It’s no secret that Toronto is having a moment. Last year, Toronto was named the best place in the world to live by The Economist and the year before that Queen Street West was named the second coolest neighborhood in the world by Vogue Magazine. Not too shabby for a city that not too long ago was only known for its good manners, cold weather, and hockey.
Toronto’s rise to prominence was no accident and has been building steam thanks to a group of Canadians that have made Canada bigger than the sum of its parts. Valuable ranges in definition from having considerable monetary worth to relevance or respectability (they have all in spades). I based this list on people who have had the greatest influence on pop culture either directly or indirectly and consequently the world’s perspective of Canada.
Without further ado, check out the 10 most valuable Canadians:
From the Comeback Season mix-tape all the way back in 2007 to his latest hit record, Views, Drake has unfailingly represented the city he calls home at all times. His OVO Festival has become a highlight on the festival circuit and his gig as a “global ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors proves he reaches much farther than music. We’re excited to see his next move for this city.
Image via @champagnepapi
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Bieber’s status in the music industry. Although not as advert in his support of Canada as Drake, breaking records like the most #1 songs on the Hot 100 last year only magnifies the country’s music industry as a whole.
Image via @JustinBieber
One of the pioneers of the “EDM” craze in the last few years is none other than Niagara Fall’s Deadmau5. From headlining festivals around the world to grooming the next generation of Canadian producers such as Rezz & Attlas, Deadmau5 has had an undeniable impact on electronic music and it’s life in Canada.
Image via @deadmau5_imagenes
Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Crosby has already had a career that any athlete would dream off. Winning two gold medals and two Stanley cups among countless individual awards, Crosby continues to inspire a generation of kids to play our national pastime.
Image via @lawless_photography
The first Canadian to go #1 in the NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins is responsible for showing the world that Canadians can play too. From winning Rookie of The Year to starring on the Canadian Men’s Basketball team, Wiggins is just beginning to show the world what he and this country can do on the court.
Image via @22wiggins
The man responsible for breaking movies such as 12 Years a Slave & Argo is TIFF’s Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey. Curating thousands of submissions down to a few hundred, TIFF has gained a reputation as the most important film festival in the world and a special time for those in Toronto.
From his first mix-tape (House of Balloons) The Weeknd has made a name for himself with his seductive, sultry R&B. Commercial hits such as The Hills & I Can’t Feel My Face show the world that Canada’s music scene has plenty of variety to offer.
Image via @abelxo
The entertainment kingpin behind Digital Dreams & Veld, along with a slew of the city’s top restaurants such as NAO & Figo is Charles Khabouth. As the founder of INK Entertainment, owning an impressive 17 venues is just the tip of the iceberg. Khabouth has not only played a huge role in shaping Canada’s nightlife/hospitality industry but has made Canada a worldwide leader in the industry as well.
Image via @kenbryanpresents
One of Canada’s hottest actresses is Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany. Playing the lead character on Orphan Black (Sarah Manning as well as Sarah’s army of clones,) has earned Maslany both critical and commercial success. As a female lead (with an elaborate character) in a mainstream show, we’re eager to see the impact this will have on our entertainment industry.
Image via @orphanblack
The man behind the global phenomenon in fashion, known as street style, is Toronto’s own Tommy Ton. Tommy Ton has played a huge role in the public’s interest in street style leading to an increased emphasis on personal style. Inadvertently shaping this generation of bloggers and designers, and showing the world Canada has world-class fashion talent are just a few things we can thank him for.