How the Neighborhood of ‘A Christmas Story’ Has Changed Decades Later

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How the Neighborhood of ‘A Christmas Story’ Has Changed Decades Later

Everybody loves A Christmas Story, the classic yuletide tale about the wonder of childhood, the seductive lure of firearms and one fathers midlife crisis that manifests as horniness for a severed leg in fishnet stockings. Fans of the film are so passionate about it that Ralphies house has been memorialized as the Christmas Story House & Museum. You can even relive the magic of the movie by paying to spend the night in the house. You can probably find someone to fire a BB directly into your cornea on Christmas morning for a little bit extra, too. (Or just watch all of the sequels for a similar effect.)

While the house and some of the other real-life locations are in Cleveland, where A Christmas Story takes place, most of the movie was shot in Toronto. And even though they havent been as painstakingly preserved as the house, you can still visit some of the movies iconic sites (and make it a double feature with the Scott Pilgrim ones) if you know where to look — although they dont exactly scream 1940s middle America these days.

Take the Christmas tree lot, where Ralphies old man haggles for a tree and some free rope. The gap between buildings on Torontos Queen Street is still there, but now it houses the patio of a trendy bar, which presumably doesnt offer customers any free rope with their purchase.

MGM

JM McNab

As for the Chinese restaurant, where Ralphies family ends up having Christmas dinner during the regrettable racist caricature-filled portion of the film, the building is still there and is still home to a restaurant. But while the exterior looks similar, now its an intimate French bistro thats unfortunately closed on Christmas.

MGM

JM McNab

Ralphies school still exists in a town just outside of Toronto, but its subsequently been converted from a school into a 40-bed shelter for abused women.

MGM

gilliansplace.com

Less clear is where precisely the labyrinth system of alleyways Ralphie routinely wanders through was shot. However, Im fairly certain that this street is where Ralphie finally loses his temper with Scut Farkus.

MGM

JM McNab

Its hard to tell since theres no plaque or anything. But in fairness, a Christmas Story Back Alley Where the Bully Gets the Snot Beat Out of Him Museum probably wouldnt sell many tickets.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this). 

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