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Saturday May 18th 2024

Pacific Rim | 2013

For such an apparently globetrotting story, there are surprisingly few locations in Guillermo del Toro’s entry into the Very Big Things Hitting Each Other genre. Dedicated to stop-motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen and director of the original Godzilla movies, Ishiro Honda, it’s clearly a labour of love.

The film was made at the Pinewood Toronto Studios and the few genuine locations can be found nearby. The studios are located on Commissioner Street, in the Port Lands district, across the shipping channel from Richard L Hearn Generating Station.

And it’s this power plant which became the construction site for the anti-Kaiju Wall in ‘Alaska’, where Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) tracks down Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) to recruit him in a last-ditch fight back against the kaiju. The decommissioned electrical generating station, offering 650 thousand cubic metres of space, is located at 440 Unwin Avenue, south of Carlaw Avenue.

Becket has given up his former occupation piloting Jaegers, vast mechanical suits used to take on the creatures appearing from beneath the sea bed, after the death of his co-pilot and brother. The snowy coastline at which Becket’s Jaeger, Gypsy Danger, staggers ashore, is Bluffer’s Park, a long, sandy beach beneath the towering Scarborough Bluffs, Brimley Road South, on the shore of Lake Ontario, northwest of Toronto.

The only other real location is the ‘Tokyo’ street, seen as Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) remembers a terrifying kaiju attack while she’s establishing a neural link with Becket. It’s the stretch of Elizabeth Street, immediately north of Toronto's striking city hall. You’ll find the little alleyway in which the young Mako hides on the west side of Elizabeth Street just south of Dundas Street West.