Home Again

The tractor trailers, rental trucks, equipment vans and power generators jammed into the parking lot down the street gave it away.

Somebody was shooting a movie.

So the only two questions I had were: where, and how do I get on-set? After the kids went to bed, a short walk downtown revealed film crews setting up in Brampton’s downtown Gage Park.

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The American TV movie being filmed is called “Home Again” and stars American actress Jennifer Garth and Cameron Mathison, a Canadian born in Sarnia, Ontario. Director Jerry Ciccoritti, also a Canadian, was shooting scenes in a nearby church when I arrived.

I had a short conversation with one of the assistant directors and, despite denying access onto the church set, he agreed to allow me to shoot some stills in the park.

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The park was alive: snow was being groomed along the edge of the ice rink; photographers moving camera trolleys; lighting equipment being set up; and about 100 extras on ice skates waiting just down the ice.

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And after a couple hours of set-up, the cameras began to roll.

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And, as always there’s the on-screen kiss.

It was quite an experience. But when it began raining around 2:45 a.m., I figured it was time to head home, again.

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Toronto Maple Leafs practice

Hockey fans flocked to the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke Wednesday to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play a little Blue vs White scrimmage in advance of their NHL season debut January 19 against Montreal.

And, with much less attention, the Leafs’ AHL affiliate squad Toronto¬†Marlies worked out in an adjacent rink. The Marlies are having a successful season so far, currently second in the western Conference, three points behind leader Oklahoma.

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Here’s 24-year-old Millgrove, Ontario, native Corey Syvret, a 6’2″, 200lb defenseman who was called up to the Toronto AHL squad recently after playing for Alaska in the ECHL. Syvret has AHL experience with Portland and Rochester and is a graduate of the Guelph Storm. Syvret’s older brother Dan has NHL experience with Philadelphia and Edmonton.

The Leafs, with captain Dion Phaneuf (below, centre), head to the ice for their scrimmage.

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Leafs goalie James Reimer defends the net.

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Right-winger Colton Orr tries a wrap-around behind the net.

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Here’s Leafs centre Mikhail Grabovski coming in for a face-off, above, and waiting for the ref to drop the puck, below.

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Tim Connolly, above, is in his second season with the Leafs following eight seasons in Buffalo.

The Maple Leafs will be moving their practice today to the Air Canada Centre for a fan-friendly free open practice.