Thanks to Michael Cera and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, movie goers finally get to see a bit more of Toronto. Torontonians viewers will recognize Canadian chains in the movie, like Pizza! Pizza! and Second Cup on Bloor Street (next to Honest Ed’s, a major institution), and experience that short-lived high we get when we see, say, Bereket Kebab House on Houston Street in Coyote Ugly (bad example, bad movie, but you get the idea).
Toronto is the third largest movie production city in the world (after Los Angeles and New York City), but quite frankly, that’s about all they get in terms of cinematic chops. Everything that’s shot here is made to look like it takes place in LA or NYC or somewhere else. Remember when the mayor of Chicago wrote that angry article about Chicago being filmed entirely in Toronto? Toronto Stole Chicago, was his big gripe. But it’s not like Toronto wants to be known as the city that looks like a burlesque club circa 1920s America, either. Or the West Village. Or a Northeastern Ivy League campus, for that matter. Toronto wouldn’t mind a little screen time, eh? After all, they gave us Michael J. Fox.
With that in mind, two thumbs up to Scott Pilgrim for giving the city the set-love it deserves, and for giving the world a hilarious Canadian flick (the writer is Torontonian, after all). If you happen to be in Toronto and want to check out some prominent film locations for major Hollywood movies (filmed, but not based, in Toronto), check out these spots.
Casa Loma: Iconic castle/mansion where X-Men was filmed (you’ll walk the halls where Wolverine ran from the snipers, and see the living area for the Charles Xavier Academy. Also filmed here: The Tuxedo, Extreme Measures, and, um, The Pacifier with Vin Diesel (among many other films).
Fairmont Royal York: This hotel, built in 1929, has weathered many cinematic storms. It’s home to 25 films per year, and includes the majestic lobby, where you can
University of Toronto campus: The Skull, Resident Evil 2, Mean Girls, the original Black Christmas.