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Directed by Gary Burns
Produced by Gary Burns
Shirley Vercruysse
Written by Gary Burns
James Martin
Music by John Abram
Distributed by United States:
Lot 47 Films
Odeon Films
Alliance Atlantis
Telefilm Canada
Madman Entertainment
Release date
September 10, 2000
Running time
87 min.
Language English
Budget $700,000 CAD (estimated)

waydowntown is a 2000 film directed by Gary Burns exploring office culture and its effects. The film is set in Calgary, Alberta, where many downtown buildings are connected by the Plus 15, an extensive network of indoor skywalks. Because of this network, the hustle and bustle of the traditional "main street" has been replaced by recirculated air, food courts, and fluorescent lights. The result is a bleak and often humorous dark comedy about Canadian corporate culture.


The film centres on a group of colleagues in downtown Calgary, Alberta, who bet a month's salary on who can last the longest without going outside. The film takes place over one lunch hour on day 28 of the month-long competition. Things start to become complicated as the office prepares for the company founder's retirement party.

The film is a dark comedy and often uses surrealism to achieve its thematic goals.

The cast includes Fab Filippo, Don McKellar, Marya Delver and Michelle Beaudoin.

The film's title is derived from a particular form of suicide where one smashes the (non-openable) window of one's high-rise office and then jumps through. Many people go "downtown", but such folks go "waydowntown". In the movie, one of the characters has accumulated a 2-litre pop bottle full of marbles in the hopes of breaking his window.



The majority of the film was shot in TD Square, the Calgary Eaton Centre, and Bankers Hall. The company's offices are situated in the TD Canada Trust Tower. The low-budget film was shot on digital and later transferred to 35 mm.


The film as of May 1, 2009 has a 70% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics praise the satirical elements, casting, and plot. Others find the film to be humourless, incomplete, and the plot to be too nonsensical and uninteresting.[1]


  • The radio station CJAY 92 that plays "Start A Rumour Day" throughout the film is a real rock station in Calgary, with the station's actual DJs (the DJ "Bob", is Bob Steele, now works for a competitor, XL 103 in the afternoon slot.) The phone number that is mentioned is the station's phone number.

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