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Film

Your guide to all Toronto places in The F Word movie

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 16, 2014

fword movie torontoDaniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan may be the rightful stars of The F Word, but the refreshingly-good romantic comedy (opening August 22) has another star we know all too well: Toronto.

Directed by Michael Dowse (Fubar, Goon), and written by hometown screenwriter Elan Mastai, The F Word is not only shot in Toronto, but proudly set here. And I mean proud. The movie's eagerness to show off our city every chance it gets is practically infectious. As the movie's boy and girl - Wallace (Radcliffe) and Chantry (Kazan) - go on their romantic "Will they get together?" journey, scene after scene offers up instantly recognizable Toronto locales that remind us why we love our city.

In fact, there's so much Toronto in The F Word it can be hard sometimes to keep up with what scenes happen where. That's why I've put together a list of many of the Toronto coffee shops, restaurants, beaches, parks, and neighborhoods that pop in the film, so you can keep an eye out for them when you see the movie. Don't worry. No spoilers.

The George Street Diner
The popular greasy spoon - home to George Brown students and Bay Streeters alike - features prominently in The F Word. Not one, but two crucial scenes show off the bright red, Tetris-block-shaped 1950s style diner's intimate booths. It's in those booths that the two would-be lovebirds sing the praises of all things deep fried and Elvis, bantering, flirting, and fighting.

Rooster Coffee House
The Broadview location of this popular mini-chain sees its east-to-west skyline facing patio and wonderful coffee used in a way most locals would probably instantly recognize: as a launching point for some to-go-coffee catching up (here via Wallace and Chantry). And, as is often the case, that results in a walk along...

Riverdale Park
The summer home of many a soccer game or morning Tai Chi session, and winter home of many a high-speed sled, Riverdale Park sees Wallace and Chantry (Rooster Coffee in hand) stroll along Broadview Avenue with the wonderful view of the city skyline behind them.

The Purple Purl (Leslieville)
The charming Leslieville store, stocked wall-to-wall (literally) with yarn is shown off in The F Word in its most natural state: full of people (Chantry and her girlfriends in this case), sitting in a circle knitting and crocheting together, filling the space with the same relaxed chatter and communal atmosphere the store has in real life.

SPiN Toronto
The beloved ping pong bar that's captured the heart of many an amateur player has its purple neon-kissed basement atmosphere visited by Wallace and Chantry on a pub crawl night out. And as is the case for many of us, the late night pleasures of the drink-and-play bar inevitably leads to someone being neither humble, nor modest, in victory.

East Chinatown
The little cousin of Spadina's Chinatown, this Broadview and Gerrard spot has its hustle and bustle visited by Chantry and her boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall), as they shop its bulk food offerings, Chinese baked goods, and (as Chantry puts it) its sampling of "weird animal parts."

The Royal Cinema
The glorious, nearly seventy-five-year-old Art Moderne theatre gets a very loving treatment from The F Word. The Grand Dame's marquee lights are set ablaze in all their nighttime glory, setting the stage for romance to bloom - not just outside, where Wallace and Chantry bump into each other, but inside as well. The movie they're there to see is The Princess Bride, a perfect representation of the kind of revenue programming we expect and love from The Royal.

Yonge & Dundas Square
Shopping needs aside, the Toronto hub may be one a lot of us tend to avoid as much as possible thanks to its overpriced restaurants and path-blocking tourists. But The F Word recasts the intersection as something quintessentially Torontonian. It's mega-watt lights, massive screens, and late-night crowds become a love-letter to the bustling life of hot summer T.O. nights.

Scarborough Bluffs & Bluffers Park
Bluffers Park sees a lot of Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and friends: a late night campfire hangout beneath the escarpment leads to a spontaneous skinny dipping session. Most of us might not be able to relate to the skinny dip (though if you can, kudos!), but many will definitely recognize the great, quiet, laid-back nighttime vibe of this natural GTA oasis.

Kew Gardens and Boardwalk
One imagines that the Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club will have mixed feelings about its treatment in The F Word. On one hand, its meticulously landscaped grass, skilled bowlers, and lakeside view all get shown off here. On the other hand, the bowlers in the movie find themselves drunkenly heckled by Wallace's friend Alan (Girls' Adam Driver). At least Kew Gardens' boardwalk gets its due with a sunset walk Wallace and Chantry take during a quintessential "They're falling in love!" romantic comedy montage.

Jimmie Simpson Community Centre
Sporting events as drunken entertainment are a bit of a trend in The F Word. Jimmie Simpson may have one of the best indoor pools in the city, but in the film we see it in all its children's karate tournament glory. That tournament then becomes a beer-iffic social hangout for the movie's characters because ... well, no real discernible reason. But hey, it's still nonetheless a nice nod to the (usually) family friendly East End community centre.

Cherry Beach
The busy summertime retreat sees itself visited by a sunbathing Chantry and her sister (Megan Park) who enjoy it - as many locals do - as a lazy weekend destination, dozing dozing in beach recliners, gabbing about all the latest happenings in their lives, and generally goofing off.

Polson Pier
Most known for its packed large venues like Cabana Pool Bar and Sound Academy, The F Word somehow manages to redress the locale as an intimate, small, social event venue that looks like it holds no more than forty people. In the movie it becomes a gorgeous nighttime sport, lit by both the glow of the skyline and garden lights, and perfectly imaginable as a wedding spot.

Writing by Alexander Huls

Discussion

6 Comments

Bob / August 16, 2014 at 08:38 am
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You forgot Holy Cow in Leslieville.
Rob / August 16, 2014 at 02:05 pm
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Scarborough Bluffs are in the GTA, like the CN Tower, Ossington, The Esplanade, and Honest Ed's are in the GTA.

Scarborough, Etobicoke, the old city of Toronto, York, East York, and North York are unlike Markham, Mississauga, and Ajax in their position in the GTA.

Although you did properly include it in the title.
bored by you replying to a comment from Rob / August 16, 2014 at 06:03 pm
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wow.
Ben / August 16, 2014 at 08:52 pm
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Yeah... the thing about this list is that almost no one in Toronto would run around the GTA to visit all these places in an average year, let alone week or month. This pays no mind to creating a sense of realism in which people live within an area of the city and largely spend their time there. Maybe half of them? Maybe a third? But by mining every filmable location in the GTA it seems like the writers kind of missed the boat on how the city actually lives.
links replying to a comment from Ben / August 17, 2014 at 10:07 am
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Ben - speak for yourself. I find your comment to be very west end centric. In my experience, us east enders aren't as immobile. I personally make regular trips further east AND west

Last weekend I was at taste of the danforth (where I was able to get very full without an ounce of greek fare) and the TUM brunch event at 99 sudbury (worst $15 spent this summer).

Yesterday I went for dinner near College and Dufferin and will visit Ashbridge's Bay later today.

I love exploring all areas of this city
poh replying to a comment from links / August 17, 2014 at 05:41 pm
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Judging by the standard BlogTo comments, it does seem like there are a lot people like Ben that limit their enjoyment of the city. Hell, even Rob points out that this article strangely refers to the Scarborough Bluffs as being part of the GTA as if it's outside of 416 catchment area. Too bad for them, more of the city for us (and I guess film productions) to savour.

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