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Lights, Camera, Toronto!
Take a reel vacation in the city known as “Hollywood North”
The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival may be over, but that doesn’t mean visitors have to wait an entire year to enjoy a little movie magic. Thanks to its tradition of graciously standing in for cities such as Chicago, Boston and New York, Toronto is chock-full of film locations that can add a touch of stardust to any vacation itinerary.
Casa Loma — Inspired by the medieval castles of Europe, Sir Henry Pellatt built this turn-of-the-century mansion, which now operates as one of Toronto’s most popular visitor attractions. The home’s opulent interiors and stables were featured in X-Men (2000). Interior shots of Dr. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, as well as scenes featuring Dr. Xavier’s study, were filmed here. Lady Pellatt’s suite at Casa Loma also appeared in the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail (1988).
Harbourfront Centre — The bridge that John Corbett and Nia Vardalos stroll to during a romantic evening walk in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) is located at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, a popular tourist destination along the shores of Lake Ontario.
Osgoode Hall — Historic Osgoode Hall (130 Queen Street West) is where the cast of the musical Chicago (2002), including Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, filmed their dramatic courthouse scenes. Other Toronto locations featured in Chicago include Queen’s Park, Elgin Theatre, one of the Toronto International Film Festival’s host theaters, and Casa Loma.
CN Tower — The 1,815-foot (553 meters) CN Tower is an unmistakable Toronto icon. As the world’s tallest tower, its soaring form is sprinkled throughout dozens of movies and TV episodes filmed in Toronto. But the tower’s most dramatic appearance was surely in 1979’s action movie Highpoint, during which a stuntman, doubling for actor Christopher Plummer, fell from the tower. The stuntman wore a parachute under his suit, pulling the cord a mere three seconds before hitting the pavement. For a taste of this death-defying stunt, step onto one of the glass-floored panels and stare straight down 113 stories.