It looks like The Handmaid's Tale is filming in downtown Toronto this weekend
Toronto is set to reprise its role as a futuristic version of itself, as well as the highly-oppressive fictional Republic of Gilead, in Hulu's hit TV series The Handmaid's Tale, as evidenced by recent filming activities in and around the city.
According to a popular Twitter account that keeps tabs on local production sites, cast and crew were just across the street from none other than Drake's bridle path mansion on Thursday filming part of Handmaid's Tale Season 5.
Images from previous seasons of the show shared by a fan resource on Thursday suggest that the ladies in red were filming again at 25 Park Lane Circle, which previously served as the exterior of Commander Putnam's house.
Rumours are circulating that The Handmaid’s Tale is filming next to Drake’s mansion in the Toronto Bridle Path neighbourhood today. Look familiar? pic.twitter.com/ZP8AksDryt— Handmaid’s Daily (@handmaidsdaily) February 16, 2022
We also know that the production was recently in Brantford, Ontario filming for Season 5, a release date for which has yet to be announced, and that they'll almost certainly be in downtown Toronto this very weekend.
We can thank @TOFilming_EM and @handmaidsdaily for the latter nugget of information, as well as the City of Toronto's own revised approval /objection process for film productions in residential neighbourhoods.
"In response to COVID-19, The City of Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office has revised the filming approval/objection solicitation process to limit the physical interactions between film crews and residents," reads a letter distributed to people living in parts of the Esplanade and Entertainment District neighbourhoods.
"Film Productions are to notify the impacted residents about requests for activity in their neighborhood that is in excess of the street usage and/or time restrictions in the filming guidelines. The 'Have Your Say' process is confidential and equitable, and allows residents to voice concerns, ask questions, or request accommodations."
The letter, sent by a company called "Gilead 5 PRODUCTIONS INC." that's fooling nobody, advises all residents and businesses in the vicinity of 27 Front St. E. of scheduled film shoots taking place between Feb. 18 and Feb. 19.
It appears as though cast and crew will be in and around the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts beginning early Friday and into Saturday.
The filming notice alerts that production vehicles and "various pieces of film equipment" will be located in and around Front Street between Yonge and Church, as well as on The Esplanade, Scott Street, Piper Street, York Street and Church Street itself.
Some eagle-eyed locals have already spotted the production setting up.
They are getting ready to it pic.twitter.com/QhFPA8C82z— Diego Malone (@diegomalone) February 18, 2022
We obviously don't know what exactly is being filmed this weekend, but we can point out that this very area of the city has previously served on The Handmaid's Tale as "Little America" — a neighbourhood that caters to American refugees escaping Gilead for Canada.
To be clear, this is not an invitation for Elizabeth Moss fans to go down and conglomerate near St. Lawrence Market. Don't do that. You won't be allowed on set, and you'll probably annoy people hard at work.
You can, however, rest assured that any freaky things you see happening around the Esplanade this weekend are probably staged for the purpose of entertainment.
Some people might be like "duh," but like... remember when they staged a mass hanging in Nathan Phillips Square? That was dark enough to see on TV, let alone in person, especially among those who didn't realize they were walking past a film set.
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