Toronto is often called “Hollywood North” because of the number of films shot with the city as a backdrop. In fact, the multi-award winning musical “Chicago” was filmed right here with Toronto doubling for the “Windy City”.
The industry has taken a hit of late, largely due to the sorry state of the U.S. economy and the tumbling value of the American dollar.
When the Canadian “loonie” was almost 20% less than the U.S. greenback, filming say, a 40 million dollar movie in Canada was a “no brain necessary” choice. You simply saved almost 8 million dollars!
The Canadian dollar now sits around $1.06 U.S. and film production in Toronto suffered accordingly.
But oddly, a lot of major U.S. productions have come to Toronto this summer?
Why? Well, several reasons.
One is due to excellent crews and facilities. Another is the safety of crews and production equipment.
For instance, a sequel to the enormously successful “Total Recall” is being filmed here in Toronto. The original starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and the sequel, Colin Ferrel.
It is has an enormous budget estimated 200 million U.S. dollars . At the curent exchange rate, it could theorhetically raise the cost of production by close to $20 million.
Last weekend, a section of Lakeshore Boulevard was closed to traffic for a day to facilitate the filming of a chase scene for the mega-buck production. A U.S. film critic commented that if the same were tried in Los Angeles, they might risk a street riot in protest.
Our hostel has had two fims shot right within our walls this year alone and Widmer Street (where the hostel occupies almost a full block) has been the setting for several films and rock videos.
The world-famous Toronto International Film Festival kicks off in September just one block south of our hostels door at the Bell LightboxTheatre.
So if you come to Toronto and choose to stay at our hostel, there is a good chance you’ll be “seeing stars”.