The most influential up-and-comers of 2015
Five Torontonians on the verge of big things
The Future Oscar Fave
Stephan James, 21
His supporting roles in Selma, The Book of Negroes and The L.A. Complex earned him a spot in the TIFF Rising Stars program (Tatiana Maslany is an alumna). His starring role in Race, the biopic about Olympian Jesse Owens, will mark his breakout.
The Digital Sage
Ryan Merkley, 37
The CEO of online-copyright company Creative Commons is a former advisor to David Miller, ex-COO of Mozilla Foundation and an authority on open government. The White House summoned him on three occasions to advise on open data, education and research.
The Pop Prodigy
Alessia Cara, 19
The Brampton singer ended 2015 with a Jimmy Fallon performance under her belt, an onstage appearance with Taylor Swift, a single that reached number three on the Billboard R&B charts, and both a debut EP and full-length album on Def Jam Recordings.
The Design Mastermind
Alex Josephson, 32
Through Partisans, the promising young architecture firm he co-founded in 2011, Josephson has helped revitalize Union Station; Toronto’s most stunning restaurant, Bar Raval; and the award-winning Grotto Sauna in Georgian Bay.
The Tech Titan
Michele Romanow, 30
The e-commerce phenom has founded four companies: Buytopia, SnapSaves (which was bought by Groupon), a caviar distributor and an eco-friendly coffee shop. This year, she joined the cast of Dragons’ Den, where she’ll mentor and fund like-minded entrepreneurs.