On The Road!

Besides a few specific towns with multiple scenes (Toronto, Bolton and Stouffville), there were a number on one-off stops throughout southern Ontario. From a public school, to a country market, a roadside payphone and of course that infamous train-jacking, with the help of a handful of awesome readers, we were able to pinpoint almost every location. So let’s hit the road!

The School
Let’s first talk about the school Martin was kidnapped from – the scene where Steckert gets collared by the cops and grabs the first kid in sight, young Martin. You’d think it would be an easy location to find, but it stumped me. I even contacted both of the actors who played the cops in the scene (Philip Aiken and Michael Millar), but even they didn’t remember the name of the school or even the town it was located in. It was really frustrating…how hard could it be?! I even resorted to sending a clip of the film to The Toronto School Board. Wouldn’t you know it, the answer was sitting right there on IMDB!

The mystery school that Martin was kidnapped from.

I was so excited to finally learn the school location, after being stumped for over 15 years! Now that I knew the name–Blantyre Public School in Scarborough–it was time to do some research. I quickly felt defeated after learning the entire school was torn down and rebuilt in 1993 after irreparable termite damage. The only bricks remaining from the original building were used for this gate:

This is all that’s left…I’ll never be able to see the school where the adventure started!

I was happy to find a new friend on Facebook named Helen, who actually went to Blantyre back in the day. She send me a couple pictures and even remembered the movie’s filming there!

Helen’s photo of Blantyre Public School.

 I was a kid back then. I lived right across from the school. My house was near there. I remember when they filmed the police car chase scene. They kept going up and down the road. I remember Richard Harris being filmed.my house was near there. I remember when they filmed the police car chase scene. They kept going up and down the road. I remember Richard Harris being filmed.

This photo of Helen in front of Blantyre is amazing!

Squad car pulling off of Swanwick Avenue into the alley behind the school.

Google Maps 2020, looking at the same houses off of Swanwick.

Here’s the alley where Steckert kidnaps Martin.

Here’s the school scene for your enjoyment:

Highway Robbery
Next, let’s go to the gas station that Steckert holds up. It’s a pretty comical scene actually. However this was such a small, old, out-of-the-way and nondescript little wooden market, I never expected I’d ever be able to I.D. it.

Steckert and Martin taking a right turn to head to the gas station here.

Pulling into the service station.

Never, during my entire Martin’s Day “location search” did I ever dream of figuring out where this little gas station was located, but lo and behold, my buddy Clayton (who I first introduced in the Bolton post) was able to I.D. the store and its location: The Kilworthy General Store in Kilworthy, Ontario. Here’s a few photos of the store I found online…

Kilworthy General Store

Looks like it has seen better days.

Where’s “Flip this House” when you need ’em!

Special thanks to Clayton for helping me find the store! You can learn more about the store and the surrounding area HERE. And here’s that scene at the Kilworthy General Store:

The Phone Call
Clayton blew my mind again when he sent me the location to the roadside phone booth where young Martin called his parents. Another amazing score!

This is the rest area where Steck pulls in to let Martin call home.

Location: 3401-3399 Frank Miller Memorial Rte, Port Carling, ON P0B 1J0.

Facing north.

Facing left.

Here’s that phone call:

What the Hekkla?
There were so few real, physical “signs” in the movie that would hint to actual filming locations. I did manage to catch a half a second of a “Hekkla Road” street sign, leading up to the police’s “highway interception” scene. But was this an actual real street?

The scene from where the cops attempt to intercept Steckert…a quick shot of a street sign of a back country road.

Google Maps in 2005 were still very rudimentary, and I remember not being able to locate any “Hekkla Road” while doing research for my trip to Ontario. It was by pure coincidence, and an amazing streak of good luck, that my girlfriend’s eagle-eye spotted the small street sign that read “Hekkla Road,” as we flew down the highway at 50 mph. How she spotted this tiny lane while we were cruising the back roads, I have no idea–we weren’t even looking for it, when she screamed out “HEKKLAAAAA!!!” I could believe we (she, actually) just happen to spot it. What were the chances?!

