Reel Toronto: Cheaper by the Dozen 2
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Reel Toronto: Cheaper by the Dozen 2

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.
When Reel Toronto has nightmares, they are about films like Cheaper by the Dozen 2. You might not think it possible to take so many talented, funny people and make such a dreary, soul-sucking blockbusterish family movie. But they did it. Twice.
Here, Toronto (and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area) sub for Chicago and its cottage country up in Wisconsin.

The “plot” involves two warring families (headed by the otherwise entertaining Steve Martin and Eugene Levy) going to some kind of camp and getting into some kind of feud, which is resolved at the kind of athletic event that was far more entertaining 30 years ago in Meatballs and a zillion other movies.
The Lake Winetka scenes were primarily grabbed at two out-of-town locations. Stoney Lake, in Burleigh Falls (which is north of Peterborough) served for most of it, with the nearby Lovesick Lake Cafe serving as home base.
Some of Police Academy 4 was filmed here too. Nothing to be proud of, Stoney Lake.
The beachfront finale was grabbed east of Guelph, at the Rockwood Conservation Area. So whether you’re a fan of the Grand River or the Trent-Severn Waterway, you’re covered here.
Where we we? Right. Well, like any great movie, this one starts with a scene of Hillary Duff graduating from high school. The school exterior…
…and interior courtyard was shot up in Aurora, at ritzy St. Andrew’s College.
Here, Levy and Martin go to a movie to watch over their kids who are on a date. Does one of the kids pull off the “I’m yawning, but now my arm is around your shoulders” trick? Come on! Anyway, the theatre is the Bloor Cinema.
Oh, look, it’s a crisis! The pregnant chracter is going into labour at a crucial moment! Who knew? Gee, we hope this helps the family somehow realize what’s really important and all come together!
Sigh. These hospital scenes were done at North York’s Branson Hospital, as if you care.
Have we left anything out? Just that if you think we’re exaggerating about the horrible debasement contained in this film, consider this: it won the approval of 7% of critics at Rotten Tomatoes, folks. Seven.

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CORRECTION: OCTOBER 4, 2013: We originally wrote that the exterior for the graduation scene was at Glendon College but, as in the shot that follows, it’s at St. Andrews. Thanks to Wendy for pointing this out; we’ve corrected our error above