother who happened to be famous.

These interactions are what got Reeves into acting as a child. He started in theatre and moved on to small commercial jobs in the Toronto area.

One of his former stepfathers happened to be a film director and got him a job as his assistant when Reeves was just 15. After moving to Los Angeles, he began booking bigger roles.