It’s no secret that when it comes to music, Toronto knows! Or maybe it is? Toronto has a rich history with music videos by local and international artists. Artists know when they come here to Toronto they will get an energetic and real reaction from the crowd. Truth be told I am a bit of a concert fiend especially in the summer months myself.
With that in mind, I decided to compile a list of music videos filmed on the streets of Toronto. I am not saying these are the best music videos ever, but in my opinion these are simply music videos filmed in Toronto that I personally appreciate.
And in no particular order:
6. Drake – Headlines
From Drake’s second full length album ‘ Take Care’ in 2011, this was a video that used different parts of the city including the SkyDome (no never the Rogers Centre), the CN Tower and even the old Guild Inn in Scarborough. I remember when on the Gardiner Drake had a billboard for Take Care up. Getting to see the time-lapsed opening of the Dome is pretty cool on its own!
5. Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Mia Martina
When this version of the Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina smash-hit was covered by New Brunswick’s Mia Martina it was EVERYWHERE! It haunted your dreams and followed you to every club, restaurant and sometimes even Dollarama! When I watched this video for the first time back in 2010 it gave me a new appreciation for the song and Toronto. I can’t recall ever seeing Toronto being shot in that kind of way and it was impressive. Toronto looked European to me in this video.
4. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
The first time I ever heard this song was after the 2010 Grammy Awards one of my college classes. The professor was showing us some of the effects they used in their performance to create a ghost projector kind of effect. I liked the song so I got home looked for the music video and to my surprise it was filmed in Toronto! If I’m not mistaken this single, ‘Need You Now’ really made Lady Antebellum blow up! You can see King St East, The Patrician Grill, a Beck Taxi and The King Edward Hotel. Great song, great concept and great video.
3. Let Your Backbone Slide – Maestro Fresh Wes
The year was 1989, a young rapper by the name of Wesley Williams had the audacity to make a landmark song and video which finally put Canadian Hip-Hop on the map! You can see a TTC streetcar in the background which 25 years later is still what we use. Undeniably, ‘Let Your Backbone Slide’ breathed life into young Canadians who had dreams of being hip-hop artists. This video was played on MTV in the US and if I’m not mistaken is the Best Selling Canadian Hip-Hop Single of All-Time. Yes kids, there was someone before Drake.
2. The Anthem – Kardinal Offishall
If you are from Toronto and you don’t know Kardi you need to move right now! This video was released in 2011 and it literally should be a tourism video as it shows all the best-known and lesser known landmarks in Toronto. Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York also get some love too! What makes this video even better is that the actual lyrics are a love letter to Toronto. Kardi loves Toronto and Toronto loves you back.
1. Rise Up – The Parachute Club
While this song is a bit before my time you cannot deny the power of this song. ‘Rise Up’ to me is a song demanding equality for all. Toronto has always been in the forefront for equal rights for women, minorities and the LGBT community. The late great politician Jack Layton used this song in his last political campaign. This song was a call to action and people still to this day respond to ‘Rise Up’ all over the place, not just in Canada.
Hope you enjoyed my little list, might you have any favourites?