QWhen we think of movies, the first city that comes to mind is Los Angeles, home to the American film industry and home to most US film studios.

Two other recurring cities on the film scene are Paris and New York, always as unforgettable settings. From the eastern side we have Mumbai, India, with Bollywood and a box office to make the West envy. But few people relate to Toronto, the largest Canadian city with movie theaters, but it is where most of Hollywood's film productions are held today.

Toronto is off the radar of the public, because most of the films that are recorded there do not happen in Toronto, as the original screenplay Oscar winner "Indomitable Genius." Toronto in that case turned into Boston to tell the story staged by Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck. The art direction was so convincing that many people still find it difficult to believe that this is true.

The explanation for the use of the city is the tax facilities. For more than three decades, Toronto City Hall has decided to lower tax rates for companies that decide to film their movies in the city. Another facility is that Toronto is very close to New York and the entire population speaks English. The result is that at least half of the production that would be recorded in the US migrated to Canadian city. Doubt? Remember the first film by the filmmaker Sophia Coppola, "The Virgin Suicides"? The story, in theory, is set in Grosse Point, Michigan. But it was totally recorded in Toronto.

Even a famous film that bears the name of an even more famous American city, was recorded in Toronto. That's right, the musical "Chicago", overproduction starring Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger portrays the violent Chicago of 1920. Supposedly shooting in Chicago would be the logical solution. But the feature film was recorded in its entirety in the Canadian city, scenes from outside and studio. Who sees, can not guess.

Another Oscar winner, the drama "Brokeback Mountain," which in the story portrays the passion of two cowboys in the mountains of Wyoming, surprisingly also was not recorded in the US. The bucolic mountains that adorn most of the scenes of the film are from the state of Ontario, since the houses and inner scenes were all mounted in Toronto, capital of the state of Ontario.

Even "American Psycho", a drama that portrays a New Yorker yuppie in the years 80 that did not strike well of the horn, transformed the city of Toronto in New York, only to reduce the costs of the production. That is, it is cheaper to transform Toronto in New York than to film in the American city.

In fact, even the US film capital, Los Angeles, was traded for Toronto by the 2004 Oscar winner, Crash. The story takes place in a hot and chaotic Los Angeles, full of contrasts between the world of the rich and famous and people with less possessions. But the scenes were recorded in the much cooler and more egalitarian Toronto. Whoever watched the movie and knows Los Angeles has a hard time believing. Toronto was just like LA. It's the magic of cinema.

Some famous Hollywood films have turned Canadian sights into world tourist spots. This is the case of Casa Loma, a museum in the City of Toronto that became the setting for Professor Xavier's school in the film series "The X-Men." The examples are so many that this article could have hundreds of pages with them. But if you're thinking of meeting some Hollywood star, maybe you'd better postpone your visit to Los Angeles and make a trip to Toronto. That's the tip.


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