Every Toronto location that shows up in the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale

Every Toronto location that shows up in the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale

The third season of The Handmaid’s Tale came to a fiery conclusion last night, when June, the hero America really needs, freed dozens of children from the totalitarian state of Gilead and led them to safety in Canada. Fittingly, a ton of scenes were also filmed north of the border. Here’s an episode-by-episode roundup of every Toronto cameo:

Episode 1

Season three picks up minutes after season two ended. Much to the dismay of every single viewer (and Reddit troll), June (Elisabeth Moss) stayed in Gilead to try and save her daughter instead of fleeing across to boarder to safety. Here, she confronts Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) outside the Hearn Generating Station in the Port Lands to tell him about her decision.

Episode 2

In the second episode, June goes into 007 undercover mode with a group of Marthas. Here, they walk along the eastern facade of the St. Lawrence Market.

They proceed along Market Street…

…and end up all the way down the QEW at the Cotton Factory (basically, Hamilton’s version of the Distillery District).

The walk (which, at this point, feels comparable to hiking the Pacific Crest Trail) continues back through this laneway in Downtown Toronto, which connects to Court Square.

Toronto is a chameleon location in the series: in addition to portraying a variety of American locales, the city gets to play an alternative version of itself as “Little America,” the neighbourhood where Gilead refugees settle (a.k.a. The St. Lawrence neighbourhood).

During this episode, Emily (Alexis Bledel) finds her way across the border and sits in front of the courtyard of the David B Archer Co-op on The Esplanade.

Emily tries to settle into her new life and calls her estranged partner, Sylvia (Clea DuVall), who pulls over in traffic on York Street.

Episode 4

The two catch up at Sylvia’s house on Euclid Avenue.

On her way there, Emily emerges from the Dufferin subway station. (It probably would’ve been easier for her to get off at Bathurst, but hey.)

Back in Gilead, a group of handmaids attend a mass christening at Trinity-St. Paul’s church on Bloor Street West.

The luxurious Putnam residence, on Park Lane Circle in the tony Bridle Path neighbourhood, has appeared in pervious seasons. Here it is again.

Episode 5

In episode 5, the Waterfords (Yvonne Strahovski and Joseph Fiennes) attend a meeting in the gorgeous art nouveau confines of College Park’s Carlu.

Serena ventures to Toronto to meet baby Nichole at Pearson’s monochromatic Terminal 1.

The episode concludes with Luke listening to a tape June secretly sent to him (another 007 move) while crossing the Puente de Luz bridge—a location any Torontonian should recognize (the CN Tower is a dead give away).

Episode 6

In episode 6, June and the Waterfords visit Washington, D.C. Although some scenes, including the climactic gathering on the National Mall, were actually filmed there, Toronto plays the U.S. capital for the rest of the episode, like in this shot of the D.C. airport (actually the Metro Convention Centre’s south building).

Both exterior and interior shots of Commander Winslow’s (Chris Meloni) D.C. mansion are actually Oshawa’s Parkwood Estate, the former home of GM Canada founder Samuel McLaughlin.

Over the years, the Estate has also made an appearance in X-Men and Billy Madison. Alas, Bradley Whitford, who joined The Handmaid’s Tale last year and who also played Adam Sandler’s nemesis in Billy Madison, did not make a return trip to this incarnation of the mansion.

The CNE’s Beanfield Centre is currently in fair mode, but here it’s portrayed as an imposing government building.

In this scene, June appears on camera in Hamilton’s Liuna Station which, like Parkwood, was also featured in X-Men.

Episode 7

The brutal hanging scene that opens episode 7 was filmed in broad daylight on the roof of city hall, and didn’t go unnoticed by locals (and Twitter) when it was shot back in February.

The interior of City Hall, below the council chamber, also makes an appearance.

The Waterfords, still enjoying the finer things in the capital, dine at Casa Loma’s steakhouse, BlueBlood.

A post-dinner tango down the hall at the Conservatory was in order.

Emily goes for coffee with Moira at Balluchon, which is now closed.

Sufficiently caffeinated, Moira goes to a protest outside the Bay Adelaide Centre.

June convinces Mrs. Lawrence (Julie Dretzin) to help her find her daughter. They discuss the matter on their way to Brookline, Massachusetts while crossing Rosedale’s Glen Road Bridge.

The fortress-like building where June’s daughter goes to school is actually the innocuous pavilion at Sunnyside Beach.

Episode 9

Episode 9 takes place almost entirely inside a hospital room, but June does step outside of Building G on Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus for a moment or two.

Episode 10

Early on in episode 10, the handmaids are called to a meeting at this amphitheatre, which is part of Mississauga’s City Hall.

Episode 11

In episode 11, June returns to Jezebel’s (first seen in season 1) by the Royal York. She sneaks in the back door on Piper Street.

Episode 12

When the Waterfords are arrested and detained in Canada, they’re kept at the Fort York Visitor Centre, where Luke and Moira come to visit with baby Nichole.


August 20, 2019

An earlier version of this post suggested that the Port Lands were soon to be home to Sidewalk Labs, however, the Sidewalk Labs proposal is still pending approval. Toronto Life apologizes for the error.