Canada has been the stage for numerous blockbuster films and acclaimed productions, offering breathtaking backdrops and authentic settings that bring stories to life. From the stunning landscapes of Alberta to the vibrant cityscapes of Montreal and Toronto, here are some of the best film locations in Canada that are worth exploring.
1 – Legends of the Fall (1994)
Location: Alberta (various locations) and Vancouver (BC)
Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster with Legends of the Fall, featuring A-listers Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins. You might be surprised to know that the breathtaking Montana setting is actually Alberta, Canada! Filming kicked off in September 1993, with the intense World War I battle scenes shot near Morley, Alberta. They even roped in local folks and Canadian Forces soldiers to play extras.
The captivating Ludlow ranch and other outdoor scenes, like the tear-jerking funeral and cemetery moments, were captured in the awe-inspiring Ghost River Wilderness Area and along the picturesque Bow River near Banff National Park. And guess what? The filmmakers worked their magic in Vancouver’s historic Gastown to recreate the streets of Helena, Montana. Oh, and those hotel scenes? They were shot at the fabulous Hotel Europe in Vancouver. Filming wrapped up in January 1994, leaving us with a visually stunning portrayal of Montana’s landscapes, all thanks to the amazing locations in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.
Explore the area:
Bus from Calgary to Canmore – from $21
2 – Togo (2019)
Alberta seems to be a Hollywood favorite when it comes to portraying idyllic snowcapped landscapes. Togo (2019), a Walt Disney movie featuring Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe, was filmed in the province. The film follows the remarkable journey of Togo, the lead sled dog, and his trainer as they embark on a desperate mission to deliver serum and save the children of Nome, Alaska, from a devastating 1925 Diphtheria outbreak.
To capture the authenticity of the story, the filmmakers chose to film entirely on location without any green screens. The Cochrane area and the breathtaking mountains surrounding Calgary provided the perfect backdrop, showcasing the changing seasons from September through the end of winter. A significant portion of the filming also took place in the picturesque Fortress Mountain and other stunning locations throughout the Kananaskis Country. Alberta truly brought the magic of Alaska to the big screen in Togo.
Explore Alberta by bus:
Bus from Calgary to Banff – from $21
3 – Deadpool (2016)
Location: Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia
Deadpool, the irreverent and unconventional anti-hero film, takes place in an unnamed fictional city, deliberately leaving the location and name ambiguous. However, Vancouver plays a pivotal role in setting the tone for this city. Filming primarily took place in the Vancouver metro area, with iconic locations such as the Georgia Viaduct and Joe Louis Arena serving as backdrops for action-packed chase scenes. During filming, Downtown blocks were temporarily closed on weekends to accommodate the filming frenzy.
Besides Vancouver, many scenes were also shot at the Hatley Castle, located in Victoria, on Vancouver Island. The location doubled as both Deadpool’s stomping grounds and the X-Mansion from the X-Men film series. The historic manor house, now part of Royal Roads University, lent an air of grandeur to the film.
See the region:
Bus and ferry from Vancouver to Victoria – from $99
Bus from Kelowna to Vancouver – from $61
4 – Godzilla (2014)
Locations: Vancouver, Richmond, Nanaimo, and Victoria (all in British Columbia)
Vancouver is a popular filming location for many movies and TV shows due to its diverse cityscape, tax incentives for film production, and proximity to various natural landscapes. The city served as the primary shooting location for Godzilla, while Hawaii and Nevada were used for brief scenes.
During the filming process, the Vancouver Convention Centre, BC Place, and the scenic Hi-View Lookout in Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver, were transformed into various settings of San Francisco’s Bay Area Park.
Steveston, a neighborhood in Richmond, witnessed a large battle scene captured on Moncton St, featuring around 200 soldiers and numerous military vehicles. Vancouver Island, including Nanaimo and Victoria, also played a role in bringing the movie to life.
Travel around the area:
Bus and ferry from Victoria to Vancouver – from $99
Bus from Seattle to Vancouver – from $40
5 – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is an action-packed romantic comedy fantasy film that revolves around Scott Pilgrim, a nerdy musician portrayed by Michael Cera, who falls head over heels for Ramona Flowers, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. In order to win her love, Scott must confront and defeat her seven evil exes in epic battles.
Set and filmed in Toronto, Canada, this production showcases the city’s iconic landmarks such as the CN Tower, Distillery Historic District, Casa Loma, and the Baldwin Steps, as well as local hotspots like Lee’s Palace. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World received numerous accolades and nominations for its unique blend of humor, romance, and video game-inspired action.
