It’s no secret that a ton of great movies and shows are shot in Toronto every year. This city is famous for its booming film industry. But what’s less common is Toronto actually standing in for itself. Usually, when we see familiar landmarks as the backdrop to a scene in our favourite series, it’s because T.O. is pretending to be another city (usually New York) for the day. Well, this time, Toronto is the star of the show! These awesome flicks were set right here in the 6ix.
Here are 11 great movies and shows set right here in Toronto.
This 2013 movie is one that’ll have you turning to Google after the fact for answers, then watching again and again to understand. The creepy, mind-bending film by French Canadian director Dennis Villeneuve stars Jake Gyllenhaal opposite Jake Gyllenhaal (yes, he plays two roles). Plus, Canadian actress Sarah Gadon alongside Mélanie Laurent. We won’t give away any spoilers but a fairly pivotal moment of the movie takes place right on Lakeshore Blvd! Keep your eyes peeled for that.
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
Brampton-born actor Michael Cera stars in this 2010 comic-book-turned-movie. The film also features performances by Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Canadian actress Ellen Wong. It’s about a man on a mission to defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes, all set in a hyperrealistic version of Toronto. See if you can spot landmarks like Lee Palace and Honest Ed’s while you watch!
THE F WORD
Did you ever think you’d spot a wand-less Harry Potter roaming the streets of our city? Well, now you can! Daniel Radcliffe took to the screen in this Toronto-set movie, made back in 2013. The film also stars Canadian actresses Mackenzie Davis and Megan Park. Plus, fan-favourite Adam Driver. The story is all about love, life, and friendship.
We’re throwing it back to 1998 for this next pick. Written, directed by, and starring Toronto-born Soon McKeller, this movie explores a group of people’s reaction to the upcoming end of the world. It also features a performance by Canadian actress Sandra Oh from before she was cast in her breakout role of Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy.
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You’ll recognize a whole lot of Yorkville and a little of other parts of the city, including the ROM and College Street, when you watch this next flick. Released in 2009, this movie stars powerhouse actors Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, and Amanda Seyfried. Whew, talk about a stacked cast! The story is a wild ride centering on themes of lies, cheating, and deceit.
If you’re a bit of a cinephile, odds are you’d hold David Cronenberg near or at the top of Canada’s most influential directors of all time. This off-kilter classic is one of his best, and features a what may be a career-best performance from Jeremy Irons playing twin brother gynecologists in Toronto. Trust us, this is an all-timer.
Speaking of David Cronenberg, let’s check out another trippy classic set right here in town. 1983’s Videodrome holds up as a classic in the body & science-fiction horror category, and it really plays like one long hallucinogenic journey.
TAKE THIS WALTZ
This next pick is a cute little romance-comedy-drama starring Michelle Williams and Canada’s very own Seth Rogan. The story is about a married couple living in Toronto’s Little Portugal, although the romance isn’t necessarily between the two of them. You’ll also catch performances from The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel alumn Luke Kirby and comedy-legend Sarah Silverman.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE – SEASON FOUR
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We’ll try not to give away any spoilers here but if you haven’t caught up with the latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale yet, this is your sign to. The series has been shot here in Toronto since season one, but in season four our city finally gets to play itself. The 10th and final episode of the season just aired and we’re already pumped for what’s to come in season five. You can stream it all on Crave.
Another great series on our list was also based on the work of literary icon Margaret Atwood. Alias Grace stars Canadian actress Sarah Gadon in a chilling story set in 19th century Ontario. Given the time it takes place in, Toronto doesn’t look quite like it does today, but it’s still certainly worth the watch. You’ll also catch glimpses of 19th century Kingston and other parts of old Ontario in this awesome miniseries.
Canada’s most famous hosers, Bob and Doug Mackenzie took their SCTV characters to the big screen with this hilarious (and very Canadian) comedy about two buddies helping the daughter of a deceased brewery owner regain her title as owner. They face off against an evil brewmaster, hockey players, and a whole bunch more.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get streaming. Let us know which of these great shows and movies set in Toronto you check out first!
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