Books

10 Canadian connections to Harry Potter

We uncovered 10 Canadian connections to the world of Hogwarts.
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint starred in the eight Harry Potter films inspired by the series. (Warner Bros. Pictures/Associated Press)

When J.K. Rowling created Harry Potter more than 20 years ago, she ensured a special connection with the boy wizard: they share a birthday. 

Feb. 6, 2020 is the sixth annual Harry Potter Book Night.  To celebrate, here are 10 Canadian connections to the world of Hogwarts.


 

2. The real-life Natalie McDonald was suffering from leukemia. Before she died, a family friend contacted Rowling's publisher to tell the author about Natalie and how much she loved the Harry Potter books. After failing to reach the family on the phone, Rowling wrote Natalie an email, but it reached the family a day after she died. Rowling and Natalie's mother Valerie became friends, and eventually met.

3. In October 2000, when Rowling was in Toronto, she was interviewed by Shelagh Rogers and 11-year-old Lauren McCormick. Lauren won a contest to interview the Harry Potter author. Listen to their conversation in the audio player below. 

J.K. Rowling on This Morning with Shelagh Rogers 22:24

5. When Rowling was about eight years old, her father was offered the opportunity to work in Canada for a year. "For a moment we really thought we were coming to live in Canada and we were very excited," she told CBC. "But it fell through. We were very disappointed."

6. In 2000, Rowling read to more than 20,000 people at Toronto's Skydome. The event set a Guinness World Record for the largest audience at a book reading.

8. The Harry Potter series has sold over 11 million copies in Canada.

9. Harry Potter is also available in Canada in French. Gallimard Jeunesse publishes the French-language editions.

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