By: Brent Smyth
While Canada may not have its own version of Hollywood, many blockbusters choose their northern neighbours to film key scenes and even entire movies! Whether to save money or the incredible scenery, here are the top 22 films to have been shot in Canada, and just wait for 16 and 21.
#1- Titanic (1997)
During the true sinking of the Titanic in 1912, Halifax was the closest port to the catastrophe, and the first to receive the distress signal. The ocean scenes in the film, which was in 1997 the most successful of all time- were shot near where the 1912 event occurred. In Halifax today over 100 victims of the sinking are buried near the port.
#2- Twilight (2008)
Forks High School in the Twilight films in real life is the David Fraser Secondary School in Vancouver. Throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver play host to the setting in three of the four movies in the series.
#3- Good Will Hunting (1997)
Shot in only five months, this movie was created in Boston and Toronto, and all the movie’s famous classroom scenes were filmed at the University of Toronto and Central Technical School, not Harvard and MIT.
#4- Interstellar (2014)
While a solid ¾ of the film is in space, the initial farm scenes and opening locations are all found in Alberta. Including Calgary, Canmore, Okotoks, Fort Macleod and outlying areas.
#5- Mean Girls (2004)
Set in Illinois, a majority of the movie was shot in Toronto at Malvern Collegiate Institute and Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, and the famous Jungle mall scene was shot in Etobicoke, in Sherway Gardens.
#6- Inception (2010)
Truly a movie of international locations, inception takes place in England, Morocco and France. However the Fortress Mountain Ski Resort in the Canadian Rockies at Kananaskis, just outside of Calgary served as the snowy mountain fortress sequence, the deepest dream level.
#7- Billy Madison (1995)
Sandler’s character in the film progresses through all the grades of school, and the movie itself progresses through quite a few locations in Toronto, including Northern Secondary School, John Ross Robertson Junior Public School, the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa and several other locations around Toronto, Oshawa and Stouffville.
#8- Blades of Glory (2007)
Putting the city’s Olympic history to use, the film used the Montreal Olympic Stadium for the outdoor skating scenes, and the movie’s signature chase scene was shot in Montreal’s Olympic Village.
#9- IT (2017)
The remake of Stephen King’s clown horror finds its home in Port Hope, Ont. The local Queen Street Tattoo parlour was transformed to Derry Ice Cream for the film.
#10- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Seemingly filmed in New York City, for four nights in downtown Toronto Yonge Street was closed for filming. And because of how accommodating Toronto’s mayor at the time had been, the Eaton Centre and the University of Toronto also play a role in the film.
#11- Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Instead of flying to France for the European scenes, film crews travelled to Montreal and Quebec City to avoid breaking the bank while still getting the european feel.
#12- The Neverending Story (1984)
Although most of the movie was shot in Germany, the alleyway Bastian finds himself chased into is Vancouver’s Blood Alley in Gastown. And at the very end of the movie, Flying Luck Dragon Falcor does a Vancouver fly-by.
#13- Capote (2005)
It may have been set in the flatlands of Kansas, but Capote was instead shot in Winnipeg and Selkirk, Manitoba. Some notable sites to see are the Manitoba Legislative Building, Gilbart’s Funeral Home and Stony Mountain Institution, which plays a prominent role in the film.
#14- My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Starring Canadian actress Nia Vardalos, the film may have been set in Chicago, but the filming didn't draw Vardalos far from home. A number of downtown spots including Toronto’s Greek Town played home to the film.
#15- Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Although set in Wyoming, it is clear the Canadian Rockies are the breathtaking backdrop seen in the film. Sites where the filming actually took place include Calgary, Elbow Falls, Cowley and Fort Macleod.
#16- Chicago (2002)
Iconic Toronto locales such as Osgoode Hall, Queen’s Park, Elgin Theatre and Union Station all had roles in the film, and Toronto has frequently played the part of Chicago in blockbuster films, and this musical was no exception.
#17- Cool Runnings (1993)
Loosely based on the 1988 Jamaican national bobsled team that competed in the Olympics in Calgary, this movie stays true to its real-life counterparts and had a majority of its filmign done in Calgary.
#18- Juno (2007)
Although set in Minnesota, Juno was actually shot in various locations throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and White Rock, and this American-Canadian comedy has gone down as a Canadian classic.
#19- The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
The highest-grossing Hollywood movie ever to be filmed in Canada, this American action film finds its locations in Toronto and Montreal, as well as globally in places such as Tokyo, Hawaii and Scotland.
#20- Total Recall (2012)
Using the aid of CGI, Guelph, Ont. was converted into a post-apocalyptic London, and Toronto location such as the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus and Roy Thomson Hall stood in for stations within the planet’s internal transit system, The Fall. Total Recall remains one of the largest budget films shot in Toronto.
#21- American Psycho (2000)
Considering the word ‘American’ is in the title, don't be alarmed when it is revealed Bateman’s office is in the TD Centre, serving as a substitute for the Seagram Building in New York City, which were both designed by architect Mies Van der Rohe. Additionally, The Phoenix Concert Theatre, The King Edward Hotel’s Consort Bar, The Senator diner and several more of the city’s now-defunct restaurants and clubs played host to Patrick Bateman and his friends on film.
#22- The Revenant (2015)
Shot in Alberta, the winter it was being filmed proved difficult for the crew, as the snow started to melt before production was complete. This forced the final fight scene in the film to be shot in Argentina. Also due to the odd winter, Burnaby, B.C. was used for a few scenes.
This piece was edited by Isabelle Kirkwood