Where Season 4 of Orphan Black Was Filmed in Toronto
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Where Season 4 of Orphan Black Was Filmed in Toronto

The show's setting has evolved from an anonymous place into something more forthrightly Torontonian.

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Shortly after this past season of Orphan Black aired, the word came down that the next one would be the series’ last. It was bittersweet news. We like that the convoluted mythology will soon be tied with a bow before it can crumble under its own weight. But selfishly, Orphan Black has carved out its own, unique aesthetic for Toronto (particularly in the city’s east end). It’s also gradually evolved as a setting, from an anonymous place into something more forthrightly Torontonian, with explicit references to Pickering and Riverdale trumping first-season ambiguities like blue GO Trains and quick shots of a driver’s licence with a Scarborough address.

But all this geo-philosophical pondering can wait for next year. For now, we’ll dive into the fourth season of Clone Club’s latest adventures.

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The first episode of the new season has some familiar locations. This diner, where Beth sups with Art…

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…is the Thompson Diner.

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Sometimes shots are easy to peg because they’re not disguised, like this view of Queen West, establishing the diner location.

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We once again visit Club Neolution…

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…portrayed by Uniun.

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Though the exterior is down at the ol’ Unilever site.

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Much of the first episode is a flashback, so we also briefly visit the Dyad Institute, at Bridgepoint Health.

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This alley-like stretch of Pearl Street pops up in all sorts of things.

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The distinctive gate of this actual alley is right there too.

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Another flashback features Cosima settling in at the University of California’s Berkeley campus…

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…but she’s actually in Corktown.

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But we also start getting some new places. We meet a new clone, MK, who operates out of this auto service joint by the Gardiner.

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A key new location for the second season is the Rabbit Hole comic shop. But it’s actually this l’il grocer on Dundas East which, based on the name, might be Battlestar Galactica themed.

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This laundromat might have been tough to spot…

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…if you couldn’t see the bright orange building across the street. So, it’s really Papas Laundry.

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In what might be the most brazen full-on-Toronto bit yet…

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…Sara visits this dentist on Queen East

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…and for whatever reason, the folks at Riverside Dental actually let their real name be used. If you’ve seen what goes on there in the episode, you’d be more amazed. Kudos, dental professionals!

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We also visit some popular local parks…

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…including Underpass Park…

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…and St. James Park.

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The show does occasionally venture north of Dundas and we spend a surprising amount of time at the Shops on Don Mills.

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This Aroma outlet is there…

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…as is…

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…this parking lot.

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It’s also home to this geographically contiguous fertility clinic visited by Donny and Felix.

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We once again visit Alison’s photogenic church…

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…also in Don Mills.

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Our heroes spend a lot of time hanging out at Thomson Groceries. The interior is just a set.

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As ever, it’s incumbent on us to once again point out the efforts of the Orphan Black wiki as they nail some of these locations on a week-to-week basis. We were really impressed they got this alley location so quickly but then we noticed it’s, um, right on the sign. Still, props!

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Perhaps the most significant new location is the slick, modern Brightborn Institute.

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The exterior is plainly Le Germain Hotel at Maple Leaf Square.

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The interior is more of a mishmash…

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…with most of these shots at TIFF’s Festival Tower.

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Note the CBC building…

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…and Metro Hall buildings out the window. The lab scenes were apparently shot at U of T’s Michener Institute.

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Mrs. S. also takes a little walk around the corner…

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…to this driveway, a few blocks away, by the Rogers Centre.

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It’s that stretch of Pearl Street again!

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Hey, it’s local actual reporter Liz West as a reporter!

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There are climactic and dramatic goings-on at this location…

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…out on Commissioners Street.

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By Episode 7, Sara is having something of an existential crisis. She gets all wild at the Bovine Sex Club…

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…where Peaches is playing…

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…and get tossed outside.

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Then she goes and contemplates jumping…

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…from the Bathurst Street bridge.

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After spending some time in jail (the interiors are apparently Humber River Regional Hospital), Donny is released…

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…but the exterior is just the rear of their studio on Eastern Avenue, even thought it almost sounds like a real Toronto place.

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There’s a sort of road trip to the town of Tisdale. But special effects are obscuring that this water tower is really near the Etobicoke/Mississauga border.

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And this “rural”-looking house is really the historic Cranfield House, at Pape and Riverdale. It’s gaining quite a cinematic reputation and you may have heard about residents being up in arms earlier this month when Stephen King’s IT was shooting there.

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The Toronto Heritage plaque out front is kind of a dead giveaway.

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Speaking of handsome homes, Susan Duncan’s fancy house is pretty obviously…

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…a CG addition to the Scarborough Bluffs.

And so ends the penultimate season of Orphan Black. They won’t even start shooting the final season for a few months but in the meantime we’ve got the happy news of Tatiana Maslany’s well-earned second Emmy nomination to tide us over. Not bad for a crazy little show from Toronto.