In the second Police Academy sequel, they didn't even try to hide Toronto in the background.
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.
Hollywood is a fickle beast. She came to town to make a little movie called Police Academy and it became a massive hit. And then, as she is wont to do, she made a sequel. And for reasons known only to her, Hollywood ran home to momma, filming it in Los Angeles, even though Toronto is obviously the bestest. But then that movie was a hit too and they realized they could keep making these darn movies practically forever and, lo, Hollywood came back! Before the Police Academy series petered out entirely the cast made jaunts to World Class™ haunts like Miami Beach and Moscow but both Police Academy 3 and 4 were filmed right here. Lucky us!
The opening scenes feature some cruising around on what are definitely our streets…
…primarily in the financial district. It’s dark and these movies haven’t exactly been remastered in 4K IMAX Digital 3D so it’s hard to say much more about these shots. Streetcar tracks? Toronto! Fuzzy background? Not so helpful in terms of where.
What’s rather hard to miss…
…is that this garage (despite the hazard-of-the-job-but-fun-to-read Dutch subtitles!) is the Green P lot below City Hall.
Even the opening titles are over what is obviously our skyline.
As the movie starts we, of course, need to get the gang back together! Welcome back, Steve!
Mahoney, always such a cad, is coaching a women’s basketball team. Natch!
You can kinda see the Distillery in the background there, making this the court on the Esplanade.
Perhaps knowing how Police Academy fanboys are sticklers for continuity, they actually shot Fackler’s house in the same place in Etobicoke they used the first time around.
Good to know they’re conscientious members of Neighbourhood Watch!
Tim Karzuinksy, one of the stars of SNL‘s worst era, cruises on his scooter…
…down some largely anonymous streets.
However, the company in the background here seems to put us on Carlaw, near Gerrard.
And this rail crossing seems to be down in the Portlands, presumably still on Carlaw.
Speaking of the Portlands…
…this view seems to be down there as well.
Easier to spot, streetwise, is Lakeshore Toyota. It’s gone but it used to be on, um, Lakeshore. Right here, outside the Humber College campus where they filmed the academy itself.
In the middle there’s a car chase (which, inexplicably starts with stock footage from Los Angeles) and it’s fast and tightly framed, so hard to find everything but we can work backwards. The chase ends looking down this street…
That should mean they enter the alley on Richmond or Queen West (as if the laws of physics and geography apply)…
…but this goes by so quick we’re not quite sure where it is, though it’s clearly nearby.
It’s hard to see much but based on what we can see of the venue…
…this boxing match looks like it was filmed in the Masonic Temple/Concert Hall at Yonge and Davenport.
Here’s the legendary Bobcat Goldthwait doin’ some policin’…
…and when we see a bit more of the view we can spot it at Pearl and Duncan. It looks cleaner these days.
As with the first film, it’s the citywide climax wherein the goldmine is truly found. This has nothing to do with Toronto but it is a Commodore 64!
When we see a bit more of the never-named city’s street grid…
…it looks rather familiar, dontcha think?
It’s hard to know where to start with this glorious cinematic sequence but, OK, let’s dive in. This bank holdup is on Yonge Street.
The revolving door here…
…is part of the 1 King West hotel, it its former life as a TD Bank.
And here is Tackleberry again, helping this nice lady. You can just make out the CIBC building in the back, placing this ancient “phonebooth” technology at King and Bay.
The old school Du Maurier billboard here is great…
…and you can see the Harbourfront parking lot in the back of this other angle, putting us on Queen’s Quay West.
Indeed, as we’ll get to in a moment, a lot of the final action takes place on the islands, but first we get some great stuff along the waterfront. Look at this awesome view! The CN Tower is even in the back there! It looks nothing like this today but this is still pretty clearly Harbourfront. The historic Pier 6 building on the left has been through a few uses, and now houses a harbour tours company.
If we’re triangulating correctly, the parking lot is now this condo, 1 York Quay.
A close-up of its sign shows the York Quay building just peeking in the corner.
Finally we hit the water and it’s glorious. Behold our mid-80s skyline…
…and with no effort to hide the CN Tower!
Just dig all this hardcore jetski action!
The main action is at this fancy yacht club…
…where the governor or something is taken hostage…
…the proud legacy of the Queen City Yacht Club.
Then, more jetskis, this time through island’s lagoons.
Eventually the law of diminishing returns caught up with Mahoney and friends, putting the series into a cinematic grave that arrived none too early. But before we have to worry about that, we had all this awesomeness and we still have one more Police Academy film to go!