Hamilton

Here are 5 Hamilton spots you can't help but notice in The Umbrella Academy

The new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton. And boy, is there a lot of Hamilton. Warning: This story contains minor spoilers for the show

Warning: This story contains minor spoilers for the show

Hamilton actor T.J. McGibbon, right, and Colm Feore film The Umbrella Academy on top of Liuna station. The actual final shot uses a different backdrop. (Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy, a Netflix series that premiered Feb. 15, was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton. And boy, is there a lot of Hamilton.

There's an opening shot of women pushing seven baby buggies past the John Sopinka Courthouse. The main characters live in a former Gore Park gay club. If you're a Hamiltonian and you're watching the show, you can't stop noticing the Hamilton spots.

The production was in Hamilton for 28 days from January to July, and hired local crew, says Debbie Spence, the city's business development consultant for creative industries.

The city issued 19 location permits, with some spots visited multiple times. Here's a list:

  • The former Target in Waterdown.
  • Liuna Station.
  • Gage Park.
  • Gore Park area (Embassy Club).
  • Downtown (John Street, King Street East, King William Street, James Street North).
  • Corktown Pub.
  • Cotton Factory.
  • St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Polish Church.
  • Dyment's Market and Bakery.

Some of them pop right off the screen.

1. Gore Park. Again and again and again

The family lives in Gore Park. The Stelco tower looms in the background. Sometimes it looks like a lovely summer day. Sometimes it looks like a meteor hit it. 

Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) time travels through Gore Park, which eventually becomes the scene of an apocalypse. (Netflix)
Gore Park from above. (Netflix)
(Netflix)

2. The former Embassy nightclub

It's in Gore Park too, but 64 King St. E. is so prevalent that it's worth its own spot on the list. This is where eccentric billionaire Reginald Hargreeves trains seven magical babies he adopted from around the world. 

Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) is an eccentric billionaire who appears to live at 64 King St. E. in Gore Park, the former home of the Embassy nightclub. However, the series only appears to use the lower half of the building, since Hargreeves's home is multiple stories taller than the actual one in Gore Park. (Netflix)
This is what 64 King St. E. usually looks like. (Google Maps)

3. The International Village

The Sparkle Chinese restaurant sign makes it obvious. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) pawns his family's belongings for drug money at a pawn shop that's usually Starspark Computers.

The pawn shop Klaus (Robert Sheehan) uses is at King and Mary. (Netflix)
Here's what the area usually looks like. (Google Maps)

4. Liuna Station (of course)

Filmmakers love Liuna Station. Here, it doubled as a bank under siege. It's also where Hargreeves unveils his brood to the world via a throng of waiting media.

Filmmakers love to use Liuna station for grand, high-stakes scenes, and The Umbrella Academy is no different. (Netflix)

5. Dyment's in rural Dundas

On this rural crossroads, there are bad guys and a redirected bullet and … you kind of have to see it to understand. 

Number Five squares off with villains Hazel and Cha-Cha (Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige) at Fallsview Road East and Sydenham Road in rural Dundas. (Netflix)
Dyment's at the corner of Fallsview Road East and Sydenham Road is usually a pretty peaceful place. (Google Maps)

Other Hamilton content

T.J. McGibbon plays young Vanya. Ellen Page plays the older version of the character. (Netflix)

Hamilton actor T.J. McGibbon, 13, plays young Vanya in the series. Ellen Page plays an older version of the character. 

VintageSoulGeek, a vintage clothing store in the International Village, is a popular one with filmmakers. The shop supplied clothes for The Umbrella Academy too. (Netflix/VintageSoulGeek)

VintageSoulGeek is a go-to vintage clothing store for filmmakers doing period pieces in Hamilton. Guillermo Del Toro's crew, for example, tapped the International Village store for clothes for The Shape of Water. The Umbrella Academy crew did the same.

What's next

Hamilton issued 811 film permits last year, up from 539 the year before, Spence said. Each production brings local jobs, and hotel room bookings, and meals eaten at local restaurants.

Upcoming productions that were shot in Hamilton last year include The Handmaid's Tale, Del Toro's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (which means he came back after The Shape of Water), and Atom Egoyan's Guest of Honour. The thriller The Hot Zone was also filmed almost entirely in Hamilton.

Here's a video the city uses to lure film productions.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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