Before They Were Famous
Noteworthy Canadians who attended college or university in Ottawa.
James Duthie – TSN Host and Journalist
Born in Ottawa, James Duthie studied journalism before starting his career as a sportscaster. He has received 3 Gemini Awards and 2 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Sportscaster in Canada for his role as host on the NHL on TSN. He is also a published author, and an ambassador for the Cristian Children’s Fund of Canada.
Dan Aykroyd – Actor and Comedian
Dan Aykroyd studied sociology and criminology before leaving to pursue a career in comedy. He is most well-known for his role on Saturday Night Live and for writing and starring in the hit movie Ghostbusters (1984). To this day, he is the ‘most well-known’ member of Carleton’s Sock’n’Buskin theatre troupe.
Alex Trebek – Host of Jeopardy
University of Ottawa
Trebek moved from his hometown of Sudbury at a young age and attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute before graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa. During his senior year at the university, he began working for CBC as a news and sportscaster. Just two years later, he started to take a series of TV show hosting jobs that led him to his pivotal role on Jeopardy.
k-os – Alternative rapper, Singer-Songwriter and Producer
Also known as Kevin Brereton, rapper k-os (pronounced chaos) attended Carleton University briefly before returning back to his hometown of Toronto and eventually pursuing music as a career.
Jason Blaine – Country Music Star
Hailing from Pembroke, Ontario, Jason Blaine (formerly known as Jason McEwan), graduated from Algonquin College’s business program in 2000. In 2002, he won a nation-wide search for the next big star in country music—Project Discovery. From there, Blaine became famous for songs like Country Side, Back To You, and They Don’t Make Em’ Like That Anymore.
Dan O’Toole – Co-Anchor on TSN
O’Toole studied radio broadcasting at Algonquin College before starting his career as a sports anchor alongside co-anchor Jay Onrait. The pair began with weekly broadcasts on TSN’s Sportscentre. In 2013, they left TSN to work on Fox Sports 1 channel in Los Angeles. They have since returned to TSN and are once again co-anchors on SC With Jay and Dan.
Zdeno Chára – Captain of the Boston Bruins
Born in Czechoslovakia, Chára was first drafted in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Before playing for the Boston Bruins, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators and played on the team from 2001-2006. Chára has a degree in financial planning from Algonquin College, and speaks seven languages.
Tom Green – Comedian from the Capital
Green is a well-known Canadian comedian who was born in Pembroke, Ontario. He later moved to Gloucester. He graduated from Algonquin College after studying television broadcasting. His career has included stand-up comedy, radio and even rap. His most well-known success was The Tom Green Show, which was picked up by MTV in 1999. He also had a very brief marriage to Drew Barrymore in 2001.
Mia Martina – Pop Star
One of Canada’s most successful pop stars, Mia Martina’s big break came after she spent four years studying psychology at Carleton University. From there, she went on to work at a record label and launched her career into pop and Latin dance music. She is most well known for her hits Latin Moon, Burning, and her most recent hit, Sooner or Later.
University of Ottawa
Dafydd “Dave” Williams holds the record for Canadian space walks and has made two trips into space. But before being selected by the Canadian Space Agency in 1992, Williams had a career in medicine, obtaining his degrees from McGill University, and completing a residency in family practice in the faculty of medicine at the University of Ottawa.