The Canadian dollar (or loonie) has been steadily losing ground against the US dollar. A year ago we were basically at par but now it’s dropped down under ninety-five cents. As the rates drop it becomes more attractive (financially) to do business and travel in Canada and Hollywood has started to film up here again. It appears that Canada is officially on sale!
Toronto is a hot bed for movie production and is in fact the third largest behind Hollywood and New York. But, it’s not just Toronto, here are some movies that you may not have known were filmed in Canada:
1) Titanic (1997) – James Cameron’s huge success, one of the highest grossing films of all time, was filmed in Halifax! Ironically, in 1912 when the Titanic was ripped apart by an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax was the closest major seaport to the disaster. Despite feverish rescue attempts, few survivors were pulled from the frigid waters and over 100 victims were laid to rest in Halifax cemeteries. How’s that for authenticity!
2) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) – Canadian actress Nia Vardalos was right at home for this low budget but massive box office hit! Toronto’s Greektown along Danforth Avenue appears prominently through out the movie, and if you watch carefully you’ll also spot downtown’s Ryerson University and Jarvis Collegiate Institute. The Canadian locations posed as Chicago for Vardalos’ story, but eagle-eyed film buffs could easily recognize Toronto’s charms peeking through the silver screen.
3) Mean Girls (2004) – Toronto often doubles in movies for American cities such as New York City (Serendipity), Baltimore (Hairspray) and Boston (Good Will Hunting). For Mean Girls, the 2004 high school comedy written by Tina Fey, the city morphed into Chicago. Sherway Gardens, the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall, Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, and Malvern Collegiate Institute played host to rising stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried.
4) Brokeback Mountain (2005) This 2005 drama starring Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway was shot in Alberta’s majestic Rocky Mountains. Calgary, Cowley, Elbow Falls and Fort Macleod masqueraded as Wyoming in the United States. The cowboy romance was celebrated at the 2005 Academy Awards, winning three Oscars (Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score).
5) Twilight (2008) – Calling all Twihards! Come to British Columbia and follow in the footsteps of Bella, Edward and Jacob. Three of the four movies in the Twilight saga (New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn) were shot in various locales around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland including David Fraser Secondary School (appearing as Forks High School), Minnekhada Regional Park and the Ridge Theatre.
What is your favourite movie that was shot in the Great White North? Although filmed in both Boston and Toronto, my vote still goes to Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams.