Best 5 Shot in T.O.

Originally Appearing: The Varsity Cities Magazine


Before David Cronenberg made any promises to the East, he was better known as the Canadian director with the affinity for blood, guts, and an unapologetic love for his home city. His Toronto city symphony Videodrome shows a classic Cronenbergian descent into insanity, framed with TTC cars and visits to Spadina store fronts circa 1980.
After cringing at the unresolved plot of the first Resident Evil film, I was very surprised to see Resident Evil: Apocalypse made. Still, Apocalypse gets points for parading Central Tech, the Gardiner Express way, and essentially every nook and cranny of Toronto as the zombie ridden Raccoon City. With its climatic fight sequence at City Hall, Apocalypse is Torontonian in all its efforts.


The goofy stoner bro comedy Half Baked is remembered by many as a better introduction to script writer Sir Smoke-a-lot’s (Dave Chappelle) comedic flare. Still, any Torontonian, seriously stoned or sober, can’t miss the and iconic Sam the Record Man sign or Yonge street Pizza Pizza shop that serves as the back drop for a police horse’s death by junk food.


Don Shebib’s Goin Down the Road is an oldie but goody and the best part about this Canadian landscape film is that it proudly grounds itself in our city.  Distinctly Torontonian in all its facets, Goin Down also goes to show that Yonge Street had a hell of a lot more of strip clubs in the 70’s.


One of the best things about screen adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is that like its source material, Scott Pilgrim does not use Toronto to represent bigger or arguably bolder cities than our own. The beauty of Scott Pilgrim lies in its visits to Lee’s Palace and the Toronto Reference Library, all of which boost its status to an affectionately Torontonian film.

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