From Peanut Butter to Ryan Gosling: Things We Never Knew Came From Canada


| LAST UPDATE 10/17/2021

By Scarlett Adler

Some of the most well-known movies, pastimes, and traditions in the United States actually have roots formed in Canada. Even some of the biggest stars in Hollywood hail from way up North! Get ready to learn something new, eh?


One of the most iconic movie duos, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, took over the screen when they appeared in the romantic drama Titanic. The film is based on the 1912 Titanic disaster's true story and became an instant classic when it premiered in theaters in 1997.

Titanic Nova Scotia CanadaTitanic Nova Scotia Canada
Instagram via @titanicmovie

The ship originally set sail from Southampton, England. But, according to Discover Nova Scotia, many scenes in the movie were filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. What not many people know is that Halifax is the closest province we are able to travel to where the actual titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean.


Before he became the infamous rap and hip-hop artist we know today, Drake AKA Aubrey Drake Graham was a child actor in the Canada-based drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. He starred in the show during his teen years before gaining recognition for popularizing the Toronto Sound.

Drake Rapper Toronto CanadaDrake Rapper Toronto Canada
Vaughn Ridley / Stringer via Getty Images

Once in the states, Drake thrived in the music industry. He released 3 independent projects before signing to Young Money Entertainment. Drake then released his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, which skyrocketed to #1 on the US Billboard 200. To this day he creates beats that make us left-foot slide all the time.

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There is evidence that Canadians may have started celebrating Thanksgiving 17 years before the U.S. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, explorer Martin Frobisher held the first Thanksgiving celebration over a meal of salt beef and biscuits in the Eastern Arctic of Canada in 1578.

Thanksgiving Canadian Explorer Martin FrobisherThanksgiving Canadian Explorer Martin Frobisher
DEA PICTURE LIBRARY / Contributor via Getty Images

The Plymouth feast that U.S. citizens commonly acknowledge didn't take place until about 1621. Regardless of whether the holiday has Canadian or U.S. roots, the tradition was originally adapted from fall harvest festivals that started long before any European settlers arrived.

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IMAX Theaters

If you've ditched Netflix and gone to a good old fashioned movie theater in the last decade, chances are you've benefited from this now worldwide invention. The first IMAX theater was opened in Toronto, Canada after a group of Canadian filmmakers founded Multi-Screen Corporation in 1967.

IMAX theater Graeme FergusonIMAX theater Graeme Ferguson
Kevin Winter / Staff via Getty Images

The infamous inventors, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and Graeme Ferguson later changed the company's name to IMAX. According to The Globe and Mail, as of 2017, there were over 1,000 IMAX theaters in 66 countries across the globe. So, who's ready for a night at the movies?

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Ryan Gosling

Hollywood sees people from all over the world come to be actors and singers. Although many are from America, some of our favorite stars, including Ryan Gosling, actually hail from Canada. Gosling was born in London, Ontario, but left Canada as a young kid to join the Mickey Mouse Club.

Ryan Gosling London Ontario CanadaRyan Gosling London Ontario Canada
NurPhoto / Contributor via Getty Images

According to The CBC, before he entered the Hollywood world, at the ripe age of 13, Ryan auditioned for Disney and moved to Florida. He soon became a child star on The All New Mickey Mouse Club alongside his Disney co-stars, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

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Peanut Butter

Most people associate George Washington Carver with the invention of peanut butter. He paved the way for the popular American sandwich spread by growing the peanut industry. But, according to the National Peanut Board, the nutty spread we know today is credited to 3 inventors.

Peanut Butter Marcellus Gilmore Edson Peanut Butter Marcellus Gilmore Edson
Cavan Images via Getty Images

Canadian chemist Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented peanut paste in 1884, which he made from milling roasted peanuts between 2 heated surfaces. The other inventors credited with the creation, John Harvey Kellogg and Ambrose Straub, were from the U.S. A few years after Edson, they perfected their own processes for peanut butter.

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Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain is known by many as a pivotal film in representation, as it portrays a secret relationship between 2 cowboys. The 2005 film is set in Wyoming and features majestic mountain views. But, according to Trip Savvy, it was actually filmed in Alberta, Canada.

Brokeback Mountain Alberta CanadaBrokeback Mountain Alberta Canada
Instagram via @focusfeatures

The film features stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. The pair make their way to many Alberta locations throughout the movie, including Kananaskis Country, Fort Macleod, and Calgary. In fact, Kananaskis Country is where the campsite scenes of the movie were filmed. And we'll wrap it there before any spoilers!

