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 you take a popular novel and try to turn it into a sort of chick-flick/Oscar-bait piece of “quality entertainment,” you’re bound to go wrong somewhere. Shooting Toronto for Chicago is the least of the problems with this flick, which shot here way back in 2007. (Fun trivia: when the time came for reshoots they had to hold off while Eric Bana’s hair grew back from shooting Star Trek.)
So, the movie starts with a car crash flashback out on Meadowvale Road. It did similar duty as a semi-rural highway in A History of Violence. We’ll come back to the flashback later.
After one of his mysterious time travels, Eric Bana finds himself waking up in the Osgoode Hall library.
It’s hard to believe there are now people actually working in the Bay Adelaide Centre, so long was it in limbo. Well, fear not, history buffs! The glorious Stump is forever preserved on celluloid in this rendezvous scene. Viva la Stump!
One of the key locations is Rachel McAdams’ family house, where she and Bana eventually get married. You may have had your own wedding here, at the McLean House adjacent to Sunnybrook Hospital.
Mansion interiors were shot all over town, including at 2 Wellesley Place and the Christie Mansion.
But, hey, that’s not just any ol’ wedding band. Those are indie hipsters Broken Social Scene! Sellouts!
Before the wedding, Bana gets his hair cut at Tony’s, on Queen Street East.
Bana always wakes up naked, and on this occasion he gets clothed at Lightman’s, on the Danforth.
When he wants to tell his gal pal he has a winning lottery ticket, they duck into M & O Pawnbrokers, out on Queen East.
It’s not as cool a celeb spotting as Kevin Drew and friends, but the lotto host is Dan Duran, who you probably hear every day on the radio and who seems to play a generic reporter in everything they shoot here.
Here, Bana and McAdams take a stroll down the street and, hey, does that reflection say High Park Bicycle Shop? Sure does: they’re on Dundas West.
A moment later they pass by “Zippy”…
…which was also seen in another form during the flashback at the beginning. Locals probably recognize it as Super Submarine, on the corner of Dundas and Keele Street.
Looking for help, Bana visits a professor here, at the McLennan Labs at U of T.
You can spot the distinctive Earth Sciences building outside the window of his office.
As we mentioned above, there were some reshoots on this thing, which is probably why a whole slew of locations the city lists as used (including The Big Bop and the Leslie Street Spit) are nowhere obvious to be found. Of course, to not find them, you’d have to watch the whole movie, and you probably shouldn’t.