Reel Toronto: Variety Film Fun Bag!
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Reel Toronto: Variety Film Fun Bag!

Believe it or not, these four flicks were shot here—even if they don't show us all that much of our city.

2015 01 14gingersnaps(640x354)

A perfect way to start the new year is by looking at a few of those movies that were shot here but don’t really feature the city enough to warrant their own special columns. So, if you’re a fan of (or have even heard of) Ginger Snaps, Arthur Christmas, Harvard Man, or Get Over It, well, you’ve come to the right place.

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Ginger Snaps has become something of a cult classic over the years, even going on to spawn two sequels. The bland, boring, cookie-cutter sprawl in which Brigitte and Ginger live…

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…is actually Brampton. We’d like to say, “No offence, Brampton!” but it played almost the exact same role in Dawn of the Dead and Resident Evil. So, yeah, zombie suburb: that’s you, Brampton.

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We also visit this drug store, which is practically unidentifiable…

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…though the preponderance of Life-brand material at least lets you know it’s a Shopper’s Drug Mart.

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A key setting is the high school they attend.

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It’s actually Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy.

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Folks even have Ontario licence plates.

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You know, watching all this filmed activity in the parking lot of this particular school reminds us of something. Gee, what is it?

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Hmmm, yeah … here are some characters making some kind of illegal transaction in the parking lot. That definitely rings a bell.

2015 01 14rob ford lisi july 28 parking lot 5 (640x366)


2015 01 14ford peeing jpg size xxlarge promo (545x365)

…right. It’s all coming back now. The ex-mayor hung out there, too. Yessir, that parking lot has a lot of cinematic history, but at least no one urinates there in Ginger Snaps.

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Hey, it’s local actor guy Peter Keleghan!

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Toronto’s already got its share of holiday classic caché, what with The Santa Clause and A Christmas Story having been shot here.

But we know what you’re thinking: What about the surprisingly un-terrible Arthur Christmas?!

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Okay, it’s animated, and, okay, it doesn’t have the history of those movies, but what it does have is Santa flying through a CGI version of our fair burg…

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…though some of the shots are just generic cityscapes.

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But then we get this (somewhat stylized) view of the CN Tower…

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…also seen here from a bit further back.

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We also see a couple more recognizable locations, including the Flatiron Building…

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…and the curvy towers of City Hall.

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They even show us the Billy Bishop Airport…

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….which they treat as our main airport, complete with a fleet of jets. Oh, dear!

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But, for better or worse, at least they’re clear about the Toronto of it all.

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Get Over It, from back in 2001, was a noble enough attempt to make Shakespeare hip with the kidz—a loose modern adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream … set mostly in Mississauga.

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The high school they used was, apparently, Port Credit S.S. for interior shots…

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…and the Ex’s Better Living Centre for exteriors.

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Here are Colin Hanks and friends strolling down Port Credit’s lovely stretch of Lakeshore Road.

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Hey, here’s some CanCon: Martin Short in an over-the-top cameo!

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The one recognizable Toronto location (American flags notwithstanding) is the Donald D. Summerville Pool, down at the Beaches.

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One more for the road? How about Harvard Man? Remember Harvard Man? The one with Adrian Grenier, who is a real actor— and not just when he plays Vinnie Chase on Entourage? It’s kind of a weird little movie that’s not as terrible as its anonymity might suggest (Ebert gave it 3 stars!), but c’est la vie.

As the title implies, it’s set in Boston. But, as you may have surmised, it was, rather subtly, shot here.

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The local airport, for example, is actually The Building Formerly Known as SkyDome.

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When the camera pans around, you can even see the adjacent water-system tower, complete with the ol’ Metro logo on it.

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Joey Lauren Adams plays a Harvard prof…

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…and here, she’s lecturing in the auditorium at Jarvis Collegiate.

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This looks like it’s outside the old 90 Harbour Street building, which housed OPP headquarters many moons ago but is now being condofied.

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Its interior has been used in lots of productions, often for police HQs or other old-looking offices, and, based on the view of the Gardiner out the window, this scene might have been shot there as well.

2015 01 14xbar steamwhistle (640x272)

Often you can tell something has been filmed in Toronto, but the way the shots have been set up makes it hard to find many identifying details. This bar, for example, could be anywhere—but the Steam Whistle logo on the wall lets you know it’s in this city, somewhere.

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Similarly, there’s an extended sequence which involves Grenier’s character tripping on LSD, and, naturally, one’s eyes are drawn to the rear-view mirror. And as you can tell from the blue street signs and the WheelTrans vehicle that goes by, we’re right here in Toronto.

CORRECTION: January 26, 2015, 9:20 AM This post originally stated that the high school scenes in Get Over It were shot at Port Credit S.S. only, when in fact the Better Living Centre was also used for exterior shots. We regret the error.