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Reel Toronto: The Santa Clause

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.
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Ho, ho, ho, good readers! Did you know that not one but two Christmas classics were filmed in this fair burg? We’ve previously profiled A Christmas Story which was shot in Toronto and around the Golden Horseshoe, and this time we’re going a bit more modern with the GTA-friendly Disney flick, The Santa Clause.
Like the X-Men films, they went all West Coast for the sequels but this first one — you know, where Tim Allen finds himself turning into Santa Claus — was shot here.


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It’s mostly Oakville playing the role of an Illinois town. Here, for example, the main drag is played by Oakville’s main drag, Lakeshore Road (the camera appears to be here, around Thomas Street).
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Swiss Interiors is among the stores that are still there that you can spot as the camera pans by.
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A bit more Oakville here, at Navy Street.
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One of the main settings is the house where Tim Allen’s character’s wife lives. It’s right here, on Carey Drive.
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You can see a wider shot of it from the big finale, here. (As we did with Scott Pilgrim, we’ll add the caveat that real people live here so if you’re planning to rent a schoolbus and do a Santa Clause tour with all your buddies, be respectful.)
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But fear not, there’s some love for the 416 too! Denny’s isn’t quite the phenomenon here that it is in the States, but this did used to be a real Denny’s in Scarborough. As you can see, the Ellesmere-Markham location has since changed hands.
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School scenes were shot at both John Ross Robertson and Blythwood Public Schools and since there are no particular visual clues we’ll just guess that this classroom is the former…
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…and this principal’s office is the latter.
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Where could this lovely park be, we wondered.
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Well, this close-up shows it’s got to be Toronto, what with all those bike posts.
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Actually, it’s Hillcrest Park. You can see the house behind Tim Allen here.
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Exciting trivia: Santa’s reindeer were played by reindeer from the Toronto Zoo. This scene, watching the polar bears, was shot there.
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We know they shot something at 320 Bay Street (that’s the Canada Permanent Building, with the impressive entrance), so we’re guessing it’s these law offices.
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And a location we haven’t really seen before, this police station is actually the Runnymede Chronic Care Hospital.
All in all, The Santa Clause deserves props for doing a very solid job disguising that it wasn’t shot in the United States. It’s nice to know Toronto’s given just a little something back in the ol’ spirit of the season.

Comments

  • http://undefined lunarworks

    I watched them film this movie in Oakville. It was pretty exciting to see. The comic shop I frequented even got a new sign for appearing in the movie, provided by Disney.
    One of the places this movie was shot, not pictured in any of the above shots, was George’s Square.

  • http://jaybanks.ca/ Jay

    A feel bit of sick of all these trivial Santa Claus movies…

  • http://fleischmarket.blogspot.com/ David Fleischer

    I believe I know exactly the scene you mean. I’ll track down a screencap and get it up later.

  • http://fleischmarket.blogspot.com/ David Fleischer
  • http://undefined Greg Curtis

    The opening scene of Tim Allen driving home shows the car turn off the Bayview extension at the Pottery Road exit.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YFKOILBK2KAPBTAMQVFQFMPSPE Bob Bonds

    Where is the townhouse where Scott causes Santa to fall off the roof? Where was that filmed?

  • Bbob221

    Where is the location of Scott Calvin’s Townhouse where Santa falls off the roof? Where did they film that?

    • locationlocator

      I’d sure like to know!

  • DoesitevenExist?

    I agree with Bbob221, the most notable thing missing from this list is the Townhouse/Condo that Scott Calvin lived in where he caused Santa to fall off the roof. Could you please tell us where that is? Does it even exist? I have looked all over in townhouse and condo listings in the Toronto area and have not even come close to finding it. PLEASE help us find it!

    • Jeffrey Knight

      I found it after months of searching. I’m putting together a facebook page of movie locations that will feature this location, as well as many others, and am looking for contributors to help. The page was just publically published today to capture the url. The link is https://www.facebook.com/FilmingLocations. Please “like” and spread the word to this new page to as many people as you can to help support our hard work dedicated to the film and television industry and fans of movie locations world wide.

      If you’d like to help with the content for the facebook page and an upcoming web site, please send an email to webmaster@jeffreyknight.com. You’ll get credits for each location and bragging rights.

      Full steam ahead.

    • Bbob221

      After months of searching, I have found it too! It is located at 19 Chisholm Street, on the corner of Chisholm and Walker Street. It is just south of Oakville Harbour and right by Tannery Park. The House has changed slightly though, the door has been painted a different color, it looks like they got a new roof and there is a big tree in front of it now. Looks like this article will have to be updated to include it.

      • David Fleischer

        Major props for that discovery. Looks like he’s right. You can see a screen cap here…and the address here.

  • Dmonz

    I went to school in Oakville, just off of lakeshore and we were driving by as they were setting up for the movie to start production. From what I remember, it was March and they were setting up fake snow. I remember driving by and wondering why there were so many trucks and people laying what looked like cotton down on the streets. Little did I know they were shooting this movie

    • Stella

      I live here in Oakville and, actually, I’m pretty sure it was June or July when I saw the Christmas decorations and fake snow downtown Oakville – I even remember I was driving home from the gym ha ha.

  • http://twitter.com/MarilynBB M Barnicke Belleghem

    You can see the crane that lifted Tim Allen up to the roof here http://questpublishing.ca/gallery2/index.php/Questing-Home/IMG_0003
    This is taken from my son’s bedroom window.

  • Markwell

    According to the Bio Channel’s Inside Story: The Santa Clause, the scenes from the North Pole were shot in an old warehouse somewhere in Toronto. Does anyone know where that warehouse is?