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7 Famous People Who You Probably Didn't Realize Studied In Montreal

Turns out, countless public figures studied in the 514.

Associate Editor, MTL Blog
Sandra Oh posing with Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Right: Antoni Porowski cooking in his kitchen.

Sandra Oh posing with Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Right: Antoni Porowski cooking in his kitchen.

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Montreal is home to some stellar schools and esteemed programs, many of which caught the eye of some now-famous folks who studied right here in the 514.

While it's commonly known that U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris had a short-lived life in Montreal, attending Westmount High — there are quite a few other big names that graduated from McGill, Concordia, and some of Montreal's acclaimed art schools, to name a few.

From actors, chefs, and politicians, all the way to musicians and producers, here are seven famous people you might not have realized studied in Montreal.

Sandra Oh

Did you know Dr. Cristina Yang went to school in Montreal? I mean, Sandra Oh!

The talented 13-time Emmy nominated actress grew up in Nepean, Ontario, a suburb just outside of Ottawa. Well, turns out Sandra attended the National Theatre School in Montreal where she studied drama. It's evident her studies were worth it considering she landed a spot on Grey's Anatomy for over a decade and played the lead role in the hit series, Killing Eve.

Antoni Porowski

The beloved Queer Eye star, Antoni Porowski, grew up in Montreal, so it might not be a total surprise he attended school here.

However, he left the 514 for West Virginia when he was only 12. His love for the city was seemingly undeniable as the chef returned to Montreal to complete his post-secondary studies at Marianopolis before attending Concordia University, where Antoni earned a degree in Creative Arts.

Grimes

Before Grimes became a singer and dated one of the richest people in the world (and separated from one of the richest people in the world), she was a student right here in Montreal. In an interview with NPR Music, Grimes shared that she attended McGill University where she studied Electroacoustics.

"We studied a lot of how the brain interacts with music. So by the time I actually started making music, I kind of had an understanding of frequencies and kind of how the brain responds to things, which I think really helped me as a producer," the artist said.

William Shatner

William Shatner, who played the iconic role of Admiral James T. Kirk on Star Trek, not only attended school in Montreal but was born here. The star reigns from Côte-Saint-Luc and later attended McGill University.

Shatner has even returned to the school to discuss his formative years at McGill and his impressive career. While he was a student at the Montreal university, he wasn't a very good one. "I was the single worst student at McGill,” said Shatner. “I enjoyed school, I just didn’t go to class."

Will Arnett

​Will Arnett is known for starring in a handful of hilarious television shows including Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman — not to mention the countless films he's appeared in over the course of his career.

During his younger years, Arnett was quite the rebel, so much so that he was actually kicked out of both the Toronto French School and Lakefield College. After finally graduating high school, Will attended Concordia. However, he dropped out after one semester. While he didn't snag a diploma, it's safe to say things turned out just fine for the actor.

Justin Trudeau

Many people often think that Justin Trudeau was born in Montreal, when, in fact, he was born in Ottawa — as his father was the Prime Minister of Canada at the time.

Despite being a native of Ontario, Trudeau definitely has Montreal roots. Not only is his family from the 514, but Trudeau also attended school here. The now-Prime Minister of Canada studied literature at McGill University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in '94.

Pierre Bouvier

Pierre Bouvier is notoriously known for being a member of Simple Plan, a band that was founded right here in Montreal. The star grew up in the city and attended Collège Beaubois in Pierrefonds — where his father was actually the Student Director, according to La Presse.

The star began jamming out with his buds from high school, who also went on to be his Simple Plan bandmates, and their very first performance took place at Clyde's Bar in Pointe-Claire, Bouvier shared during his interview with Rock Sound.

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