10 Famous Movies You Didn’t Know Were Filmed in Canada
As the go-to destination for Tinseltown’s big budget productions, Canada has always been ready for its close-up—even when it’s doubling for another location! Can you guess which Canadian filming locations starred in these famous flicks?
Movies Made in the Great White North
Although you would never know it, the Great White North has been featured in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Here are 10 movies film in Canada. Put yourself to the test and see if you can guess where each movie was shot!
1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
This heartbreaking love story won a slew of Oscars, and featured breathtaking cinematography shot throughout one of Canada’s most beautiful natural attractions…
Canadian Rockies, Alberta
This 2005 drama starring Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway was shot in Alberta’s majestic Rocky Mountains. Calgary, Cowley, Elbow Falls and Fort Macleod masqueraded as Wyoming in the United States. The cowboy romance was celebrated at the 2005 Academy Awards, winning three Oscars (Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score).
2. Capote (2005)
This Oscar winning biography launched actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s career into superstardom, and was filmed in this Canadian city due to its resemblance to the flatlands of Kansas…
The critically acclaimed Truman Capote biography was shot primarily in Winnipeg, with additional scenes captured in Selkirk, Manitoba. While the story of the In Cold Blood author is set in Kansas, the film’s producers selected Manitoba as the American city’s stand-in. Stony Mountain Institution, the Manitoba Legislative Building and Gilbart’s Funeral Home star prominently in this Oscar-winning flick (Philip Seymour Hoffman won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor).
3. Titanic (1997)
One of the highest grossing and most successful films of all time, Titanic aimed for authenticity when it shot many of its water scenes off the coast of this maritime city…
Real life catastrophe and movie magic are intertwined on Canada’s east coast. In 1912, when the Titanic was ripped apart by an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax was the closest major seaport to the disaster. Despite feverish rescue attempts, few survivors were pulled from the frigid waters and over 100 victims were laid to rest in Halifax cemeteries. When James Cameron began production on his 1997 epic, he brought his cast and crew to Halifax. The city would once again play a role in the story as Cameron shot the film’s harrowing ocean scenes aboard the icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.
4. Twilight (2008)
This smash-hit romantic vampire flick has deep Canadian roots, filming the majority of its exterior shots in and around this lovely Canadian city…
Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, B.C.
Calling all Twihards! Come to British Columbia and follow in the footsteps of Bella, Edward and Jacob. Three of the four movies in the Twilight saga (New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn) were shot in various locales around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland including David Fraser Secondary School (appearing as Forks High School), Minnekhada Regional Park and the Ridge Theatre.
5. Blades of Glory (2007)
This goofball ode to figure skating featured Anchorman’s Will Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Hedder as dueling rivals forced to form a male figure skating team. The film culminated in an international skating competition in this frosty Canadian city…
Mind the toe pick! The 2007 figure skating comedy starring Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett showcased several Montréal sights including Habitat 67 and the exterior of the iconic Montréal Olympic Stadium. One of the most memorable scenes – the infamous outdoor chase sequence featuring Ferrell and Heder wearing figure skates – gave movie fans an on-screen tour through Montréal’s Olympic Village.
Coast to Coast
Canada’s vast landscape serves as Joshua Jackson’s unforgettable co-star in 2009’s One Week. Reeling from a recent cancer diagnosis, Jackson’s character embarks on an epic motorcycle journey across the country from Toronto through the Prairies and the Rockies to Vancouver Island. Along the way, he’s greeted by Canada’s unparalleled beauty as well as several of the country’s famous roadside “big things” including Sudbury’s nickel, Drumheller’s dinosaur and Wawa’s Canada Goose.
7. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
This super-sized Hulk reboot used this Canadian city to stand in for the Big Apple…
Film fans can thank former Toronto mayor David Miller for bringing The Incredible Hulk to the city’s streets in 2007. A huge Hulk fan, Miller promised the movie’s producers that Toronto’s main thoroughfare – Yonge Street – could be closed for four nights of intense filming featuring explosives and overturned burning vehicles. Because of Miller’s willingness to accommodate the Hollywood production, many of Toronto’s sights star in the finished product including the University of Toronto, the financial district and the Eaton Centre.
8. Mean Girls (2004)
This Lindsay Lohan comedy was filmed in a number of real-life Canadian high schools, and used this Canadian city as a stand-in for the Windy City…
Toronto often doubles in movies for American cities such as New York City (Serendipity), Baltimore (Hairspray) and Boston (Good Will Hunting). For Mean Girls, the 2004 high school comedy written by Tina Fey, the city morphed into Chicago. Sherway Gardens, the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall, Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, and Malvern Collegiate Institute played host to rising stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried.
Starring Angelina Jolie, Kiefer Sutherland and Ethan Hawke, 2004’s thriller Taking Lives was not only filmed in Montréal, but the plot played out there as well. Montréal’s on-screen prominence proved to be a refreshing change for Canadian filmgoers accustomed to watching homegrown locations disguised as American cities. In Taking Lives, Montréal shares the spotlight with Québec City, leaving La Belle Province well represented in this Hollywood flick.
10. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Filmmakers got a real “taste” of Greece when they chose a lively neighbourhood from this Canadian city…
Canadian actress Nia Vardalos didn’t have to look far for the perfect filming location for her 2002 box office smash hit. Toronto’s Greektown along Danforth Avenue appears prominently through out the movie, and if you watch carefully you’ll also spot downtown’s Ryerson University and Jarvis Collegiate Institute. The Canadian locations posed as Chicago for Vardalos’ story, but eagle-eyed film buffs could easily recognize Toronto’s charms peeking through the silver screen.