One movie I was surprised to find out was partially filmed in Toronto was Good Will Hunting. The Matt Damon and Ben Affleck movie is possibly the most Boston movie to ever exist. It also holds a place in my heart as the only movie to ever win Robin Williams an Oscar. However, this Torontoist article pointed us in the direction of a few different Good Will Hunting filming locations that we never would have found otherwise.
Our first stop found us at the Ontario Specialty Co. on Church Street, where Skylar and Will go on a date – which we were sad to find closed in 2012.
Our next stop was the Upfront Bar and Grill on Front Street. This location was where Will meets Skylar for the first time, and memorably shows up the jerky rich guy who is also trying to get Skylar’s attention. Unfortunately, that Good Will Hunting filming location also closed, in 2014.
We were honestly a little frustrated by this point, so we headed somewhere we knew wouldn’t be closed – the University of Toronto. A lot of the Harvard Scenes were actually shot there, using hallways and classrooms to replicate the Ivy League. However, we decided to shoot one of the most recognizable exteriors: Whitney Hall on St. George Street, which subs as the exterior of Skylar’s dorm.
There was no mistaking the red brick at this Good Will Hunting filming location; despite the snow, the building perfectly matched the photo. We’re starting to learn that’s a rare thing, especially 20+ years after a movie came out. A lot can change in just a few years. It’s a shame that both the Ontario Specialty Co. and the Upfront Bar and Grill have closed in the last decade, but alas, time moves forward, and so should we – it’s inspiring us to go find our favourite movie locations before they are gone!