Reel Toronto—Anne of Green Gables
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.




Where CBC’s Anne Of Green Gables Was Filmed in Toronto

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.

2016 02 25anne2 (640x487)

If you’re a Canadian of a certain age, watching Anne of Green Gables on CBC was a watershed moment in your life. You wanted your own bosom friend and a dress with puffy sleeves. Perhaps you just had a crush on Megan Follows and/or Jonathan Crombie, or a strong desire to visit Prince Edward Island. With that in mind, you can begin to imagine the peculiarity of re-watching the landmark mini-series many years later and gradually recognizing that many of the locations were not in our Cradle of Confederation at all, but right here in and around the Big Smoke.

As this realization dawned, it is incumbent on us to mention that we soon found longtime fans (Anne-heads? Shirleymaniacs? Cuthbert-crazies?) had already done a lot of this detective work, which we’re sharing with you today.

“But surely Green Gables itself was shot on location in PEI!?” you inquire, a tear bursting with childhood disillusionment ready to roll down your cheek. After all, tourists flock from all over the world to visit it! Indeed, the home that inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery is there and tourists visit enough to make it an untenable filming location. So the house you’re probably picturing; that’s in Scarborough. Yes, Scarborough.

2016 02 25greengables2 (640x487)

Yes, we’ll start off with that softball. Naturally “Green Gables” is not accessible by subway, being in that rail-deprived suburb, but it’s actually the lovely Butternut Farm, way up on Steeles Avenue

2016 02 25greengables (640x489)

…not too far from the zoo.

2016 02 25teaparty brucesmill (640x484)

Her bosom friend, Diana, lives not too far to the northeast.

2016 02 25teaparty barryhouse (640x491)

Her home is a private residence, but it’s located just inside the Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area.

2016 02 25croupkid cornellhouse scarb (640x488)

Later in the story, when Diana’s little sister is sick (with the croup, natch), we see an interior shot, apparently also in Scarborough, but at the Scarborough Museum’s Cornell House

2016 02 25croupkid ext burwickhouse blackcreek (640x490)

…but when we see the house from the outside, it’s actually the back of Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Burwick House.

2016 02 25lakeofshiningwaters bridge (640x486)

We’ll get back to Black Creek a little later, as we’ll find (not surprisingly) a lot of the locations were actually local heritage villages. But, just to finish up in Stouffville, Anne has a romantic attachment to this pond…

2016 02 25lake2 3993stouffvillerd (640x490)

…which she dubs the “Lake of Shining Waters.” It’s just down the road from Bruce’s Mill, on Stouffville Road. The bridge is still there too (albeit on private land, so don’t be thinking of re-enacting the old “Lady of Shalott” bit!).

2016 02 25sleigh blackcreek (640x487)

Now, back to Black Creek. This lovely, wintry laneway is there, running behind the Stong Barn.

2016 02 25dressshop blackcreek (640x490)

This main street, where Matthew tries to find Anne a dress (with puffy sleeves!) is also there, right by the entrance. He’s actually approaching the Tinsmith Shop…

2016 02 25generalstore doonxroads (640x490)

…but when he goes inside we’re actually in the general store of the Doon Heritage Village, in Waterloo. They shot a heck of a bunch of a lot there.

2016 02 25lyndehouse seiber doonxroads (640x488)

Also at the same location is Rachel Lynde’s house, actually the Seibert House, with its gossip-ready front porch…

2016 02 25bridge doonxroads (640x489)

…and this covered bridge.

2016 02 25brightriver train westfieldheritage (640x489)

Hamilton’s Westfield Heritage Village is also very well represented…

2016 02 25trainstation later (640x490)

…starting with the Bright River Train Station…

2016 02 25brightriver train (640x487)

…which we see a few times. But that’s not all!

2016 02 25hammondlumber xroads (640x488)

When the story begins, Anne is living with the Hammond family. Mr. Hammond passes away at this lumber yard, also at Westfield.

2016 02 25hammond int westfieldinn (640x492)

The interior of the Hammond house is the inn there…

2016 02 25hammonds barnxroads (640x491)

…though the exterior is back in Doonville, at the Sararas/Bricker Farmhouse.

2016 02 25schoolhouse simcoecounty (640x485)

This lovely schoolhouse…

2016 02 25school ext (640x490)

…north of town…

2016 02 25schoolhouse int (640x486)

…is actually the Minesi Station schoolhouse at the Simcoe County Museum.

2016 02 25aunttea2 (640x490)

For these Victorian islanders, going into Charlottetown is quite the exciting trip…

2016 02 25aunttea dundurn (640x485)

…but this tea adventure was actually filmed at Hamilton’s Dundurn Castle.

2016 02 25aunthouse spadinahouse (640x484)

Diana’s Aunt’s house, however, is probably more familiar.

2016 02 25spadinahouse3 (640x488)

The interior and exterior are both Spadina House.

2016 02 25vic more (640x489)

Anne also attends Queen’s College in Charlottetown…

2016 02 25vic again (640x490)

…but all those scenes were done right here…

2016 02 25vic wide (640x490)

…at U of T’s Victoria University campus.

2016 02 25windermere reception (640x488)

She also travels to a recital…

2016 02 25windermere (640x486)

…at Muskoka’s Winderemere House, well before it got burned down during the filming of The Long Kiss Goodnight.

2016 02 25necropolis (640x489)

Yet another bucolic big city location, this is the entrance to the Toronto Necropolis.

2016 02 25blossoms (640x486)

Of course, this was just the beginning for the precocious redhead. She’d get a couple of sequels and eventually begat the popular Road to Avonlea series. Indeed, YTV recently aired a remake (starring Martin Sheen!) that was shot primarily in Milton. They aired it on Islanders Day, just to sprinkle some salt in the wound; man, PEI must be getting really annoyed with us.