11 Big Celebrities Who Actually Came From Small Ontario Cities

The list includes James Cameron. 👀

Shania Twain and her dog. Right: Shawn Mendes in a hockey jersey.
Associate Editor

Shania Twain and her dog. Right: Shawn Mendes in a hockey jersey.

You don't need to be born in Hollywood in order to rise to fame. These Ontario celebrities grew up in small cities and made it big.

Renowned singers, movie stars, and comedians came from humble beginnings across the province. Who knows, maybe one of these celebs actually grew up in your area.

Justin Bieber

The singer, who became a worldwide sensation in his early teens, was raised in Stratford, Ontario, according to the city's website. The city has a 'Bieber-iffic Map' that lets you explore the area through his eyes, as well as a Justin Bieber exhibit.

Jim Carrey

\u200bJim Carrey.

Jim Carrey.

Denis Makarenko | Dreamstime.com

The actor and comedian was born in Newmarket Ontario in 1962, according to Britannica. Carrey worked as a janitor and participated in comedy gigs in Toronto before moving to Hollywood at age 19.

Shania Twain

Dubbed the "Queen of Country Pop", Shania Twain was raised in Timmins, Ontario according to The Canadian Encylopedia. Despite her beginnings in poverty, Twain followed her dreams to become the biggest-selling female country artist ever.

Shawn Mendes

Raised in Pickering, Ontario, the singer rose to fame in his early teenage years. In his recent Netflix documentary, Mendes revisits his childhood home and city.

James Cameron

Known for Titanic and Avatar, director James Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, according to IMDb. He is one of the most esteemed film directors in Hollywood and has won countless awards for his works.

Chris Hadfield

Renowned astronaut, engineer, and pilot Chris Hadfield was born in Sarnia and raised in Milton, Ontario, according to the Government Of Canada. His website claims that he is the "first Canadian to walk in space."

Rachel McAdams

The actress was raised in St. Thomas, Ontario, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia. She studied drama at York University and rose to fame after landing roles in Mean Girls and The Notebook.

Alex Trebek

The iconic Jeopardy! host was born in Sudbury, Ontario. He was named an officer of the Order of Canada and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canadian Walk of Fame according to Jeopardy!. Trebek passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer.

Bryan Adams

The rock singer was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1959, according to Britannica. His music has won several awards, and he has been named an officer of the Order of Canada.


Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the music producer, whose real name is Joel Zimmerman, made it big in the electronic dance genre, according to Britannica. He often wears a giant mouse mask while performing.

Avril Lavigne

According to Britannica, the singer-songwriter grew up in Napanee, Ontario. She's best known for her hits "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi."

This article has been updated since it was originally published on March 2, 2021.

Madeline Forsyth
Associate Editor
Madeline Forsyth is an Associate Travel Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Toronto, Ontario.