Forget U.S. Ivy League schools — the truth is plenty of Canadian success stories start right here at Toronto’s own centres of higher education.
Some of the most famous and successful people in the world have studied in this city, proving you don’t have to head south of the border to get an education that propels you.
Rachel McAdams Actor, York University
As one of Hollywood’s most respected and universally loved “it” girls, Rachel McAdams is well-known not only for her down-to-earth kindness and outstanding talent but also for being an out-and-about proud Canadian.
McAdams graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and quickly set to work conquering Hollywood with lead roles in huge hits like Mean Girls, The Notebook, Wedding Crashers and Red Eye. Maclean’s magazine touted her as the most watched actress of 2005, and she has become somewhat of a poster-girl for York’s drama program.
McAdams’ acting coach at York, professor David Rotenberg, has said casting agents were already chasing after McAdams before the end of her final year performance and that her education at York was a big part of her grounded approach to acting.
“We teach up at York that you’ve got to know where you come from — it’s a big part of the training,” Rotenberg said in a 2005 interview.
George Stroumboulopoulos TV host, Humber College
The ever-hip, effervescently witty host of CBC’s The Hour and former star VJ at MuchMusic, George Stroumboulopoulos has been knocking it out of the park on the air since graduating from Humber College’s Radio Broadcasting program in 1994.
As well-known for his incredible wealth of music and pop culture knowledge as his poignant interviewing skills, the lovable “Strombo” is a hard worker who used his Humber experience to build his career from scratch to be one of Canada’s most well-known celebrities.
Natalie Glebova Miss Universe 2005, Ryerson University
A tall, ethereal beauty, Natalie Glebova brought the Miss Universe title home to Canadian soil in 2005 and has since used her notoriety to help a score of charitable causes including AIDS awareness.
Glebova graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Informational Technology Management and Marketing (try saying that five times fast!) and has been putting her business smarts to work as ambassador for cosmetics and eyewear lines in Thailand as well as running her own charity, Party 4 Charity, which uses events to raise money for many social charities throughout Thailand.