Reel Toronto: Nikita — Season 3 (Part Two)
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Reel Toronto: Nikita — Season 3 (Part Two)

After three years of adventuring everywhere on the planet without leaving Toronto, Nikita finally visits our fair city.

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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We were amazed at the number of different places GTA locations stood in for during Nikita‘s first couple of seasons. We griped, wondering why Nikita couldn’t visit Toronto for just one episode, never thinking it would actually happen. Heck, even Suits made a surprise visit to Toronto in its fictional universe, despite shooting Toronto-as-New York all the time. But here, finally, before the third season wraps, Toronto appears as itself. More or less.

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First things first. Nikita‘s cinematography makes things tricky sometimes. You can’t quite see it here but there’s a TTC bus outside there, pretty much giving away that this office building is here—but we can’t quite place this “Cincinnati” lobby…

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…nor this one…

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…allegedly in Pittsburgh.

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Like Suits, Nikita‘s fictional home base is Manhattan—but the characters do make their way out to New York’s ‘burbs, too. This bar is supposed to be in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, for example.

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And yet there’s a TTC streetcar outside! The “P” in Pavel’s may look familiar, as this is actually Bathurst Street’s Paddock Tavern.

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This pretty rooftop shot is supposed to give a view of Manhattan, but you can see Royal Bank Plaza back there…

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…suggesting we’re probably atop Commerce Court.

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We always like a good European jaunt, and Episode 15 takes us to Gay Paree…

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…and its historic Opera House.

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The interior, however…

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…is actually the lobby of the King Edward Hotel.

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You can also see the exterior of that same film-friendly location here.

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This is also supposed to be Paris, but that clock is a giveaway. Yessir, it’s our old friend the Distillery District.

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Back in New York, there’s a big scene on this club balcony…

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…actually The Courthouse.

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Here we visit the grimy streets of Camden, New Jersey.

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This bridge, however, is actually in Hamilton…

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…it’s the Emerald Street footbridge. (No offence intended, Hamilton—we know you’re just acting!)

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This laundromat is also in Hamilton…

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…it’s the Kingsdale Cleaning Centre.

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And here, finally, in episode 20 of the third season, is the moment we’ve been waiting for. We’re really in Toronto! Except—what the heck is the Dorsett Glenn Hotel? It’s actually Convocation Hall.

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And the interior shots…

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…are of the Royal York. So, it’s almost really Toronto.

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There’s even a Toronto Police Service officer!

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There’s also a scene that takes place out in the Port Lands and offers a nice view of the skyline.

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Why are we here? It’s for the G20! Happy memories.

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Obviously this party is really in Roy Thomson Hall.

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The season’s penultimate episode has us back in New York, but really we’re just a few blocks away…

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…at this press conference on Lombard Street.

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This is supposed to be an outreach shelter, and indeed, it’s actually the Fred Victor Centre for Women.

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We also get a car going kaboom…

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…in this parking lot, just behind City Hall.

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The final episode gives us views of some distinctive landmarks, like the Hydro Place tower on University Avenue.

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This is supposed to be in Washington, D.C.’s chichi Georgetown area, but it’s actually…

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…Dundas West’s Lakeview restaurant.

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We can’t quite tell what building this is, but you can definitely see the south facade of the AGO out the window.

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And the season’s final shot is looking down University, around Elm Street…

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…with a Canadian flag just over there on the left, for those paying attention. We are, Nikita. We are.