Reel Toronto: Dirty Work
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.




Reel Toronto: Dirty Work

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.
This Norm MacDonald vehicle is not by any stretch of the imagination a good movie, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t funny. There’s no real acting (Norm is Norm, which is just fine), it features some interesting cameos (Don Rickles, Chevy Chase, and a brilliant-but-on-death’s-door Chris Farley), and (all together, now!), it was filmed on the streets of our fair city!

The “plot” basically involves Norm and bro Artie Lange creating a business where they get revenge on other people in creative (and funny!) ways. The office itself is in Bloor West Village, on Annette Street.
You can see its lovely, sun-dappled beauty even better here.

And here you can see it in full motion, with a little slice of Farley greatness.

Before the boys hit on their big idea they fail at a number of jobs. One of these is working for Don Rickles at the pre-reno Varsity Theatre.
In one particularly ribald scene, the boys drive by a line-up outside the Eglinton Theatre…
…and decide to moon ’em.
The bad guy is Chris MacDonald (playing basically the exact same great shtick he did as Shooter McGavin). The exterior of his corporate headquarters is the Canada Life building on University Avenue…
…and its lobby is, dontcha know it, the lobby of same.
This rousing scene was shot at picturesque Wycliffe College on the U of T campus…
…and this frat house is actually Founders House (St. Michael’s College), at Elmsley Place and St. Joseph Street.
The finale takes place at an opera house and, as in Exotica, it’s Osgoode Hall playing the exterior.
The interior, however, is the Elgin Theatre, which has hosted many film festival screenings…but not of this flick.
If that’s still not enough local institutions for you how about appearances by media superstars like Dini Petty…
…and Gord Martineau?!
With all that going on, how bad can this movie possibly be?