SFX blogger Kell Harker strapped on her rollerblades and took to the sidewalks of Toronto, Canada to tour the locations featured in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World(opens in new tab)
OMG Toronto: Canada’s greatest city, a metropolitan powerhouse of art, history, culture, a world-class subway system, and tourism. It’s no wonder Toronto’s film industry is brighter than ever, attracting major talent. I’m talking about filmmaker Edgar Wright, of course. Torontonians happily welcomed his live-action film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim . My favourite movie of 2010, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World has caused me to fall madly in love with this city… It’s not very often that Toronto gets a starring role in a major film.
Developing quite the obsession with the movie and a healthy crush on Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim) meant that I had to explore some of the real life locations featured in the film. Dressed as a blue-haired Ramona Flowers, my tour included all the spots I could get to by foot or by rollerblades.
Even without the fake snow covering the ground, you’ll want to visit these locations yourself to find out just how geektastic doing this Pilgrimage is. So, strap on your blades and get rolling!
585 St. Clair Ave. West
Looking for cool threads like what Scott Pilgrim wears? Then head over to the Goodwill thrift shop where you’ll probably find yourself a gently used spring jacket and a hoodie, and maybe even a dorky hat.(opens in new tab)
Bathurst Street / Bloor Street West
Featured numerous times throughout the film, this popular pizza chain is a great place to grab some slices and share some garlic bread with friends. “Yeah, I think garlic bread would have to be my favourite all-time food. I could eat it for every meal. Or just constantly, without stopping.”
565 Bloor Street West
By far the coolest stop on my tour, Sonic Boom is a retro record store where you can find reasonably priced CD’s, DVD’s, vinyl, video games, VHS, cassette tapes, and friendly, funny staff. I couldn’t help but dorkingly ask, “Do you have anything by The Clash at Demonhead?” With its geek inspired interior décor and with lots of music, movies, and merchandise to browse through, this is the perfect place to spend your time and hard-earned toonies and loonies in.(opens in new tab)
* Hidden treasure: Hanging on one of the shop’s walls is a Scott Pilgrim vinyl album cover signed by the cast! *(opens in new tab)
TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY
1431 Bathurst Street
Whether or not it was only a daydream, this is where Scott sees Ramona for the first time outside of subspace. From the outside it’s actually quite a nice looking building with plenty of bike racks and places to sit and read. Oh and, yeah… rollerblading isn’t permitted inside the library.(opens in new tab)
1 Austin Terrace
After Scott fails to get to second base with Ramona they meet up with Wallace at Casa Loma where Lucas Lee is filming his new movie. An impressive castle in the heart of the city, it’s a great historic site complete with towers, stables, secret passages, gardens, tourists, and admission fees. Wait… They make movies in Toronto?!(opens in new tab)
Intersection of Davenport and Spadina Road
In the film, the Baldwin Steps are made famous by Lucas Lee when he attempts to do a grindy thingy down the rails. The scenery from the top of the stairs will most likely make you exclaim, “Woooooow!” A great place to stop and snap some photos, this beautiful public outdoor staircase is made of stone and concrete and zig-zags as it descends the cliff leading from the castle.(opens in new tab)
444 Bloor Street West
In the movie, Sex Bob-omb opens for The Clash at Demonhead here. Even though it wasn’t shot on location – the set that was used recreated the interior of Lee’s Palace to fit in the cameras – this is a neat place to check out, even if you’re only looking at the building from across the street. Lee’s Palace is an alternative rock and indie venue where popular bands such as Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, and Nirvana have all made their Toronto debut.(opens in new tab)
Queen West and Augusta
Second Cup is the most popular Canadian coffeehouse chain where both Stacey Pilgrim and Julie Powers work as baristas in the movie and comics. Just don’t try ordering a caramel macchiato because they don’t make them there. Not to fret, the alternative is the caramel corretto which has essentially the same ingredients and is just as delicious as the macchiato. The caramel corretto should come with the warning: “Addictive and Pricey.”
* Footnote: Drinking too many of them during my tour ended in two serious consequences: needing to take lots of pee breaks, and not having enough change for the bus to get to Scott and Wallace’s apartment, which was way across town. Where’s an evil ex around to defeat and burst into bus fare when a girl needs it, eh? *
So yeah… If you’re planning a visit this amazing city of the Great White North, or if you’re lucky enough to live in or near Toronto and you’re a fan of the movie, why not try doing your own Scott Pilgrimage? You know you want to. Aren’t I just so incorrigible?
Many thanks to the city of Toronto to SFX reader extraordinaire Sarah Fones for sewing me a totally awesome Ramona Flowers star bag – I take it everywhere. None of my evil exes were harmed in the making of this blog.