Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Missing Hogtown

Toronto photo by Daily DoseIt’s simply a coincidence that the last two movies I saw were filmed in Toronto. Not only were they filmed there, but they actually took place there. It’s also true that both films are well worth checking out.

The first was Chloe, an erotic thriller starring Juliane Moore, Liam Neison and Amanda Seifried, directed by Atom Egoyan. I’m not writing this post to review the film, but I recommend it.

Back home in Toronto you get use to the film shoots that take place around the city all year round. It’s fun to spot pieces of Toronto in many American films, which are suppose to be in New York or Chicago.

What was so refreshing with Chloe, was that the film did not hide the fact that it was shot in Toronto, in fact it used real locations like the Rivoli, a bar I use to frequent for concerts back in the day. It was also nice to see so much snow, as it took place in the winter. It left me feeling a little homesick.

Tonight, I finally went to see Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. The film stars Michael Cera, Alison Pill, Mark Webber and it’s directed by Edgar Wright. Wow! What a freaking incredible film. If you love comic books, action, fun films, you’d be stupid to miss this!

I knew that the movie had some Canadian references, since I noticed Michael Cera wearing an old school CBC tee shirt in a trailer. I had no idea that it was so Toronto though! No, I didn’t read the comic series (and now I have to!).

Not only do you see landmarks like the CN Tower, Casa Loma and Honest Ed’s Warehouse, but there’s also references to Pizza Pizza and Now Magazine! On top of that, specific locations like Lee’s Palace and a club called Rockit, really hit home, because I frequented both places over the years.

I even recognized residential streets around the Annex neighbourhood and alleyways like the one at Queen St. W just south of Bathurst. Like Chloe, the film was also shot during winter, so there’s plenty of snow to make me feel even more homesick for Toronto.

I also appreciate the acceptance of people as it’s shown in the film (and comic). Interracial relationships and gay and straight people living together may sound normal to Torontonians, but it’s not accepted everywhere. Toronto really is like that. Everyone is welcome and anything goes. It’s cool that way.

The point to this blog post?

I guess I’m proud that my hometown, a city so known in the film industry as an amazing place to shoot a movie, is now being used as the actual location in films. Toronto is a rocking town folks.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World made me long for my youth in Toronto. It made me fondly recall hanging out at friend’s houses, checking out bands, walking through the alleyways for shortcuts to the best dive bars, at night, through the snow.

Many people I know in Nashville were not born here. I wonder if they feel the same way when they see their hometowns in movies or on TV, or perhaps Toronto is more magical than I ever gave it credit for. Either way, I miss Hogtown.

Oh, and go figure. TIFF begins today too!

Photo by: Sam Javanrouh of Daily Dose


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  • I moved to Toronto a couple years ago. My wife grew up here, and we thought it was the best place to raise our kids for some of the reasons you talk about. I’ve lived all over the US- Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, and a few places in between. I feel a special connection to each of them. I am so happy to hear you talk about Toronto this way. I don’t often hear people talk about how great it is. As an old guy with young kids I don’t get to explore the city as much as I’d like, but the more I get to know Toronto, the happier I am to call it home.

  • Thanks Ian.
    We left Toronto in part to raise our kids somewhere less busy and less expensive. Also, my wife is from Tennessee, so six Toronto winters were enough for a southerner. :)

    Now that the kids are older, I see lots of reasons why moving back would be grand.

    However, I do love Nashville too. It’s a great city with amazing people.

    I think Torontonians don’t take the time out of their busy lives to realize how great it is. I’m glad my post helped you realize it.