See the sights:
Bus from NYC to Toronto – tickets from $67
Bus from Ottawa to Toronto – tickets from $42
6 – Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Location: Quebec City and Montreal, Quebec
Catch Me If You Can (2002) is an enthralling film that takes you on a wild ride through the life of Frank Abagnale Jr, a cunning con artist portrayed by the talented Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie captivates you from the start. It follows Abagnale as he embarks on a series of daring scams, constantly evading the law and assuming various identities.
Most of the movie was shot in Los Angeles, but the production also used the picturesque landscapes of Montreal and Quebec City to depict France. Notably, the historic Place Royale in Quebec City, featuring the backdrop of Notre Dame des Victoires, served as the french square of Montrichard in the movie.
Visit the sights:
Trains from Montreal to Quebec – tickets from $45
Bus from Montreal to Quebec – tickets from $42
7 – Titanic (1997)
Location: Darthmouth, Nova Scotia
Titanic, the epic film released in 1997, tells the tragic love story of Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) aboard the RMS Titanic. The movie begins with a modern-day expedition to recover artifacts from the shipwreck, which was filmed in Dartmouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The memorable scene where the older Rose drops the necklace into the water was one of the significant moments captured during filming in this picturesque Canadian location. Titanic continues to captivate audiences with its breathtaking visuals, powerful performances, and heart-wrenching narrative, reminding us of the enduring impact of love and loss in the face of an historic tragedy.
During filming in Canada, an incident occurred where an unknown person spiked the soup consumed by director James Cameron and others with the drug PCP. This unfortunate act resulted in over 50 people being hospitalized and experiencing delirium and hallucinations. Speculation arose that the act may have been targeted towards Cameron himself, given his demanding nature and reputation, but without concrete evidence, this remains purely speculative. Despite Cameron managing to vomit before the drug took full effect, the incident triggered an official confirmation from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and a subsequent criminal investigation by the Halifax Regional Police Service. The responsible party was never identified, and the case was closed in 1999.
Explore the area:
Moncton to Halifax – tickets from $49
Sain-John to Halifax – tickets from $72
8 – The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Location: Montreal, Quebec
The Whole Nine Yards (2000) is a crime comedy film that showcases the quirky and unexpected friendship between Oz Oseransky (Matthew Perry), a neurotic dentist, and Jimmy Tudeski (Bruce Willis), a notorious hitman. The movie’s setting in Montreal, Canada, adds to the city’s reputation as a thriving hub for television and film production.
The stunning Belvédère Kondiaronk provides a picturesque backdrop for a memorable conversation between Oz and Jimmy, where they delve into Oz’s journey to Canada and the peculiar circumstances that brought them together. Montreal’s versatility as a filming location is evident as it has often stood in for European settings in numerous movies, highlighting the city’s architectural charm and diverse landscapes. Moreover, Montreal is renowned for hosting a multitude of internationally recognized music, film, and cultural festivals, attracting artists and enthusiasts from around the world.
Travel to Montreal
From Toronto – train tickets from $109
From Ottawa – tickets from $26
Lights, Camera, Canada
In the world of cinema, Canada has proven to be a captivating backdrop for numerous blockbuster films and acclaimed productions. From the bustling airport scenes of Montreal’s Terminal (2004) to the vibrant streets of Toronto featured in Take This Waltz (2011), the country offers diverse locations that add depth and authenticity to storytelling.
Alberta, known for its stunning landscapes, has played host to remarkable movies such as Brokeback Mountain, Inception, Interstellar, and has even served as a filming site for beloved series like The Last of Us and Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, British Columbia’s breathtaking settings have welcomed renowned franchises like The Twilight Saga, X-Men, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, among many others. With its picturesque scenery and thriving film industry, Canada continues to attract filmmakers seeking to capture the magic of their stories against its majestic backdrop.
Book your trip to Canada’s top film locations
If you’re inspired to explore the stunning locations featured in your favorite films and series across Canada, Busbud can be your ultimate travel ally. With Busbud, you can effortlessly find the best bus and train tickets to venture into the heart of this mesmerizing country.
Whether you’re seeking the picturesque landscapes of Alberta or the vibrant cityscapes of Montreal and Toronto, Busbud makes it easy to navigate your cinematic journey. Start planning your trip today!
*all prices in this article are in Canadian dollars, refer to July/2023 and are subject to change.