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Sandra Oh

Before she was Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, Sandra Oh was a successful Canadian actress from Nepean, Ontario. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, her early start in acting began when she attended Montreal's National Theatre School. And, later, she reportedly won the national championship at the Ottawa Improv Games.

Sandra Oh Canada Greys AnatomySandra Oh Canada Greys Anatomy
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

At the start of her career, the on-screen cardiac surgeon starred in stage and screen productions, including Oleanna and The Diary of Evelyn Lau. Though her acting dreams went against her parent's wishes, she soared in the Canadian atmosphere before she moved to Hollywood in 1996 to pursue larger roles.

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Hawaiian Pizza

Although Hawaiian pizza might seem American since it shares the name of a U.S. state, it's actually a Canadian invention. According to Atlas Obscura, when the late chef, Sam Panopoulos, moved to Canada from Greece in his 20s, he first added pineapple to pizza in 1962 at one of his restaurants in Ontario.

Hawaiian Pizza Canada Sam PanopoulosHawaiian Pizza Canada Sam Panopoulos
Portland Press Herald / Contributor via Getty Images

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, to see how it was going to taste," Panopoulos told BBC News. "We were young in the business, and we were doing a lot of experiments. According to BBC, the "Hawaiian" part of the pizza's name is an ode to the can of pineapples that was first used in its creation.

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Twilight's Eclipse

You don't have to be a die-hard Twilight fan to know that the films are set in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. So when it came time to film Eclipse, the third movie in the series, the cast, crew, and production team headed up North to Canada.

Twilight Eclipse Vancouver British Columbia Twilight Eclipse Vancouver British Columbia
Instagram via @twilight

According to The Seattle Times, Eclipse was set in Washington but was filmed in various locations in Vancouver and British Columbia. A notable location you might remember from the movie is Forks High School, where Bella attends. But, fun fact, the location is actually the David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver.

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Ryan Reynolds

According to Variety, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, before he moved to the United States in his early 20s. He played several roles as a teen, including a recurring character on CBC's The Odyssey. He even started his very own improv group, Yellow Snow.

Ryan Reynolds British Columbia Canada Ryan Reynolds British Columbia Canada
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

Ryan made a jump from teen acting to adult roles when he starred in the Canadian heist flick Foolproof in 2003. He then entered big-budget film in Hollywood's The In-Laws. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Reynolds now has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Trivial Pursuit

When "normalcy" returns and trivia nights start back up again, here's a fun fact that could stump your competitors. Per The Canadian Encyclopedia, the popular board game, Trivial Pursuit, was actually invented by Canadians. In 1979, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott invented the game and later launched their creation in 1981.

Trivial Pursuit Canadian inventionTrivial Pursuit Canadian invention
Matthew Simmons vis Getty Images

The Canadian inventors even provided a prototype that has been replicated by American and European companies. The board game is played by answering questions provided on cards. Now, decades later, Trivial Pursuit remains a popular American (and, of course, Canadian) pastime.

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Mean Girls

In the 2004 film Mean Girls, Cady Heron, played by Lindsey Lohan, and her group of friends attends high school in Evanston, Illinois. It's there that they learn to navigate teen drama and young love. But, according to The University of Toronto Magazine, the comedy was actually filmed in Toronto.

Mean Girls Toronto Canada Mean Girls Toronto Canada
Instagram via @meangirls

During production in 2003, Lohan was seen shooting scenes from the movie at Convocation Hall on the University of Toronto campus. According to IMDb, scenes from the movie were filmed at several locations in Canada, including Sherway Gardens Mall and Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.

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Kim Cattrall

Sex And The City's Kim Cattrall may be widely known as a New York icon, but she actually hails from much further away, according to Insider. After being born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, she moved to British Columbia with her family when she was just 3 months old and grew up on Vancouver Island.

Kim Cattrall Liverpool CanadaKim Cattrall Liverpool Canada
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

According to IMDb, Cattrall began her acting career at the age of 19 with titles such as Rosebud, Good Against Evil, and Deadly Harvest. Eventually, Kim became the Samantha Jones we all know today through her amazingly sassy and posh character portrayal.

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For many hardcore fans, basketball is up there with U.S. traditions like apple pie and state fairs, but the sport was actually first invented by a Canadian named James Naismith. Naismith moved to Massachusettes by the time he invented the game in 1981. But, he was born and raised in chilly Canada.

James Naismith Basketball CanadaJames Naismith Basketball Canada
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

According to Insider, in 1946, the first official NBA basketball game took place in Canada. Across the border in Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, Naismith has his very own museum display as an ode to the history of the game. His name is also displayed across the court, and there's even a residence hall named in his honor.

