Where Queer as Folk Was Filmed in Toronto (Part Two, Season One)

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Where Queer as Folk Was Filmed in Toronto (Part Two, Season One)

The shot-in-Toronto series debuted 15 years ago, and the streetscape has changed a lot since then.

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Pride Month has come and gone but our celebration of Queer as Folk‘s years filming in Toronto still has a while to go. Last time, we looked at the first 11 episodes of season one of the show, which shot five seasons in town. It’s one of the few times (actually, maybe the only one we can think of!) where Toronto has played Pittsburgh. Here’s how they did it.

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When Brian gets falsely accused of sexual harassment we see inside his office. The view of the Victory Building outside his window suggests he’s across the street here, or possibly in the TD Centre, just behind.

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Emmett meets this guy who is trying to draft him into his conversion therapy support group and they grab a bite at O’Grady’s, on Church Street.

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We see this handsome churchy building…

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…which is the Berkley Street Church.

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And see it again both inside…

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…and out, when it hosts Emmett’s support group.

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There’s always one or two annoying locations we can’t figure out. Such is the case with the Q-Mart where Michael works.

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This shot of the exterior suggests it maaaay be in the since-gentrified Liberty Village. Could those lights in the back be Lamport Stadium?

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Also, we’re not sure about this nice restaurant…

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…but the exterior park view looks a bit like The Grange so maybe it’s the pre-Gehry AGO.

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Back to things we do know! Our finely honed detective skills tell us this is the Paradise Theatre, on Bloor West.

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We see some of the streetscape when they run into Emmett and his new “girlfriend.”

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Michael’s boyfriend’s son visits “Pittsburgh” and they can take a trip around town. This bridge is obviously at Harbourfront.

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And after Harbourfront…

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…they walk down Yonge Street.

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Airports are always fun! This airport is actually the Toronto Convention Centre.

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And the Skywalk actually totally works as a cinematic airport.

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An episode later we see this lobby…

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…which is also the convention centre.
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Dating montage! This restaurant appears to now be a Firkin on Church.

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We previously saw that the exterior of the St. James Academy is Western Tech…

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…and the interiors seem to be as well.

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Another montage!

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Though much of the series filming is along Yonge and to the east…

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…this is Trinity Bellwoods.

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Though the streetscape here has changed…

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…the Old Fish Market identifies this as Market Street.

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This nice grocery store is right there too, inside St. Lawrence Market.

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This tête-à-tête takes place…

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…right by the Hearn Generating Station.

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This crummy-looking gas station looks like it must be somewhere outside the city…

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…but then we spotted the Swan there in the background and placed it here.

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Daphne works in this music shop, the now-defunct CD Cat, which used to be here.

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Jefferson Street has changed a lot, but the Liberty Village Market is still there.

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The big high school prom for Justin and Daphne…

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…takes place at the Capitol Event Theatre.

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This event is another handsome venue…

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…the historic St. Lawrence Hall.

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This store, where silhouetted dressing room sex is not frowned upon by the staff…

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…is right across from the Windsor Arms, here.

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We see more of the streetscape here…

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…when the guys visit Melanie’s law office, on Sultan Street.

Queer as Folk would run another four years before going off the air and leaving our fair (not-quite-Pitts)burg for good. But along the way it staked out new ground for the portrayal of LGBTQ culture on television and was at the vanguard of a shift for Toronto-shot shows from cheapo B-grade fare to the quality likes of Orphan Black, Suits and (gulp!) Star Trek we see today.


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CORRECTION: 4:22 PM This article originally misidentified Brian as working at Q-Mart rather than Michael, and referred to Ted’s boyfriend’s son visiting rather than Michael’s boyfriend’s son. We’ve made the changes, and thanks to commenter K.C. for pointing it out.

A previous version of this article also incorrectly stated that the Liberty Village Market is gone. Torontoist regrets the error.

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