Monday, September 05, 2011
Countdown to Toronto
How many times have you seen this place in movies, commercials and TV dramas? Probably a lot more than you'd think. It's Honest Ed's, a massive discount store that takes up an entire block on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst in Toronto. And the gaudily lit storefront has proven irresistible for scores of directors and location scouts who have shot on location in Toronto over the decades. I never fail to smile when I see it in a film or television production -- particularly when that film or television production supposedly is set somewhere else (New York, Chicago, anywhere) and Honest Ed's is the dead giveaway that, well, somebody thought shooting in Toronto would be much cheaper. Or easier. (After all, eh, we're talking about one of North America's film production hubs.) Or both.
And when it pops up in a movie that is set in Toronto -- well, as I joked with filmmaker Edgar Wright after he directed Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, his prominent placement in his film of Honest Ed's (which, not incidentally, also looms large in the graphic novel on which Scott Pilgrim was based) must have been his way of telling the world that, yeah, this really is Toronto playing Toronto for a change.
But I must confess: The chief reason I enjoy seeing Honest Ed's is a sentimental one: It's very near the home of dear friends I look forward to visiting every year that I cover the Toronto Film Festival. I'll be seeing Honest Ed's again -- up close, in real life -- in less than 48 hours. I can't wait.