I lived in several Ontario cities before finally settling in Burlington more than a decade ago now.
Since living in Burlington it seems I am always learning of some very successful people who I had no idea had a connection to this great city.
Listed are several people who at one time lived in Burlington:
Robert Bateman – Artist
Robert Bateman is a celebrated artist and environmentalist whose artistic technique encapsulates the natural world and wildlife. He lived in Burlington and taught at Nelson and Lord Elgin High Schools from 1958-1963, 1965-1969 and 1970-76. There is now a Burlington high school named in his honour.
Jim Carrey – Actor
James Eugene Carrey was born in 1962 in Aurora and lived in Burlington for eight years. He attended Aldershot High School. Carey would often perform comedy sketches for classmates in middle school which fortified his outrageous stage talent. He relocated to Scarborough in his teens, where he later dropped out of high school to pursue a career in comedy. Smart decision!
Finger Eleven – Alternative Rock Band
The members of Finger 11 first came together at Lester B. Pearson High School where they originated as a funk band called the Rainbow Butt Monkeys. Original members Scott and Sean Andersen, Rob Gommerman, James Black and Rick Jackett won a contest on a local radio station and used the prize money to produce their first album Letters from Chutney (1995). When the original drummer left the band, the Rainbow Butt Monkeys became Finger 11 and hired current drummer Rich Beddoe.
Chip & Pepper Foster – Entertainment/Fashion
Identical twins Chip & Pepper Foster grew up in Burlington and went to high school at M.M. Robinson. They are co-owners of the self-titled Chip & Pepper apparel company and former hosts of their own NBC series, Chip and Pepper’s Cartoon Madness. In 1994, the Fosters opened a store by the name of Golf Punk. As it grew, the Fosters decided to resurrect their signature brand, which took place in fall of 2003 in Los Angeles. The duo gained notoriety as stylists on the Style Network show The Look For Less and numerous appearances on E!, including Glamour’s 50 Biggest Fashion Dos & Don’ts. More recently, the Fosters introduced a line called C7P aimed particularly at the teen market.
Ryan Gosling – Actor
Ryan Gosling was born in London and lived in Cornwall before he moved to Burlington where he attended Lester B. Pearson High School. He starred in the Mickey Mouse Club and hit T.V. show Breaker High. He has since been nominated for an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in the 2006 drama Half Nelson as well as a Golden Globe award and Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in 2008’s Lars and the Real Girl.
Sarah Harmer – Musician
Sarah Harmer grew up on a small farm in northern Burlington. She has become an accomplished singer, songwriter and activist, co-founding the organization PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land). Harmer earned a degree in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from Queen’s University and has received numerous Juno award nominations, including Songwriter of the Year. To date, she has released five albums, her latest being Oh Little Fire in 2010.
Walk Off The Earth – Alternative Rock Band
Walk Off The Earth is an unconventional, multi-talented five-piece band based in Burlington. Their brilliant 5-people-playing-one-guitar interpretation of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know exploded on Youtube garnering well over 35 million views in under two weeks. The massive fan response quickly drew attention to their collection of innovative songs and videos spanning their last five years and generated an unprecedented flood of media interest. They were nominated for two Junos in 2013 for break through group and video of the year.
Burlington is a great place to live for many reasons … just ask any of these famous people. I bet they’d agree.
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