Where Crimson Peak Was Filmed in Toronto
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Where Crimson Peak Was Filmed in Toronto

Guillermo del Toro's gothic and creepy period romance used local Victorian-era locales to haunting effect.

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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Last time out, we looked at Jessica Chastain’s recent Miss Sloane and mentioned we’re looking forward to her also-shot-in-Toronto Molly’s Game later this year. But before all that, she was in town for Crimson Peak.

As we keep mentioning (because it’s cool!), Toronto has become a second cinematic home for Guillermo del Toro, going all the way back to Mimic, but especially since Pinewood Studios has given him a gloriously large sandbox in which to play.

2015’s Crimson Peak, like del Toro’s Pacific Rim, mostly takes advantage of those massive Pinewood soundstages, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get out and around sometimes.

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After a ghosty prologue, we open on this daguerreotype, which dissolves to live action and the hustle and bustle of this marketplace in…

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…Buffalo? Yes, this might be first time we’ve played our cheap-shopping-and-gas neighbour on film. Though there’s some CGI going on here, there are also real dirt streets and a lot of extras turning Kingston City Hall and market square into Buffalo here.

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Our heroine, Edith, goes across the street and into this handsome building…

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…and then upstairs on this beautiful staircase, to meet with her publisher. Though it’s been well-dressed and either painted or digitally colour corrected, this is actually the University of Toronto’s Victoria College building.

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She and her family, led by the great character actor Jim Beaver

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…live in this wood-paneled, stained-glass-adorned manse…

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…Hamilton’s Scottish Rite, which has popped up in lots of things, most recently as the Dolarhyde mansion on the final season of Hannibal.

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You can see it from outside here.

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This room is supposed to be an entirely new location…

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…but behind Tom Hiddleston you can spot the entrance of Victoria College, meaning, yup, we’re in the same room we were just a few minutes ago. Movie magic!

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And, because going in circles is fun, this round boardroom—though, again, an entirely different location—is back in the Scottish Rite…

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…in the Round Room. (The painting up there was done for Crimson Peak, but has apparently been kept.)

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Now you’ll be shocked to find out that this movie, set in wood-panelled Victorian locations, also shot at Casa Loma.

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This ballroom is Casa Loma’s library, for starters.

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You can even, you know, see books back there.

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These beautiful gardens are back down the QEW…

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…at Hamilton’s Dundurn Castle.

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Then we have another impressive street scene…

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…shot in Kingston, on King Street, with a bunch of additional CGI.

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Edith dashes into this otherwise humble home

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…and finds herself in this hotel lobby. More movie magic, as we’re back in Casa Loma, this time in the Oak Room

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…which does make for a nice hotel lobby.

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She runs upstairs, staying at Casa Loma…

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…and into this bedroom, which is Lady Pellat’s suite

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…before running to her beau out in the hallway.

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The Casa Loma stables put in an appearance too…

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…as a morgue.

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And that’s all in the movie’s first act. Most of the rest of the movie takes place at the haunted mansion of the title…

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…which is just a series of amazing sets built at Pinewood.

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There is, however, this exterior shot of Crimson Peak/Allerdale Hall, which we know was shot somewhere up north of the city.

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On the DVD’s “making of” features, you can see the surrounding territory pretty clearly, actually.

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And we do have one final location when Thomas and Edith are snowed in at this barn…

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…the historic Schmidt-Dalziel Barn up near Jane and Steeles (also recently seen in Hannibal, and a bunch of other stuff).

Sadly, Pacific Rim 2 decamped for Australia, but del Toro is still plenty busy here with season four of The Strain underway and the interesting-sounding The Shape of Water set to come out in the fall. Keep ’em coming, we say.