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Five Films: Christmas in Toronto

by on 2014/12/01

Hacker Renders
Just over a year ago I set my roots back down in Toronto and, while it’s been a roller-coaster, it’s also been a golden age.

In the year gone by, I’ve refound old friends, met a few new ones, joined in with the local film scene, discovered the joys of dollar stores, and enjoyed uncounted family get-togethers. (Awesome coffee, Dad!)

In fact, it all sounds like the perfect collection of celebratory elements . . . surprising gifts with friends and families, catching some fun entertainment. Mash up that year all together and you have the makings of a great Yuletide.

To that end we present the following list of festive picks shot or set in the big T.O., with one also-ran I’d rather warn you all to steer clear of. (Unless of course a lump of coal is your thing, no judgement here.)

Happy holidays, even to the haters, who may prefer this list!

A Christmas Story (1983)A Christmas Story (1983) on 2010/12/14

* * * *

“Filmed in part in Toronto, [A Christmas Story] looks and feels like my childhood . . . I see TTC Red Rockets, the downtown streets, and storefronts. I remember Santa Claus parades, Simpson’s Christmas window, their whole-floor toy department, and coveting Big Little Books in the old Woolworth’s.”

Goin' Down the Road (1970)Goin’ Down the Road (1970) on 2013/07/04

* * * *

“Despite being a Toronto native, middle-aged, and a Canadian film buff, I’m certain I’ve never even heard of [Goin’ Down the Road], let alone seen it. Rarely am I so glad to be wrong and set right.”

Last Night (1998)Last Night (1998) on 2011/07/30

* * * * *

“Across North York and parts of Toronto, various characters face their end . . . the players at the heart of [Last Night] are Canadian to the quick. They politely ignore the goings-on and, if they’re not unaware, they’re desperately normal . . . The Wheeler family are celebrating a faux Christmas.”

RED (2010)RED (2010) on 2012/04/16

* * * *

RED is a great movie.
“Great, great, great.
“Go see it.
“The end.”

The Silent Partner (1978)The Silent Partner (1978) on 2011/07/06

* * *

“[The Silent Partner] starts just before Christmas. In the then-lowest (ground) floor of the city’s Eaton Centre, the First Bank of Toronto enjoys some celebrity attention. Staff members include the late greats John Candy and Susannah York. Christopher Plummer, as would-be robber Harry Reikle, surveils the establishment from the depths of a Santa suit.”

Dishonourable Mention:
Black Christmas
(1974) on 2012/10/30

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