Reel Toronto: Suits - Season Two (Part One)
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Reel Toronto: Suits – Season Two (Part One)

Suits is back for another season of legal manoeuvrings and many visits to Toronto restaurants.

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.
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Suits is so awash in its own New Yorkness, it’s one of the great ironies that it’s become arguably the quintessential Toronto show of the moment. If you’re making your way around the financial district and spot an obvious TV shoot, or perhaps some yellow New York cabs along the curb, it’s a good bet you’re seeing the fine folks of Suits at work. (Although Hannibal, just renewed for a third season, is certainly giving it a run for its money, and Orphan Black, now in its second season, is no slouch either. We’re doing awesome!)

Yes, the credit sequences and every between-scene interstitial are filled with glorious shots of New York, but the whole thing is shot here—though they seem to wander back south to shoot, like, one scene in Central Park each year to maintain the illusion.

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We were a little wary going in that perhaps the second season wouldn’t explore many locations not already covered in the first, but they hit plenty of new places. Indeed, they seem determined to hit every eatery and hotel in the city before they’re done.

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As we mentioned last time out, the Pearson Hardman law offices are actually just a huge set constructed in Downsview Park, so that skyline in the back is just a big photo.

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The exteriors of the tower, however, are the Bay Adelaide Centre, and the show definitely favours its shiny, modern aesthetic.

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Here we are out on Adelaide Street, in front of the building…

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…and we love that USA Today box. It’s like the subliminal proof you’re in New York—and you know there’s some production assistant whose job it is to cart that one box around and make sure it’s in various shots. In fact, speaking of shots, let’s try a drinking game in which you do a shot every time you see a USA Today box!

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Anyway, here we are in a bookstore, which, unlike most bookstores in New York, has a view of the Toronto skyline…

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…so it’s pretty easy to ID it as the soon-to-close two-floor outlet at John and Adelaide.

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This exterior location shot seems actually to be in New York

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…but the interior of Le Relais…

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…is, in fact, Bymark.

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The second episode has a great fake subway station. The area looks rather different now because of massive construction, but it appears to be the island where University and Front streets meet.

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Okay, we don’t know where this condo is, but we do know that’s the Rogers Centre reflected in its window. Oh—like when you watch TV shows, you don’t stare at window reflections?!

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We do know this bank is the lovely and historic Bank of Nova Scotia building, now part of the larger Scotia plaza.

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There’s a TTC bus going by outside the window of this bar…

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…which is Suits, at the Trump Hotel. That’s right—it’s Suits at Suits!

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But we can top that! There’s a character who lives right here, on PETER Street, right beside PETER Pan, and his name is PETER! (Well, it’s really Michael, but we were so close there!)

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These street signs indicate we’re in Queens, New York…

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…but in this shot, you can see a more local street sign—it’s up in North York, at the corner of Myers Lane and Threadneedle Crescent.

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The fourth episode features a fete outside this handsome office building, ostensibly on Fifth Avenue…

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…but which has BMO and PATH access. Yeah, it’s actually the Manulife building, on Queen East.

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In this reverse shot, looking west on Queen, you can see a bit of The Bay’s logo.

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This li’l airport is actually Buttonville, up in Markham. You can charter a flight to Chicago from there, but there are no guarantees they’ll let you off the plane, eh.

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As with Le Relais above, here we have another genuine New York exterior

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…that’s matched with a Toronto interior.

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It’s The Saint, out on Ossington.

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This is probably supposed to be the US Open tennis centre in Queens…

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…but, of course, it’s actually our own Rexall Centre.

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In the first season, they actually shot in one of our courtrooms, but for the second…

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…they built their own. If you’ve been in a few local courtrooms, you know they don’t tend to be quite so architecturally impressive.

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Episode six has a bunch of scenes set in this lobby…

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…pretty clearly in the Mirvish Theatre (though that may well have undergone three name changes since the shoot).

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Here’s the long walkway that goes down to the Yonge entrance.

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We also visit this airy ballet studio…

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…which is actually the lovely Berkley Church.

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There’s also a trip by our heroes out to Atlantic City…

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…but this restaurant is really just the TIFF Lightbox’s Luma.

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Episode seven features a lot of Sarah Rafferty’s Donna character. Here she is emerging from a yoga class…

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…just outside the Black Market on Queen West.

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It turns out she lives nearby…

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…at 176 John Street.

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And before leaving John, drink a shot!

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Still in the same neighbourhood, here is another fancy meal, this one enjoyed at Nota Bene.

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Episode eight starts with a rapidly cut montage of Michael biking through New York, past a Bixi stand…

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…and into Union Station. Yes, Suits fans, this a flashback episode: we’re being reminded of how this all started as we conclude the first half of the second season.

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Suits allows you to experience an alternate-reality Toronto where street food is diverse and plentiful! Here we are just outside the Bay-Richmond 7-11 store—they’d better have a permit for that Israeli salad and not be within 50 metres of an eating establishment!

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Once again, the oldest trick in the book: cut from a New York restaurant exterior

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…to a Toronto interior. Weird, though, how a revolving door has suddenly materialized!

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Regardless of where we’re supposed to be, we’re at Mercatto—the one in the MARS building.

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Here’s a clandestine meeting outside an alleged LSAT testing centre. It’s actually that little corner outside the downtown Sheraton Centre, and you can see just a bit of the Bell headquarters there across the street.

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Finally, and appropriately enough, we have Harvey Specter making a visit to this picture-perfect cemetery, the Toronto Necropolis, in Cabbagetown.

The first season of Suits was only 12 episodes, but the second grew to 16. Apparently, not all the cast members were thrilled with their New York show being shot up here, but we’ll be back to find more hip restaurants and urban streetscapes in the back half of the season anyway.

UPDATE: May 14, 2014, 11:10 AM This post has been updated to include the exact location in North York meant to represent suburban Queens, New York in the show.

CORRECTION: May 15, 2014, 11:45 AM This post originally stated that the Toronto Necropolis is located in Riverdale, when in fact it is in Cabbagetown. We regret the error.