Modeled on the iconic Hollywood attraction, Canada’s Walk of Fame acknowledges the achievements of famous Canadians in sports, science, business, philanthropy and the arts. If you’re visiting Toronto’s Entertainment District, take a look for some famous names you know!
The Walk of Fame opened in 1998 and has since become a major tourist draw, bringing increased pedestrian traffic along its route, which runs in front of Roy Thompson Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre and Royal Alexandra Theatre. Apart from household names like Céline Dion, Dan Aykroyd, Margaret Atwood and John Candy, more recent inductees include musician Alessia Cara (who’ll be hosting this year’s Juno Awards in Saskatoon), architect Frank Gehry, hockey legend Mark Messier, and beloved children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs (Mr. Dressup). If you’re looking for a particular star, check the official map for precise locations.
The rigorous nomination process stipulates that inductees must be born in Canada (or have spent their formative years here), have significantly impacted Canadian culture and “embody the essence of Canadian identity.” The organization considers qualities like diversity, social responsibility and innovation. There’s also an annual awards show and gala held at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre to honour new inductees — a red-carpet event that sells out every year as Torontonians gather to rub shoulders with famous guests.
A number of spin-off programs and partnerships also honour Canadians making a difference — like the Community Heroes Program, recently awarded to 18-year-old environmentalist Abhayjeet Singh Sachal, who received $10,000 toward his Break the Divide youth foundation, and the RBC Emerging Musicians Program, which has helped Canadian artists like LU and Bayla get their start. The best-known WoF prize is the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour, which has been awarded to the likes of Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes and Jessie Reyez.
The Walk of Fame is a destination in itself, or a convenient side trip if you’re heading over to see a show at one of the major event venues in the area. (It’s only a five-minute walk from the hotel, and there’s always something to see along this stretch of King Street.) Look for the red CWoF logo (which cleverly combines a star and a maple leaf) and you’ll know you’re in the right place.
Nominations for 2020 are already rolling in —and we can’t wait to see who’ll be awarded the next CWoF star!