6 Famous People Who Hail from Oshawa

Plenty of famous faces once called Oshawa home.  But do you know who they are? See how many you recognize:

stephen-s-poloz-250x250Ever noticed that every piece of paper currency in Canada has two little signatures on it? Since 2013, one of those signatures belongs to Oshawa-born Stephen Poloz, the Govenor of the Bank of Canada and alumni of Central Collegiate.  So what does Govenor Poloz do?  His official job description is that he’s the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Canada, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). We’re not sure exactly what that means, but it all sounds terribly important. These days, you can find Govenor Poloz at the official Bank of Canada headquarters, in Ottawa.

Ed-BroadbentLongtime politician Ed Broadbent, son of a General Motors clerk and a stay-at-home mother, grew up in Oshawa and graduated from Central collegiate in 1955.  Mr. Broadbent went on to become the former leader of the Labour party, former director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, Companion of the Order of Canada, and created the Broadbent Institute to explore social democratic policy and ideas.  Like Govenor Poloz, Mr. Broadbent resides in Ottawa.


darrin roseDarrin Rose is an actor, writer and comedian, who currently plays Bill the bartender on the hit CBC show Mr. D.  Rose also hosts the game show Match Game, has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Just For Laughs, Comedy Now, and NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and has just been nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy at the Canadian Screen Awards.  Rose graduated from Oshawa’s O’Neill C.V.I. in 1995.



tonya lee williamsSoap opera actress Tonya Lee Williams was born in London, England, but grew up in Oshawa before heading to Toronto’s Ryerson University at the age of 18. Williams, who has been nominated for two Emmys, is best known for her long running role as Dr. Olivia Barber Winters on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, which she held from 1990 to 2005, returning briefly in 2007 and 2008.  After leaving the world of soaps, Williams founded the ReelWorld Film Festival held in Toronto, which screens features, shorts, documentaries, animation and music videos, about or by Aboriginal, Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, South Asian and multi-racial communities.

220px-A.J.Cook_cropAndrea Joy (AJ) Cook stars as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau in the CBS hit show Criminal Minds. Born in Oshawa in 1978, Cook grew up in Whitby, and attended Anderson High School.  The former competitive dancer and dance teacher is a Mormon, and now lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and two sons.  Cook reportedly earns $100K per episode of Criminal Minds.



Bill-Marshall-co-founder-TIFF-NIFFBill Marshall’s extraordinary career in film started at Central Collegiate where, as the story goes, he stole Ed Broadbent’s girlfriend, whom he later married.  Marshall is a Member of the Order of Canada, and the originator and co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival. He was also instrumental in forming the Academy of Canadian Film and Television, the association that promotes film and television industries and honours outstanding achievement.


Want to find more famous people who hail from Oshawa? Check out our round up of Oshawa’s most influential people.

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