Season 2 Episode 9 - “Dog Days”

Prince Edward Viaduct - Stephanie deals with suicidal thoughts.

More popularly know as the Bloor Viaduct, the Prince Eddy has been the site of numerous suicides throughout its life since it was opened in 1918, second only to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  So Stephanie’s flirtation with jumping off of it is based in a realistic possibility for any depressed Toronto pre-teen in the 1980’s.  In the early 2000’s a suicide prevention fencing was added to the structure, making it very difficult to get past the railing, or to take decent photos for comparative purposes to an 80’s teen drama.
In the dream sequence at the beginning of the episode Steph is seen looking over the edge from below the bridge, based on the following sequence this is the south side of the viaduct, east of the Don River.  After the cut it is clear that she is walking east across the bridge based on the foliage in the background as there is little to be found on the east side.  She stops, looks over and drops a stick into the Don River south of the bridge and wakes to her alarm.  Later in the episode she approaches from the north on the bike path that runs alongside Bayview Avenue, this is made obvious by the fence to the left of the path, which isn’t found on the Lower Don Trail headed north.
As a Torontonian this isn’t a difficult location to map, just difficult to re shoot.  With the suicide fence interference and trying to match up the angles on the shots below the bridge this isn’t my best set of photos.  I don’t feel great about posting sub-par images, but I’ll get over it, suicide isn’t for me.
If you’re planning to visit: I hope you’re going for your interest for the show.  If you’re thinking the same way Stephanie was please reach out and talk to someone, your parents, a teacher, friends, hell reach out to me if you want, just talk to someone.

Season 2 Episode 8 - “Sealed With A Kiss”

Harry O’s - Wheels and Joey are met by Snake while enjoying some after school fries.

This is one of those locations that just gets handed to you when you pay way too close attention to a show like I do.  With the 1186 on the door in the second image and the streetcar that rolls past during the sequence, 1186 Queen Street East was pretty easy to track down.  When I rode over, new owner Peter Xenou (last photo) confirmed for me that before this was the Leslieville Diner, it was in fact Harry O’s.

With the location confirmed all that’s left to scrutinize is the changes that have taken place over the last 25 years, which aren’t very many.  The windows have been replaced, but are essentially the same, also the doorway is now enclosed to keep the room temperate, also the section at the front of the restaurant has been raised.  This is all fairly minimal when you consider two things: It’s still a restaurant, and the table that the Zit Remedy are sitting at is still in the same place.  Sure it’s all new furniture, but that’s meaningless when you can reenact this bizarre subplot about Snake taking classical guitar lessons, putting the future of the Zit Remedy in jeopardy.  Ok, maybe most of you aren’t willing to go that far, but it’s still cool.

If you’re going to visit: Peter recommends the Eggs Europe, but will make you some fries if you’re in for the authentic Degrassi Junior High  experience.

Season 2 Episode 8 - “Sealed With a Kiss”

Cherry Beach - Aaron takes Heather for a drive in his dad’s car.

This is a location gives itself away on one detail.  When Aaron parks the car, in the background is the Cherry Beach lifeguard station, the only one of its type that I’ve ever seen.  So notable a building that it is the only image that appears on the Wikipedia article on the beach.

After dropping in on the beach via Google maps the larger building that appears in the first image, is still intact (it houses the public restrooms) and a remarkable amount of the treeline is still the same as it was during shooting.  What has changed is the parking situation, which has been modified to be a little more orderly and properly paved, but really the location is the same as it was when Aaron tried to taste Heather’s tonsils.  

For the truly dedicated to recreate this sub-romantic encounter, the question of where the car is parked is of high importance, so let’s give it a little thought.  From the beginning of the scene the car drives essentially straight forward, which is from east to west.  On the way they pass the restrooms and come to a stop with the lifeguard station in view over Aaron’s shoulder.  I’m placing them just alongside the off-leash dog park that has been put in (the second one I’ve run into in my adventures), just outside of the current parking lot.  I wouldn’t try to park your car there, but a tandem bike should suit your needs just fine.

If you’re going to visit: Bring a spare, Cherry Street is a nightmare for cycling on, I broke a spoke on my way here.  Also, bring mints, in case your date goes well.      

Season 2 Episode 8 - ‘Sealed with a Kiss’

Heather and Erica’s House - Aaron arrives to pick up Erica, goes out with Heather instead.

This location, along with Rick’s Apartment in Season 1, were the reasons I began mapping the DJH series.  I knew where both were because I lived relatively close to them at one time, from here it became a heavily dotted Google map, filled with notes.

