Reel Toronto: Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
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Reel Toronto: Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

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 is highly improbable. For the second week in a row not only do we have a family film, we have a family film set in Cincinnati. These are the only two columns we’ve done in which our fair burg plays the role of the Queen City. Though The Mighty was a contemporary setting, Kit Kittredge is set during the Depression and uses a whole different slice of Toronto.

Kit Kittredge was based on a series of books and while a young hipster like you might be too old to have read them, there are still some interesting things to see here, beyond the locations. First, there’s a hell of a cast going on here, with the likes of Stanley Tucci, Julia Ormond, Joan Cusack, and Wallace Shawn, not to mention future pop sensation Willow Smith and, um, Chris O’Donnell. Also, it was directed by Patricia Rozema, a local filmmaker who, while she’s done some very impressive work since, is probably best known for I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing.

Kit Kittredge’s family lives in a fairly well-to-do neighbourhood, played here by Baby Point. Her house is actually this one

….and though it’s had a paint job, we also see this one here…

…and during the opening credits, we see her rollerskate past this one.

Her father owns a car dealership, actually a set constructed near King and Jarvis, right next door to the King Eddie.

You can see a streetcar rumbling down King Street (with some CGI additions) here.

Kit becomes something of a junior journalist, going into this newspaper building, actually the Permanent Assurance edifice at 320 Bay Street.

The interior, however, is the lovely Ontario Heritage Trust headquarters on Adelaide.

Being a kid and all, she also goes to school. You can kinda see the exterior, here, of the now-shuttered Corpus Christi Catholic School on Edgewood.

We think they shot the interiors there too.

Kit and her friends also go down into Rouge Park, where they find a homeless camp.

Here, her dad rides out of town on a bus heading south along Cherry Street, right beside the Distillery District.

As he boards you can even see the Canary Grill through the window.

One thing we always like to see is the local talent getting some gigs, so it was nice to see Colin Mochrie…

…and Kenneth Welsh, who shows up in these parts almost as often as the Distillery does.