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Now, hold on to your couch cushions here, people, because these next few tidbits might surprise you. The filming location of the 2007 drama romance Juno and its lead actor Elliot Page are both Canadian! Juno is a movie that follows the life journey of Juno MacGuff, played by actor Elliot Page.

Elliot Page Juno Toronto CanadaElliot Page Juno Toronto Canada
Juno (2007) via IMDb

According to The Toronto Star, the Academy-Award winning film was shot in Vancouver and surrounding areas. And, the film's main star, Page, is also from Canada. Get ready to have your socks knocked off because there's way more where this fun stuff came from...

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Matthew Perry

Though Friends star Matthew Perry, widely known to us as Chandler, was born in Massachusetts, he was actually raised in Ottawa, Ontario. According to Perry, he is a self-proclaimed half Canadian. He landed one of his first notable jobs in the United States at 18 when he co-starred in 1987's Boys Will Be Boys.

Matthew Perry Friends Ontario CanadaMatthew Perry Friends Ontario Canada
Vince Bucci /Stringer via Getty Images

A fun fact that Perry has been said to love to share is that he claims to have tussled with the current Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Is this actually true? We may never know, but for Matthew's sake, we'll let him have this one. From actors to Northern-based filming spots, here's another movie with Canadian roots.

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Suicide Squad

According to The Toronto Sun, the 2016 movie Suicide Squad starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie was shot in Toronto areas. Locations such as the lower Bay Station, Bay Street, and Dundas Square are known as the central station and areas for battling monsters in the movie.

Suicide Squad Toronto CanadaSuicide Squad Toronto Canada
Suicide Squad (2016) via IMDb

In the flick, alongside incarcerated super-villains, Smith and Robbie are the widely known musician and actor Jared Leto and model Cara Delevingne. Together they form a defensive task force with a mission to save the world from the impending apocalypse, according to IMDb.

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Seth Rogan

Actor, producer, and filmmaker Seth Rogan spent his childhood in Vancouver, Canada, before moving to the U.S. to pursue the comedy scene, according to Insider. Before his big move, Seth began his stage-life in stand-up comedy in Vancouver. He soon was hired for the series Freaks and Geeks, which moved him to Los Angeles.

Seth Rogan Canada Walk of FameSeth Rogan Canada Walk of Fame
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

Since his move to America, Rogan has become a well-known staple in the Hollywood scene, with a growing portfolio that includes comedy films like The End and Superbad. According to IMDb, a little-known fact is that he even played the voice of Pumbaa in 2019's animated version of The Lion King!

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Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, co-stars in The Notebook, had Canada as a major trait in common to bond over while filming. McAdams describes herself as a true Canadian, born in London, Ontario. According to Insider, she began acting at the age of 13 in theater productions before she moved on to Hollywood gigs.

Rachel McAdams Canada walk of FameRachel McAdams Canada walk of Fame
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

According to IMDb, she was first cast in the TV series, The Famous Jett Jackson at the age of 23, which kickstarted her career on the big screen. In the following years, she played many diverse roles in titles such as Mean Girls, The Time Traveler's Wife, Sherlock Holmes, The Vow, and Game Night, to name a few.

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Elliot Page

Before his American break out role in Juno, activist and actor Elliot Page made waves in Canada from a young age. His first notable role was in the hit Canadian TV show Pit Pony at just 12-years-old. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, choreographer Emma Portner, who he married in January of 2018.

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Rich Polk / Stringer via Getty Images

Page recently qued the world in on his 2020 transformation, as he came out as transgender. Not only does he have the support of his doting wife by his side, but the Hollywood family he has become a part of throughout the years has been nothing but supportive, according to his Instagram. And, to top it off...

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Michael Cera

Juno's other main actor, Michael Cera, is from Canada as well! According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Cera is a native-born Canadian from Brampton, Ontario. Some of his first acting credits include the short-lived series My Best Friend is An Alien and The Wonderful World of Disney.

Michael Cera Juno Canada Michael Cera Juno Canada
Phillip Chin / Contributor via Getty Images

Cera then moved on to American film with some of his major hits, which of course, included 2007's Juno alongside Elliot page and Superbad alongside Seth Rogan. In later years, Michael starred as George-Michael Bluth in the TV series Arrested Development and multiple voice characters in The Lego Batman Movie 2.

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Fantastic Four

A little known secret about Jessica Alba and Chris Evans's superhero movie Fantastic Four is that it was filmed in various parts of Toronto and the U.S. according to Alba and Evans are the main characters, siblings Sue and Johnny Storm, in the 2005 Marvel Comics movie, alongside other famous actors.

