Over the last decade, Brampton has had so much homegrown talent become worldwide sensations through avenues like singing, acting, comedy, and even superhero-dom. (Yes, the Brampton Batman is a celebrity). With that, let’s take a look at 10 people with humble beginnings in this lovely city:
REAL NAME: Michael Austin Cera
HIGH SCHOOL: Heart Lake Secondary School
Know for his quirky whims, and awkward comedic delivery, Michael Cera is an actor that we know from beloved movies including Superbad, Juno, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Many of us remember the Brampton native in Arrested Development, too, and since then has become a rising star.
2. Russell Peters
REAL NAME: Russell Dominic Peters
HIGH SCHOOL: Chinguacousy Secondary School/ Judith Nyman Secondary School
We all know him for his comedic genius and iconic phrases, including “Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad!” Russell Peters is an Indian Canadian comedian who was raised in Brampton, and doesn’t shy away from letting the world know about his upbringing in this city by paying homage in his work.
3. Roy Woods
REAL NAME: Denzel Spencer
HIGH SCHOOL: Turner Fenton S.S.
Signed to Drake’s label OVO Sound, Roy Woods has been making a name for himself in the music industry with hits like “Gwan Big Up Urself” and “Get You Good”. This Brampton-born star has gained the attention of the R&B world with his series of EPs and has collaborated with people like fellow OVO Sound member PARTYNEXTDOOR, Future, and even Drake himself.
4. Alessia Cara
REAL NAME: Alessia Caracciolo
HIGH SCHOOL: Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic S.S.
At only 21 Alessia Cara is already one of the world’s top pop artists. Starting out on Youtube, Cara’s debut single “Here” garnered major attention in 2016. Since then she’s captured the attention of Def Jam Records and the rest of the world: she dropped a successful debut album, toured with Coldplay, opened up award shows, and recently won two MTV Video Music Awards.
5. Tory Lanez
REAL NAME: Daystar Peterson
HIGH SCHOOL: Fletcher’s Meadow S.S.
Tory Lanez is another musician who grew up in Brampton and began rapping at the age of 9, performing at 16 and releasing mixtapes as early as 2009. Prior to the release of his debut album, I Told You, he was already making a name for himself by sampling older songs, and adding his flare, including “Say It” and “LUV”. Not to mention, he has collaborated with some artists including Meek Mill and YG.
6. Shawn Ashmore
REAL NAME: Shawn Robert Ashmore
HIGH SCHOOL: Turner Fenton S.S.
Probably most recognized for his roles in the X-Men movie franchise and the Smallville TV series, Shawn Ashmore grew up in Brampton, with his twin brother and fellow actor Aaron Ashmore. Some of his work includes the biopic, Terry, where he plays Terry Fox as he ventured on his run across Canada to bring awareness and raise money for cancer research.
7. Trey Anthony
REAL NAME: Trey Anthony
HIGH SCHOOL: Notre Dame Secondary School
Trey Anthony is an established playwright, producer, and actress, as well as the creator of the popular play and tv show Da Kink in my Hair.
Notably, she is the first black woman to have written and produced a television show on a major television network in Canada, among her many accolades over the years. She still remains active in the community, volunteering with various groups and visiting high schools to speak with students.
8. Tyler Seguin
REAL NAME: Tyler Paul Seguin
HIGH SCHOOL: St. Michael’s College School
Brampton born Professional Hockey player Tyler Seguin currently plays centre for the Dallas Stars. While he didn’t attend high school in Brampton, he is nonetheless a person worth noting. He was drafted into the OHL in 2008, then was the second overall draft pick of the Boston Bruins, and soon after won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
9. Tristan Thompson
REAL NAME: Tristan Trevor James Thompson
HIGH SCHOOL: St. Marguerite D’Youville Secondary School
Another athlete to mention is Tristan Thomas, currently playing power forward and centre position for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thompson moved to Nevada for school after his freshman year of high school for a better chance at being discovered. In 2011, he was scouted from the University of Texas at Austin after playing for the Longhorns as a fourth overall draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. By 2016, Thompson had won his first NBA Championship.
10. Director X
REAL NAME: Julian Christian Lutz
HIGH SCHOOL: Mayfield Secondary School/ North Park Secondary School
Probably one of the most well-known music video directors in the business, Director X has made his mark on the industry ten times over. Having worked under Hype Williams, he has collaborated and filmed for top stars including Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, Nelly Furtado, and Kanye West to name a few. He has also been nominated several times for MMVA’s and MTV Music Awards.
So those are just a few of Brampton’s rising stars. There’s plenty more that we’ve probably missed, but it is clear that this city is a hotbed for success!