The 8 Films You Never Knew Were Filmed In Canada

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Although the United States is home to Hollywood, the movie mecca of the world, Canada has had its fair share of blockbuster films shot on its soil. Unlike some films which were filmed on location, like The Beach in Thailand or The Hangover in Las Vegas, some producers choose the different and often cheaper route to film in Canada. Toronto is a professional at masquerading for other cities in big-name movies. The city has been known to make a malleable backdrop that often poses as a dupe for New York City in films, but at a much lower cost. We’ve compiled a list of some of the highest profile films shot in the Great North that might peak your interest.


Not many people know that the actual Titanic, which sank in 1912, went under fairly close to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Much of James Cameron’s 1997 movie was filmed in these very same waters to give the film an authentic feel. Halifax played a large role in one of the highest grossing films of all time as the crew shot on the icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.

Good Will Hunting

A very young Matt Damon and Ben Affleck shot much of this 1996 classic film at the University of Toronto and the Central Technical School which posed as MIT and Harvard. A few scenes were shot on the streets of Boston; however, the majority of the five-month film production took place in Toronto.

Mean Girls

We will never stop thanking Tina Fey for this high school drama masterpiece featuring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and more. The 2004 comedy supposedly takes place in Chicago. However, much of this film was shot at the Malvern Collegiate Institute in Toronto, the Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, and Sherway Gardens.

Catch Me If You Can

Instead of catching a flight to France, the Catch Me If You Can crew filmed in Quebec City and Old Montreal. The two Quebec cities provided the perfect faux European backdrop for the 2002 blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Did you gasp when spotting this film on the list? The Chicago setting in this film appears vital to the storyline, which makes it even more impressive that the crew was able to transform Greek Town on Danforth Avenue and various other locations in Toronto into the windy city. You would never know that this 2002 film wasn’t shot in Chicago unless you were a true Toronto local.


It’s shocking that this successful Broadway musical-turned-film which is titled after the city it’s set in was almost entirely shot in Toronto. If you’re familiar with the city you’ll be able to recognize the Elgin Theatre, Union Station, Osgoode Hall, and tons of other Toronto spots in this 2002 Academy Award winning film.


This 2007 film, which at the time was quite controversial, featured Canadian actress Ellen Page in the staring role. So, it was only natural that the film be shot in Vancouver even though the film is supposedly set in Minnesota in the fictional town of Dancing Elk. Vancouver is fairly convincing in this film as the city is known to stand in for many northern American cities. 

Brokeback Mountain

This famous Academy Award winning film featuring some equally famous names was set in Wyoming. However, the 2005 film was actually shot in Elbow Falls, Calgary, and Fort Macleod. The stunning mountains in the backdrop of this heartbreaking cowboy romance are, in fact, Alberta’s Canadian Rockies.