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Reel Toronto: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.
“It’s like a little slice of New Jersey” is probably not in the Mayfair’s ad material.
If you wanna take your stoner comedy to the next level, you have to take it on the road. And if you want to set it in New York and New Brunswick, New Jersey, naturally, you have to film it in Toronto, like they did with Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

The apartment the boys live in is one of the easiest locations to spot. It’s the Mayfair Mansions on Avenue Road, right across from the Oaklands Stadium. For some reason this shot shows the number as 680 (perhaps to make it seem more American?), but it’s actually at 398.
From Cocktail to Kumar to the Hulk, everyone loves Knox College.
The second easiest location to spot is “Princeton University,” played by your friendly, neighbourhood University of Toronto. The always-picturesque Knox College does most of the heavy lifting, but some scenes were shot at Vic as well.
There’s nothing inherently Canadian about expensive popcorn and Bellini nights.
This being a road movie, we do get some nice “zipping by on the highway” shots of some locations that look a bit un-Jersey. For starters, there’s the Cineplex Odeon Queensway.
They also take a ride on Erin Mills Parkway, past Parkway Chrysler.
The boys’ first stop in pursuit of the perfect burger is at the “Burger Shack.” This location was actually a Baker’s Dozen location, out on Kipling Road.
Other road bits were shot on Old Finch and out in Mimico.
The forest scene, where the boys befriend (and smoke up with) a cheetah, was shot in Pickering’s Woodlands Park. It’s part of the Rouge park system, and does a good job playing something a bit remote.
The Esso station where the showdown with the x-treme crew happens is harder to nail down. Mostly because you can see there’s a Country Style there and Esso has since switched over to Timmies. We’re betting on Mimico, but aren’t certain.
The other mystery is that we know something was shot at the old OPP headquarters at 90 Harbour Street. It’s an abandoned building you’ve probably seen many times without really noticing. We’re rolling the dice and guessing it played the role of Freehold Hospital, where Kumar runs into his dad. We can’t be 100% sure about that, but we are sure that the other doctor is Sean Majumder.


  • rocketeer

    You’d think I might be able to recognize my own school once in a while. Keep ‘em coming!

  • badbhoy

    I’m pretty sure the Esso is located on the southwest corner of Hurontario and Eglinton. As they pull away you get a quick glimpse of the Licks and Shoppers Drug Mart across the street.

  • vistaway

    Northwest corner, but that would make sense, as I recall that station looking like it’s in the middle of nowhere in the movie. And since there’s acres of empty farmland behind that particular Esso, that would make sense.

  • e3000

    I believe the scenes at “Hotdog Heaven” are actually at Magoo’s on Dundas, west of Prince Edward in Etobicoke.

  • John Duncan

    I watched this for the first time a few weeks back and didn’t catch that it was Toronto until they went to pull off the highway and I saw the signs for Eastern Ave/Richmond St.
    After that I drove my girlfriend crazy pointing out every time the GTA stuck its head up.
    Also, this feature really needs to look at Shoot ‘Em Up!

  • jen_in_toronto

    The Rocker will be a good contender for this feature when it comes out. I recognized The Big Bop and the Phoenix.

  • james a

    A friend of mine randomly stumbled onto the dressed up “White Castle” near his cottage right after the movie was filmed. It was actually an abandoned gas station near Calabogie, Ontario.

  • theadgal

    Hotdog Heaven is the current Lick’s at Hurontario and Eglinton in Mississauga. There’s a glimpse of the Shoppers Drug Mart and Montana’s in the background when they speed out of the parking lot.

  • detrola

    I believe that’s the Humber River Hospital. I’ve been there on many Toronto film shoots and that’s where all films and shows go for their hospital interiors.

  • Lkmb2337

    The hospital scene was actually shot at Humber River Regional Hospital’s Keele Street location. I’ve worked there a couple rules, they rent this old hospital out to all sorts of film crews.

  • jeffo

    the gas station is in Newmarket

  • home sick watching tv

    You forgot the very beginning of the movie when he runs the toll booth then takes the very first exit, and you can see Eastern ^ | Richmond ->, which is the ramp @ DVP//Gardiner. :)

  • Gatty

    No one caught shoppers drug mart closer to the end?

  • Vic

    The shoppers drug mart and burger joint at the end is in mississauga – hurontario and eglinton. The burger joint is actually Licks!