Fantastic Four Movie Toronto CanadaFantastic Four Movie Toronto Canada
Patrick McMullan / Contributor via Getty Images

The famous Loan Gruffudd plays Reed Richards, the elastic Mr. Fantastic, and Michael Chiklis acts as Ben Grimm, the Thing. According to IMDb, The 4 make up the "Longest-running superhero team...who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways."

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Shawn Mendes

The 22-year-old "Lost in Japan" singer who climbed to fame from the video-sharing application, Vine, still calls Canada home. He grew up in Pickering, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. According to a conversation he had with James Cordon on Carpool Karaoke, Mendes shared that he had just moved into his own place in Toronto.

Shawn Mendes Ontario Canada Wonder Shawn Mendes Ontario Canada Wonder
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

In the past year, Mendes announced his fourth studio album, Wonder. When the album's lead single, also named "Wonder," was released, it skyrocketed to the top of the charts and debuted at number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100. And, to top it all off, in November, a documentary titled In Wonder was released about him on Netflix.

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Justin Bieber

Before he was the teen heartthrob known internationally, pop star Justin Bieber rose to fame making Youtube videos in his bedroom as an aspiring singer in Canada. Before he became an international superstar, he made the move from London, Ontario to Los Angeles to further his career opportunities.

Justin Bieber London Ontario Canada Justin Bieber London Ontario Canada
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

In America, Justin signed with agent Scooter Braun and has released many pop and R&B tracks and albums that have had people across all generations singing and dancing along. According to US Weekly, he has since moved back to Ontario with his wife, Hailey Baldwin.

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She’s the Man

Unknown to many, Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum's She's The Man was filmed in Canada. The teen comedy follows high school soccer player Viola as she disguises herself as her twin brother to join a prestigious soccer team. Scenes from the 2006 flick were filmed at recognizable locations in Vancouver like Illyria High School.

She's The Man Movie Vancouver CanadaShe's The Man Movie Vancouver Canada
Kevin Winter / Staff via Getty Images

Remember the cafeteria scene where Principal Gold serves lunch to students? Well, according to Enchanted Serendipity, that scene was actually filmed inside of Canada's Illyria High School, not in North Carolina. According to IMDb, another little-known fact is that Bynes improvised many of the hilarious outbursts in the film.

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Jim Carrey

Knee-slapper comedian and actor Jim Carrey grew up in Toronto where he got his start in standup comedy. He eventually moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17 to pursue his entertainment career. And, before he knew it, he starred in Dumb and Dumber and the Ace Ventura series.

Jim Carrey Toronto Canada CitizenshipJim Carrey Toronto Canada Citizenship
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

According to Entertainment Weekly, as Carrey quickly rose to the top of the comedy scene in America, it wasn't until 2004 that he obtained his U.S. citizenship at the age of 42. And, the rest is history as the comedian continues to keep us laughing to this day!

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Final Destination

According to Trip Savvy, the Final Destination series is a 5-part horror saga about characters who escape death based on mere suspicion. What few people know about the first 3 films is that they were all actually filmed in different areas around Canada.

Final Destination Movie Series CanadaFinal Destination Movie Series Canada
Final Destination (2000) via IMDb

The cast and crew filmed the first 3 movies at several locations throughout the Northern country including Vancouver, Squamish, and Victoria, according to Trip Savvy. From movies to TV, many of the behind the scenes action and footage has taken place in Canada.

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Cobie Smulders

The Avengers and Man: Far From Home star Cobie Smulders revealed in her WIRED Autocomplete interview with Billy on the Street's Billy Eichner that she is Canadian, just like her character Robin on the CBS sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. In fact, she is from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Cobie Smulders Vancouver British ColumbiaCobie Smulders Vancouver British Columbia
George Pimentel / Contributor via Getty Images

In the interview, Smulders said she holds a green card and is "Trying to get that [US] citizenship," though she had yet to apply at the time. While her first acting role was as a guest in the Showtime series, Jeremiah, she has appeared in many TV series and movies since.

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Celine Dion

Celine Dion hails from Quebec, which is the one province in Canada that is majorly French-speaking. This might make a bit more sense for us Americans why we have gained a limited vocabulary of French thanks to Dion's number of french language albums.

Celine Dion Singer Quebec Canada Celine Dion Singer Quebec Canada
ALICE CHICHE / Contributor via Getty Images

In those albums, she has shown off her French language abilities and has definitely made us wish we were bilingual. So, now that we have discovered some of the many movies, traditions, foods, and celebrities that have come out of Canada, who else is feeling the sudden urge to travel to the chilly North?

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