toronto ttc imax

TTC streetcars get the IMAX treatment

The Toronto streetcar is getting the big screen IMAX movie treatment this summer. A stunning looking trailer for The Red Rocket, a documentary that records the daily life of "one of the world's great trolley rides," is currently making the rounds online.

The 14-minute short was commissioned by the CN Tower's Maple Leaf Cinema. It follows the evolution of the Toronto streetcar from the wooden vehicles of the Toronto Railway Company, the precursor to the TTC, to the current fleet of CLRVs and articulated ALRVs. There's also a look at the new low-floor streetcars coming to Spadina Avenue later this year.

The Red Rocket was shot last summer and fall by Stephen Low, an IMAX filmmaker who has produced features about the building of the Canadian Pacific railway and the wreck of the Titanic, and is due for release in the next few months.

"We're aiming for the summer, certainly by Canada Day, perhaps sooner though," says Alexander Low from The Stephen Low Company. A full-length movie for museums and science centres that will include some of the TTC footage is also in the works.

"It's a bigger story about the history of the trolley and the current status of the trolley," Low says. "It's a different style of film. It will be a full 45-minute IMAX-style documentary."

The TTC says it made its vehicles available for filming but had little input in the direction of the film. Amateur film maker Brad O'Brien captured part of the production, which included a special camera truck, in October 2013.

You've never seen Toronto streetcars look this pretty. Check it out.

The Red Rocket trailer from Stephen Low on Vimeo.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.


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