queen's gambit toronto

Popular Netflix show The Queen's Gambit was actually filmed in Toronto

If you've already binged The Queen's Gambit, I don't need to tell you how much of a masterpiece Netflix's latest hit miniseries is.

What you may not know is that some of it was filmed right here in Toronto. At least, I didn't know — not until it was pointed out by an eagle-eyed local on Reddit.

Here it is though, proof positive that at least one exterior shot was taken just across from Berczy Park on Front Street East:

Winners on Front Street dressed for Walter Tevis’ The Queen’s Gambit from r/toronto

Pictured in the screenshot above is a longstanding Toronto Winner's location, which in The Queen's Gambit serves as the unglamourous department store in which Beth Harmon's adoptive mother buys the young chess prodigy some hideous new oversized threads for school.

While Toronto often stands in for large American cities like New York and Chicago on screen, this may be city's first time playing Lexington, Kentucky.

It was, however, somewhat of a bit role: Most of the 1950s and 1960s-era drama was actually filmed in and around Berlin, Germany, which at various times stood in for Moscow, Paris, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, New York and Mexico City.

More scenes for The Queen's Gambit were actually filmed in nearby Cambridge, Ont., than Toronto, according to IMDB.

 Principal filming began there in late August of 2019, much to the delight of locals who at the time had no idea how dope this series would turn out to be.

Hamilton's own Bohemian Palace Cafe also appeared in the series as "Bradley's Pharmacy" (you know, the place where our girl scores a "free" magazine alongside her mom's tranqs?)

Whether you're into seeing Toronto on TV or not, the show's worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet. 

Based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, the fictional story focuses on the life of a young orphan who rises to become the greatest chess player in the world whilst fighting her own demons and those of her troubled loved ones.

The costumes alone are worthy of an Emmy... I wonder if wardrobe left any behind at the Front Street East Winners? Doubtful, as they were only filming exteriors, but a girl can dream.

Lead photo by

Netflix Canada


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