Elle Downs portrays Mrs. Powers in Degrassi: Next Class. She is the mother of Reiya Downs, who portrays her character's daughter, Shay Powers.

Elle Downs is a sixth generation Canadian of African Canadian and Native American (Cherokee Indian) descent. Her father was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Born an only child in Toronto, she was raised by her great grandmother and great aunt, Louise and Clara Little (Bell).

Elle has been interested in the arts from the early age of four. She often had visions of dancing and being on television. Throughout her early years, she has taken piano lessons and acted in local theater plays. In high school, she created a dance group called the `Hot Ice Dancers', and found her greatest love performing in front of audiences. Elle partook in three beauty pageants in her teens, finishing third runner up and first runner up. She won the title of Miss Black Canada in the nineties.

Since, Elle has been developing her career as an actor appearing in TV series' such as Kevin Hill, Monk, and 1-800-MISSING, as well as appearing in the feature film Godsend starring Robert DeNiro. Throughout the years she has had the opportunity to work with actors such as Lynn Whitfield, Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn, Vivica A. Fox, and Malcolm McDowell.

Acting being her passion, she still has in her heart the desire to pursue her love for music and is currently working in the studio in her spare time.


  • She has two daughters: Reiya and Riele.
  • She is the Box office manager for the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • She was in Sorority Surrogate with Cassie Steele and Daniel Kelly.
  • She is a Taurus.
  • She was the second parent of another portrayer, to also play a character in the same Degrassi show. The first person was Sheila Brogren.