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Godzilla promo "destroys" Toronto subway car

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 13, 2014

Godzilla TorontoThere's a subway car poking through the ground on Yonge Street, but don't worry, this isn't a nightmare at the corner of Elm Street -- it's Godzilla. The apocalyptic scene, which includes a crashed plane and wrecked New York City cab, is part of an elaborate promotional backdrop for the upcoming Canadian release of the science fiction monster film. And yes, the train car is (or was) real.

Patrick Little from Juxta Productions, an advertising studio that specializes in constructing complex sets (the group built the Daybreakers Blood Café at Queen and McCaul in 2010,) says his company purchased the retired car for the value of its scrap aluminum shell.

"It was cut in half in Hamilton and the bogies and steel wheels were removed, which reduced the weight substantially," he says. "It was then shipped by wide load - it's exactly 10 feet wide - to Picture Vehicle Specialties in Scarborough. They hoisted it from the flatbed and cut it into a triangular shape so it can sit flat on the ground."

The chunks of movie concrete arranged around the base are made of painted wood and foam.

Godzilla TorontoThe Yonge and Elm location was chosen based on the width of the street and sidewalk. The city doesn't allow the right of way to be completely blocked for filming or other brazen promotional purposes. Much of the set was installed last night on the corner of Yonge and Elm, next to Aden Camera, and there more pieces will arrive in the coming days.

Gareth Edwards, the director of Godzilla, and some of the cast will be appearing at the disaster scene Thursday night ahead of the movie's premier at the Yonge-Dundas IMAX. Destruction enthusiasts will be allowed to pose with the wreckage until Sunday, when the whole thing will be dismantled.

Warner Bros. is also producing a short film about the promotion.

Godzilla, which was mostly shot in Vancouver and Hawaii, comes out May 16.

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



jf / May 13, 2014 at 03:18 pm
That's San Francisco, not NYC.
steve marks / May 13, 2014 at 03:43 pm
I have terrible gas.
Ok BlogTO. / May 13, 2014 at 03:44 pm
I never knew Fremont was in NYC.

Fact check much?
MC replying to a comment from Ok BlogTO. / May 13, 2014 at 03:58 pm
The NY Cab is on top of the building, next to the plane.
iSkyscraper / May 13, 2014 at 04:03 pm
Lot of mixed messages here. It's one thing when they dress up a TTC subway as a NYC subway -- one is descended from the other, after all, so they are close enough relatives for promotion purposes. But it's quite another matter to dress up a TTC subway car as a BART subway car, which alreay looks like something from the set of a bad 1970s sci-fi movie...

TTC subway car H-5:

BART car:

Why they then added a NYC taxi into a pretend SF carnage scene I don't quite follow. Still, fun promo. Take that, CityTV truck!

Angela C / May 13, 2014 at 04:22 pm
Just wanted to point out the build done by the guys of Set Traffic. Providing subways, planes and cars for the entertainment industry.
Steven / May 13, 2014 at 04:42 pm
More reason to take the TTC - Take The Car.
Stuart replying to a comment from steve marks / May 13, 2014 at 06:20 pm
yeah I can smell it
Read replying to a comment from jf / May 13, 2014 at 06:34 pm
Article clearly says Toronto. (With an NYC cab on the roof for some reason)
Yelp / May 13, 2014 at 09:49 pm
Fun - but clearly the short film is an excuse to get a film permit rather than an "advertising permit"
Andrew Baile / May 14, 2014 at 09:04 am
well done production !
Andy / May 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm
Doesn't this seem in poor taste after the Chicago subway disaster in March?
Vogon_Poetry / May 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm
We in Toronto endure our share of transit expansion woes. Unfortunately in a push to accelerate the process, politicians have made a grave miscalculation. Again.
Neville replying to a comment from Vogon_Poetry / May 14, 2014 at 09:23 pm
Dufus, this is a promo for a movie, NOT a demonstration of how 'crappy' the TTC is. Can you 'quit 'yer bellyachin'' about the TTC (full of shit as it most likely is) for just ONE day?

Myself, as a fan of this character, and as a person going to see the movie on Friday, I'm going to get up, go out, and get a picture of this set-up; it'll look great in my deviantART account. (and anybody can click on the link hours from now to see it.
Dan replying to a comment from Andy / May 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm
Chicago subway disaster? Hardly a disaster when no one was seriously injured, let alone killed.
K / May 15, 2014 at 11:53 am
It's a Freemont car because that's where part of the movie is set. NYC cab however, cannot explain.
Love how many people thought this was the actual filming of the movie! Even though it's out tomorrow. Fast production.
Godzilla / May 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm
Wasn't me who broke was Rob Fordmonster! He's scary-makes me poo.
the lemur / May 15, 2014 at 01:02 pm
Some cabs in SF are yellow Crown Vics.
Freddy F / May 16, 2014 at 08:39 am
iSkyscraper, it's not an H5, it's an H6.

Know your Toronto subway cars people:
John Doe / May 18, 2014 at 08:23 am
I went downtown yesterday to take a look at the display and found, much to my chagrin and disappointed, that they had taken it down a day early.

Does anyone know why?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Joseph C. / May 25, 2014 at 04:28 pm
The company COULD have built a mock-up of a BART car and used that, and it would have worked fine, too.

Ah well, we got what we got, and it was great.
janice allen / August 14, 2015 at 03:45 pm
just watched one of series of MURDOCK MYSTERIES, Season 4, "Monsieur Murdock" BBC, Acorn productions.....wonderfully entertaining mysteries always with a historical note entwined. 1889 police chief running for alderman with 'weight' of decision to endorse TORONTO SUBWAY initiation. Everybody should watch a good mystery and learn some history with your PC (Google) close at hand to verify and expand.
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