The Farrell sisters lived on Pape Avenue in Toronto, and while some of the surroundings are in the midst of change, number 91 is still standing and aside from minor details is the same as it was in 1987, which is probably why I took so many photos.

Aaron approaches in his Dad’s car from Queen St, as he makes the turn we can see indications of a gas station on the corner, and make out a few background buildings.  The gas station only exists as a service station today, but it is still there.  As the car parks we get a good look at some neighboring houses, which haven’t changed much, and Aaron makes his way to the front door.  At the door we can see a few changes, a banister, a new door, but unlike some adventures on this blog, we’re looking at pretty much the same place.  The most significant change is in the lot north of 91 Pape, which is in the midst of condo development, but we can still make out the distinct windows of the Scotiabank that occupies the Northwest corner of Pape and Queen (top left in the 5th image).  When Heather and Aaran leave we get a couple more views of the neighboring buildings, and a shot of Erica in the bedroom window, horrified that her boyfriend has been stolen by her own sister.

In the greater scope of this project the twins’ house is a great location in its preservation, sometimes riding out to a place only to find it completely modified or demolished can be a little disheartening.  Having locations like this one still standing makes continuing with my efforts seem a little more worthwhile.

If you’re going to visit: Don’t believe what the kids are saying, you are as rash and spontaneous as you need to be, but don’t get too carried away, this is someone’s home, so please be respectful.

Season 2 Episode 7 - "Bottled Up"

Broadview Avenue - Rick walks Kathleen home after ‘Quest for the Best’.

The only reason I was able to recognize this location is because I used to walk it everyday.  In the first still there is a void of darkness to the right, during the video, there are slight flickers of light in the lower half of the image.  It was apparent to me that the light was being cast by cars, moving rather quickly, the only place that matches this the top of Riverdale Park East between Gerrard and Danforth.  Looking south you can see the Don Valley Parkway, and at night the basin shape of the park would be a void of darkness.  It helps that in another part of the sequence you can see a few tall well lit buildings in the background, which would be the view of downtown.  The out of focus nature of the image, and the vast amount of change to downtown led me to leave the image out.  The fire hydrant in the second image is the only one on the west side of the street,  which made it a lot easier to narrow down the location.  There has been some improvements to the infrastructure at the site, seen in the grating on the sidewalk, and the newer hydrant, but ultimately it’s still the same spot.

This is a fairly insignificant location as far as the scope of the show goes, but it really speaks to the nature of this project as a detail oriented, high scrutiny game of hide and seek.  Sure I could skip it, but where’s the fun in that?

If you’re going to visit: bring a toboggan if it’s winter, a blanket to lay on if it’s summer, that’s how the locals do it.  

Season 2 Episode 7 - “Bottled Up”

ITV Studios - After ‘Quest for the Best’ Rick offers to walk Kathleen home.

The ITV Studio location is another great example of searching for something with almost no visual information.  I sometimes impress myself with what I’m able to glean from a few frames and actually locate.

In the sequence all that is really visible is a few nondescript buildings and an unpaved lot.  This isn’t very much to go on, even for me and I’m certifiably crazy about details.  I must have rewatched this scene 10 times before I noticed the letter C on a secondary building right before the cut.  At that moment I realized that I still had almost nothing.  Walking away from this search was the best choice, after a few weeks of searching for other locations I came back to this with a clear head.  There are very few instances where buildings are identified by letter, unless they are part of the same company, with the size of these buildings I started to wonder if the ITV Studio was an actual TV Studio, after that, everything fell into place.

Located at 65 Heward Avenue in Toronto, ITV studios is a part of the Studio District along Eastern Avenue.  The building the kids are seen exiting is buliding B, accessible at the southern end of Heward Ave.  The building has been painted, and there’s been an addition of an awning, but the placement of the windows, the fire bell and the fact that the buildings are still identified by letter solidify this as the location of ITV.  Interestingly, the location is still a studio, leased through The Rose and Thistle Group. I feel that it is safe to speculate that “Quest for the Best” was likely filmed on the interior.

If you’re going to visit: Don’t forget your sweater, it’s getting cold out and Rick probably wont be there to walk you home.

Season 2 Episode 7 - “Bottled Up”

Pizza Place - In an effort to up their social standing, Scooter and Max attempt to buy cigarettes from a vending machine.

