Canada: An Unexpected Production Hotspot
If I were to ask you what Tron: Legacy, If I Stay, Man of Steel, Fantastic Four, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, The Lightning Thief, 2012, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Godzilla, The Flash and the 2010 Olympic Games have in common, you might not be aware of the correlation — they were all filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Vancouver is a popular location for movie production, first and foremost, because of affordability. It’s less expensive to transform this Canadian city into something like a street in Hong Kong, New York City, Portland, or even a fictional universe such as Storybrooke from Once Upon a Time, or Marvel’s Star City, than to actually travel to these places.
Vancouver is also home to trained crews, studio space and a history it has with huge blockbuster hits such as Star Trek Beyond. The city is not far from Los Angeles and is also in the same time zone, so it’s convenient for travel.
I can’t talk about films shot in Canada without mentioning the “big apple” of Canada — Toronto, Ontario, though. With the hustle and bustle, large business firms, awful traffic jams, overpriced everything, and being well known for film production, Toronto is basically the New York of Canada. In fact, Toronto is so much like New York City that it very often plays New York in movies and television shows!
Suits, the television series, which takes place in New York, is actually not filmed in New York at all, but in…you guessed it, Toronto. The pilot of the show was filmed in Manhattan, but rest of the series is filmed in Toronto. Scenes that supposedly took place in Central Park actually are shot in Berczy Park. By simply adding in a street-food vendor, it makes the park look a lot more like New York.
A lot of shows and movies disguise the city by placing American flags and U.S Postal Service and USA Today boxes everywhere.
In fact, a lot of shows and movies disguise the city by placing American flags and U.S Postal Service and USA Today boxes everywhere. Also, tall buildings and skyscrapers are a New York trademark and the downtown of Toronto is similar.
Founder of Picture Vehicle Specialties Inc, Peter Cullingford, has a business that rents vehicles to movie productions who want to make Toronto look like somewhere else. Cullingford has over 180 vehicles (including New York police cars!) and is a pro at fooling any audience.
Toronto has been dubbed “North Hollywood.” Famous films such as Hairspray, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Cinderella Man, Mean Girls, Pacific Rim, Robocop, Pixels, among many, many others, have all been filmed in this city.
Vancouver and Toronto are extremely underrated and hardly ever play themselves films, but both these cities have been the key to many movies.
Christine Roe is a 20-year-old Digital Marketing apprentice at The Center for Creative Media, who also enjoys editing, photography, and writing. She is from the hockey-loving, maple syrup drinking, ice-cold land of Canada — though ironically hates both hockey and snow. Christine’s long-term goal is to become a missionary and using her gifts and abilities to draw people closer to God.