Then and Now: How our CBC stars have grown on screen

Ahh, the passage of time. It moves so quickly we don’t realize how much change we’ve witnessed or how much our young stars grew up before our eyes right here on CBC.

Ahh, the passage of time. It moves so quickly we don't realize how much change we've witnessed or how much our young stars grew up before our eyes right here on CBC.

Take for instance when Heartland began back in 2007 and a young Amber Marshall first joined with her horse Spartan. Thirteen seasons later, her character has found love, has known heartbreak, has fought through challenge after challenge, and has also started a family of her own. Older, wiser, and still as stunning as ever.

(Swipe to compare before and after)

Then there's Amybeth McNulty. In her short time in Avonlea, young Anne has found a family and a home. For us, Amybeth has grown gracefully into the role of the precocious and outspoken orphan in the span of three seasons of Anne with an E.

Speaking of freckle-faced, red-haired girls, Sadie Munroe busted out onto the small screen in the CBC comedy Workin' Moms as Alice, the alarmingly provocative nine-year-old daughter of Anne and Lionel Carlson. Alice's path to being a rebellious teen may have been fraught with both humour and drama over the last three seasons, Sadie, on the other hand, has matured into her role, going toe to toe against onscreen parents, Dani Kind and Ryan Belleville.

While Amber, Amybeth and Sadie have grown before our eyes on the same show, the next group of talented actors planted their roots long ago and have somehow found their way back on CBC soil.

Yannick Bisson (Toby McTeague; 1986 / Murdoch Mysteries; 2019)

Yannick Bisson's teen years were no stranger to CBC programming with small roles in such classic series as Street Legal and Danger Bay, and the TV movie Hockey Night. In the CBC produced film Toby McTeague, Yannick played a high school student vying for the top prize of a dog-sleigh competition. Fast forward to 2019 and Yannick is 13 seasons deep playing the resourceful titular detective in Murdoch Mysteries.

Dayo Ade (Degrassi Junior High; 1987/ Workin' Moms; 2019)

Bryant Lester Thomas, aka B.L.T., was a background character in the earlier seasons of Degrassi Junior High but picked up more steam in the high school years when the show tackled issues such as interracial relationships. Dayo Ade has come a long way to become the baritone-voiced handyman who makes Val's knees weak on Workin' Moms.

Wendy Crewson (Home Fires; 1980 / Frankie Drake Mysteries; 2019)

Running for four seasons, Home Fires was a CBC drama about a family living in Toronto during World War II. Wendy Crewson played the eldest daughter Terry Lowe whose storyline saw her go from adolescence to womanhood during wartime. Crewson kept busy during her long career including a recurring role on 24 and in Air Force One opposite Harrison Ford, but she was welcomed back to CBC as the empowered Victoria Stromanger on Workin' Moms and Frankie's con artist mother Nora Drake on Frankie Drake Mysteries.

C. David Johnson (Street Legal; 1987 / Diggstown; 2019)

Okay, so C. David Johnson wasn't a teenager when he landed a starring role on the wildly popular and successful TV series Street Legal back in 1987. Over 30 years later with a number of credits to his name, Johnson has found himself back on the CBC but in a different legal drama, Diggstown, passing up the chance to be part of the Street Legal revival series alongside his former co-star Cynthia Dale.

Paul Gross (Chasing Rainbows; 1988 / Caught; 2018)

Paul Gross was 29 years old when he landed a starring role in the CBC miniseries war drama Chasing Rainbows. Since then, his acting career skyrocketed with notable roles such as Men With Brooms, Passchendaele (which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in), and CTV's Due South. He is no stranger to CBC programs in his more distinguished years having appeared in Alias Grace and the '70s crime drama miniseries, Caught, both available on CBC Gem.