Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times felt she "emerges as a young actress of much promise" while Christopher Tookey of the Daily Mail described Mc Adams and Anna Faris as "talents to watch, but they are let down by everything around them". Afterwards, Mc Adams returned to Canada to star as Kate Mc Nab in Slings and Arrows, a comedy mini-series about backstage theatre life at the fictional New Burbage Shakespearean Festival.
She enrolled in York University's four-year theatre program and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts honours degree in 2001.
While at university, Mc Adams worked with the Toronto-based Necessary Angel Theatre Company.
Mc Adams was educated at Myrtle Street Public School, and later Central Elgin Collegiate Institute.
She did not enjoy academic work and often would pretend to be sick to avoid going to school. In addition to playing sports (including volleyball, badminton, and soccer), Mc Adams served on the student council, participated in the Crimestoppers program, and was a member of the Peer Helping Team.
She received two Gemini Award nominations for her work on the program, with one win.