toronto film locations

The 10 most popular locations for making movies in Toronto

Locations for shooting movies in Toronto are rarely so well disguised that the astute viewer can't identify them even when they pose as some place else. We're so used to the city being disguised in movies that it's almost startling to see it blatantly represented in productions like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World or Enemy.

Here are some of the most popular locations for making movies in Toronto.

Lower Bay Station

It's not surprising that Toronto's ghost subway station is consistently used for film and television shoots. It features prominently in Total Recall and Suicide Squad, two of the biggest Hollywood productions to film here, but there are a host of older examples as well (remember Johnny Mnemonic?).

toronto film locations

The Hearn posing as a Soviet missile base. Photo by Tom Ryaboi.

The Hearn

Before it got so much attention for Luminato, the Hearn was best known as the city's coolest film location, featuring prominently in contemporary movies like Robocop (remake), Pacific Rim, Red, and Resident Evil:Retribution. It also figures prominently in the television series Taken.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma has a rich cinematic history poses as various mansions and upscale apartments. It features in Cocktail as the Mooney's New York penthouse, as Xavier's school in X-Men, and various scenes in Johnny Mnemonic, Chicago, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Hannibal.

toronto film locations

Robocop in the house at U of T. Photo by Ronnie Yip.

U of T

It's difficult to account for all the films that have been shot on U of T's various campuses, from Cocktail to Good Will Hunting to Mean Girls to Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle to the Robocop remake and Enemy (and that's only naming a few). For a longer list complete with a few surprises, head here.

The Distillery District

Film shoots were going on here long before the area's revitalization as a tourist district. Even now post-cleanup it remains a popular spot for film crews. It's featured prominently in The Fly, Three Men and a Baby, Blues Brothers 2000, Chicago, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Cinderella Man, and X-Men to name just a few.

toronto film locations

Yonge St. up in flames for the Incredible Hulk.

Yonge Street

Yonge Street has long subbed in for other cities in American film productions, most notably in The Incredible Hulk and Suicide Squad, where it played host to a massive plane crash and a chase between Batman and the Joker. Beyond these blockbusters, you'll see it in movies like Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Kick Ass 2.

City Hall

Let's be honest, City Hall's most famous moment on film will always be in Star Trek TNG, but over the years Nathan Phillips Square has seen many productions take place, including Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Sentinel, Pacific Rim, and The Vow.

toronto film locations

Carnage in the Financial District. Photo by nm coutinho.

The Financial District

Bay Street has a long history in Hollywood movies, though American Psycho would probably be the most obvious example, where the TD Centre serves as Patrick Bateman's office. More recently, the area's played host to massive blow-ups in Suicide Squad, Pixels, and Poor Richard's Almanack. Suits is also regularly filmed here.

The Royal York Hotel

The opulent Royal York Hotel has been put to good use in films like Cinderella Man, Where the Truth Lies, The Killing Fields, Serendipity, Max Payne, and Red. The ballroom is the most popular location, though everything from hotel rooms to the elevators have featured on the silver screen.

toronto film locations

Total Recall's Federal Police patrol under the Gardiner. Photo by Syfractal.

Under the Gardiner

Total Recall attracted a lot of attention when it pulled out its futuristic-looking vehicles on Lake Shore Blvd. East under the Gardiner Expressway, but it's not alone in filming here. It features most prominently in David Cronenberg's Crash, but also makes an appearance in The Vow.

Lead photo by

Nick Kernick

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