Suffice it to say there are a lot of shots along Church… Babylon’s interior was shot at the now-defunct Fly, on Gloucester Street. (467 Liberty does not seem to really exist, alas.) The guys also hang out in this diner… Thanks to the presence of the Royal York in the back… Next time, we’ve got prom night and outdoor skating and all sorts more groundbreaking fun!
…and even though some of the outlets have changed over the years… Like any TV series, there are a few locations we keep coming back to. …we can ID this alleged hospital rooftop as the Citi Bank building. The only exterior shot zips by very quickly, but enough to ID it as this building, at Yonge, north of Charles.
There’s been lots of development in the area, but you can juuust see the Distillery out the window…
…and the dealership is still there, on Front Street.
Over the course of that run it redefined how LGBTQ culture was portrayed on television and gave a who’s who of local indie directors—including David Wellington, John Greyson, John L’Ecuyer, and the very busy Jeremy Podeswa—a chance to hone their skills, and a chance for local locations to do their thang, too.
With Pride Month set to wrap, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the series’ first season.
Pittsburgh’s Gay Village is centred around Liberty Avenue and while there isn’t much of an immediate visual similarity, it’s not surprising that our own Church Street is where much of the action was filmed. His new friend, Brian, doesn’t live on Ross Street (wherever that is)… Our narrator, Mike, lives at 7 Glen Road, in the historic Rosslyn Apartments. Their lesbian friends, Melanie and Lindsay, live at 178 Crawford Street, right by the diner.
(Somewhat oddly, there’s a “65” in this shot and a “67” there today. Don’t know.) This exterior shot even more clearly shows the balustrade visible there, not to mention the view down Charles of the YMCA and Rogers HQ. And right nearby is this former Way Cool Tattoo shop… In the eighth episode, Brian goes to the local car dealer, where the salesman is a homophobe.
…is actually at Maitland, and the bistro is now a Firkin. The young and naive Justin (at least at the outset)… Similarly, this doctor’s office is tricky but the Victorian houses here…
The distinctive windows of Garage look much the same. The exterior and its adjacent alley are on Duncan Street. …though you’ll note they mocked up a Pittsburgh address. …and that more modern one-off in the distance suggest it may be around Church and Park Road. Brian does some driving back in the pilot and this is most def not in Pittsburgh. Nor the former offices of and the delightful C’est What, on Front.
Brian walks down Hayden Street to go to this union hall… Except, actually they’re only moving a block or two!
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. The set-in-Pittsburgh-but-filmed-in-Toronto remake of the British series by the same name ran for five seasons, and while we’ve come a long way since it first hit the airwaves, it’s no less remarkable today.