When it comes to filming locations for Period Pieces, such as Anne of Green Gables, Road to Avonlea and Wind At My Back, finding the right setting with the right feel is key. You don’t want it to look too old, but you also don’t want it to be so contemporary that you can’t work with it to transform it into your ideal setting. We have been very lucky in that we are surrounded by historic buildings and sites here in Ontario and they have brought an abundance of filming locations. Here are a few:
This large farmhouse was built in 1850. White, with gables and a green roof and shutters, this house was ideal for filming Anne of Green Gables and acted as the perfect double for the Green Gables House in PEI. Sullivan Entertainment has used this property and house for filming the Anne films, as well as for scenes in Road To Avonlea.
Metropolitan Community Church:
Built in the late 1800s to serve the Methodist community of Toronto, this church is one of the oldest in the city. Sullivan Entertainment has used it for filming scenes in Anne of Avonlea, specifically when Anne’s students are performing Mary Queen of Scots and the building’s unique theater was also used in Wind at My Back.
Parkwood Estate is located in Oshawa, Ontario and is the historic residence of Sam McLaughlin, the founder of General Motors Canada. It is a national historical site of Canada and is used in many shows and films, such as X-Men, When Calls The Heart, Murdoch Mysteries and of course Anne of Green Gables. Sullivan Entertainment has used this location for The Piano Man’s Daughter, Sleeping Dogs Lie and Anne of Green Gables The Continuing Story.
The Distillery District:
In the 1860’s the Toronto Distillery District (originally called the Gooderham & Worts Distillery) was the world’s largest producer of alcohol. Since the 1990’s it has been home to many shops and restaurants and has also become a popular location for filming. Sullivan has filmed scenes for Anne of Green Gables The Continuing Story here, as well as scenes for Road To Avonlea and Sleeping Dogs Lie.
Located in Rockwood Ontario, this stone schoolhouse was built in 1850, during the time that Upper Canada (as it was still called) was developing their schooling system. Sullivan has used this location for Anne of Green Gables a New Beginning in the scene where Anne is at the county poor house. The Norman Jewison film, Agnes of God was also filmed here.
If you found these filming locations interesting to read about, you can find more in “Finding Green Gables, A Comprehensive Guide To All Of The Filming Locations”, which is included in the Anne of Green Gables Blu-ray box set. You can see all these locations and more in our productions on Gazebo TV.
By Adriana Pacheco, Sullivan Entertainment.