Holy crap! Hekkla Road!

We ended up driving down Hekkla Road and it turned out to be one of the most scenic country roads we had ever experienced. We even saw a tiny cemetery from the 1800’s along the way. It was definitely a highlight! 

Exploring down Hekkla Road, we came upon a cool old cemetery!

Here’s that scene off of Hekkla Road:

The Train
For many, the most memorable scene from Martin’s Day was the infamous “stick ’em up” train robbery. And when it comes to tracking down specific filming locations, I didn’t even begin to try and look for the the railroad crossing where Steck and Martin pulled off the train heist: An old country road at a train crossing? It doesn’t get more generic than that. So you’ll appreciate my excitement when this note arrived in my email box:

Not sure if you are still using this {email] address but parts of the film were shot north of Havelock, Ontario south of the Nephton mine on the CP Rail line. The Hijacking was filmed at Peterborough County Road #44’s crossing with the CPR Nepthon sub at mile marker 10. My grandfather worked on the railway at the time on this train and the line is still used daily for the mines. Kosh/Kashabog Lake and Stoney Lake are lakes nearby that you might look at for other sites as well as 3 or 4 lakes on the mines properties.

I found your site Google searching Martin’s Day. I was looking for online clips of the film. I’ll have to transfer my VHS copy to digital or break out the VCR. I haven’t watched it in a while but I remember the train was southbound from mine to Havelock when they hijack it, and I think it was some old MLW/ALCO Century units (locomotives). Things were busy around here for the filming but I haven’t found any other info other than the railway stuff for now.

Also I included a couple photos from this spring at the Cnty Rd 44 crossing and one taken just south of it likely by my grandfather or someone local during the filming.
 
John Blakely

How awesome is this picture!? What a treasure!

Tracks where the train was held up.

“Funny thing about trains…they take people apart.”

Also from John:

Here’s a video I took of the southbound train at the same film crossing and then the next two crossings towards town yesterday.

Here’s another nice email I received:

Hi Randy,

I saw your website from a while back for the Martin’s Day movie. When I was in high school, part of the film was shot near my house. The scene where the train is held up was done here: https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.5604501,-77.9671677,21z?hl=en This is where the tracks cross road 44, and my school bus had to stop once because filming was in progress. The only kids left on the bus were my neighbour Jamie and me. We got off the bus and went down the hill to the crossing and Richard Harris was there sitting in a folding chair. Jamie got his autograph, but I confess I was too shy to ask. I remember Mr. Harris saying it was peaceful not having a lot of media around, but as I recall, a couple of days later the local paper in Havelock (Belmont twp) got word of the movie and sent someone to do a piece on it. I remember a helicopter used in the movie landed in our east hay field for a couple of days while filming happened.

I believe that some of the scenery was shot at Stoney Lake, which is a few kilometres northwest of where I grew up. I’ve been to Parry Sound, but not to Lake Joseph. I regret to say I never actually saw the movie, but I should make a point of looking it up now.

Andrew

In 2020, I was lucky enough to receive this awesome picture, from stunt coordinator David Trifunovich…so cool!

Such an amazing photo…thank you, David!

And what about the actual train itself? The engine? Where is it these days?

The train that was stolen by Steckert and Martin…Canadian Pacific #4213.

Here’s a shot of the ol’ beauty I found online:

And where is it today? Well, we found it. It’s alive and well, but no longer in Canada…

A note from Derek at the West Chester Railroad:

The engine was renumbered several times, but now retains its original number. It was built by Montreal Locomotive Works which was a subsidiary of ALCO in 1965. It was purchased new by Canadian Pacific. They converted it to Control Cab #1102 in 1995. Sold to Quebec Railway Corp. (3/2004). Rebuilt and remotored by IRSI, Moncton, NB, became SFEX #4202. Acquired by West Chester Railroad (2010) and renumbered to WCRL #4202, then to #4213.

Finally, here’s that awesome train scene!

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