After Hairspray, the cult film from the 80s, became a hit Broadway Musical, it was decided to produce a musical film version. Hairspray opened in 2007 with an all-star cast including Zac Efron, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Allison Janney, Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonski, and Christopher Walken. While the story takes place in Baltimore, filming took place in Toronto, due to the soundstage options.
While a few interior scenes were filmed at Queen Victoria School in Hamilton, Ontario, most interior and all exterior scenes were filmed at Lord Lansdowne Public School in downtown Toronto. Remember to be respectful when visiting schools. You can find my guidelines for visiting schools here.
The Hardy Har Hut and Turnblad House
In the film, Wilbur Turnblad runs his joke shop, the Hardy Har Hut, located right next to the Turnblad home. The store is a corner unit on a busy intersection. In reality, the shop is Gale’s Snack Bar, at the corner of Carlaw and Eastern Avenues, just east of downtown.
Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway
The location for the Hefty Hideaway is located at the corner of Dundas and Roncesvalles. This old building looks like it may have been a bank, but is now a Starbucks.
Directly across from the Hefty Hideaway is the stretch of Dundas Street that was featured in the film. This whole stretch was redecorated to appear as though it was the 1960s. This area was seen in the opening montage as Tracy strolls down the street during “Good Morning Baltimore”. It was also featured at the end of the number “Welcome to the 60s” for the big dance number.
One funny link to the movie, just down the road from here, you’ll find Edna Avenue. This is right next to Dundas West Subway Station. A nod to Edna Turnblad, perhaps???