7 Toronto references you’ll find in “Turning Red”

“Turning Red” is causing a stir with its story, animation and setting in a Toronto of the 2000s. Here we share the references we found from the capital of Ontario.

By Estefany Saucedo

The new movie from disney pixar “Turning Red” presents the story of meilin lee, a 13-year-old girl struggling with one of the biggest changes of her life: transforming into a huge red panda whenever she experiences intense emotions. This leads to her having a period of self-discovery in which she begins to question the rules imposed by her mother, so that their relationship could possibly be in jeopardy.

Dome Shidirector and screenwriter of this film manages to capture his own experiences growing up in a Chinese-Canadian family in Toronto. Moreover, this personal experience is also reflected in the visual details of daily life that we observe in the film. For this reason, here we share with you 7 references to this multicultural city that you cannot miss in “Turning Red”.

1. The CN Tower

We start with the most present icon in the film: the CN Tower. This building features in quite a few “Turning Red” scenes, but it’s thanks to Pixar’s lively twist on it that this iconic tower stands out among buildings in different pastel hues. Doesn’t that look spectacular?

of them. SkyDome

To add another touch of nostalgia, the film introduces us to the real SkyDome where the popular boy band 4*Town, of which Mei and her friends are fans, will perform. In addition, this place also takes place one of the most important scenes of “Turning Red”.

3. Chinese district

Due to the fact that the main family is a resident of Chinese district, we can see the animated version of this popular place in the city. And although on social media many have noticed a greater resemblance to Chinatown in San Francisco, the truth is that the Mei family temple in dragon gates or the “Bakery & Dessert Garden” store tell us that this place is inspired by Toronto.

Four. Timbits

The delicious and unique Timbits of Tim Hortons they have an appearance at Mei’s family table. They may go unnoticed by ordinary viewers, but lovers of them will definitely notice them when Mei’s father places them on the table.

5. public transport

Incredible trams are a feature of Toronto. And although there are currently new and updated units, in “Turning Red” we take a look at the past where we see the old but splendid trams thanks to the fact that they are the main means of transport from the protagonist to the school.

6. maple leaves

And of course, the iconic maple leaves present in the Canadian flag that can be seen mainly in school shots could not be missing. But also, our dear Mei shows her love for Canada by wearing them in her incredible outfits.

seven. Daisy

In the film, this place introduces us to the first love of Mei and her friends, who is a boy a little older than them and who works there part-time. But, for anyone who grew up in Torontoseeing a Daisy animated was a big hug to the heart and to his memories.

Bonus: Canadian money

For Mei and her friends, the money they earn through their own efforts can be crucial to achieving their dreams. And while we watch them get it, if we pay attention, we also notice the classic Canadian bills. There is no doubt that the director has taken care of every detail to create the perfect setting.


“Turning Red” has become the most viewed film on the platform Disney+ since its launch. If you are or were a resident of Toronto, it is almost obligatory that you see it with your family since in addition to the references, it has a very particular message. But if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry, it’s a film that we highly recommend.

Tell us, did you find another reference to Toronto What have we missed? Let us know in the comments!

You can also read: Toronto premiere of the animated film “Turning Red”

Mona Watkins

"Travel fan. Gamer. Hardcore pop culture buff. Amateur social media specialist. Coffeeaholic. Web trailblazer."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.