We’re blushing: Pixar’s latest release Turning Red is set in Toronto


Toronto’s very own Oscar winner Domee Shi is about to put Toronto on the world stage. The Sheridan College graduate’s feature-length directorial debut Turning Red takes place in Toronto and will become the first full-length animated Disney movie set in Canada when it releases in Spring 2022.

Shi gave the world its first taste of Turning Red on Tuesday, with a two-minute trailer packed full of nods to her hometown. Let’s go over some of the Canadiana that Shi showcased in the teaser for this soon-to-be Canadian classic.

Lester B. Pearson Middle School

The opening shot immediately lets us know that this film will be Canadian through and through. An establishing shot of a “Lester B. Pearson Middle School” is shown with a pair of Canadian flags gently waving in the breeze. While there is no school bearing the former Prime Minister’s name in downtown Toronto, there is a Lester B. Pearson Elementary School that also houses Grade 7 and 8 students in North York.

Canadianisms. Everywhere. 

The second scene of the trailer features even more Canadiana. We get our first introduction to our toque-wearing main character, Mei, in a classroom adorned with a poster celebrating the 1980 Winter Games. There is also a hockey helmet tucked away on the top shelf in the right-hand corner. Another student whose interest is piqued by Mei’s mom peering into the classroom can also be seen wearing a maple leaf on their shirt.