Sometimes you get handed a pretty clear shot of where things are when you’re working on a mapping project, this pizza place is one of those instances.  The 8001 (1008 for those of us on the other side) on the glass door in the background of the first shot makes this location easy to find, followed up by the getaway scene after Scooter and Max are caught shaking the vending machine providing a fairly clear shot of the front facade of Shoppers Drug Mart in the distance.  You may remember the Shoppers as the location where Spike bought a pregnancy test, and where Joey bought condoms for his date with Liz.

Occupying 1008 Queen Street East now is a restaurant called The Upper Crust, and while they don’t have a vending machine that dispenses cigarettes they do have pizza, although I’m told the eggplant parmigiana is the best bet on the menu.  Either way, it’s still a restaurant, and that’s a win from my standpoint.

Outside there are few changes.  A paint job, and the addition of a small patio, but essentially the building looks the same as it did during filming, as does most of the street.

If you’re going to visit: Bring your own cigarettes.  Actually don’t, smoking isn’t all that cool.

Season 2 Episode 6 - “Fight!”

Schuyler Park - Joey and Dwayne meet after school to settle their differences with fists.

There are several theories about where Schuyler Park (named for Degrassi co-creator Linda Schuyler) actually is.  The most popular of these is Christie Pits on Bloor West.  The pits has an enclosed court, and is a basin which makes it a great candidate, but in a side by side comparison it just doesn’t line up.  The park in which the second greatest fight in Degrassi history took place is actually nestled in the centre of Riverdale, its actual name is Withrow Park. 

The fight takes place in the southwest basin of the park, below the playing field, and south of the rink.  Joey makes his grand entrance from the east, at the top of the hill where the playing field sits.

There have been a few changes to the location since the fight, most notable is the off-leash dog area, which is fenced off and layered with wood chips.  South of this is a gravel baseball diamond, which I believe is relatively new as it can’t be spotted in the sequence, and is much too close to where the fight takes place to be easily omitted.  What has remained, and what really secures this location as correct is the outdoor rink.  With its slight elevation and proximity to the hill, it is the most recognizable feature in the sequence.

The fight itself took place somewhere between the dog park and the baseball diamond, close to the bottom of the hill. 

If you’re going to visit: Don’t chicken out, Dwayne probably wont be waiting for you.  Better bring your two best friends to break it up just in case though.

Season 2 Episode 4 - “Dinner and a Show”

Fox Theatre - Snake and Melanie go on their first date.

The exterior of this location only makes for a few seconds of footage in this episode, but there is enough information to glean exactly where it is if you’ve seen a movie in Toronto’s east end.

While a great many of the smaller cinemas in Toronto have been shuttered, demolished, or re-purposed, the Fox Theatre has managed to hold on, and that’s how I was able to begin my search.  That search was proven in the first few minutes of looking at Google maps;  To spot that ticket booth, narrow entryway and telltale east sloping road is to know beyond doubt.

Located at 2236 Queen Street East, the exterior has undergone some modifying, with a newish sign and modern doors, and I believe the sidewalk has been widened since 1987.  This is really not much of an issue to those who are in it for the Degrassi experience, because the important fact here is that you can still take a date to see a monster movie here, it may not be ‘Revenge of the Reptiles’, but it still counts.

For extra credit: this is the same theatre where Joey and Caitlin see “Teen Academy IV” in Season 3.

If you’re going to visit: Keep an eye out for fedora wearing saboteurs that aim to ruin your date.

Season 2 Episode 4 - “Dinner and a Show”

Bridgeport Restaurant - Spike and Shane’s parents finally meet.

This location would have been left out of this project entirely had it not been for the inclusion of a close-up shot of the menu during the sequence.  Without being told that this was the Bridgeport Restaurant, then there would only be interiors to go from, and that isn’t enough.  Interior only shooting is the reason I can’t share Melanie’s house, or Shane’s house.  In this case however, we have a little bit of advertising so we get to see what 25 years has left us with.

As luck would have it, the Bridgeport is still a restaurant (good news for the purist tourists who want all they can get out of a location).  There has been a change of ownership, menu, and name, but after a quarter century I’d say we’re doing pretty good.
Located at 3473 Lakeshore Blvd West, the restaurant is now called Kalamata and as it would turn out owned by the very friendly Pat Zisis who allowed me to take photos inside (seriously, thank you Pat!).  As you can see the interior has been redone, but spatially we’re essentially looking at the same place.  The entryway is still about the same and, while I’m trying to estimate in the second photo, I’m pretty sure that you can be seated in the same spot where this awkward took place.

If you’re going to visit: Make sure you get separate cheques, and a Bailey’s on ice.  Spike’s mom will settle for no less.