Season 2 Episode 3 - “Great Expectations”
Liz’s House - Joey heads to Liz’s house after school with big plans.
The O’Rourke house is one of my favorite finds in this project, not for its importance to story, but because its the first location that I searched for that required a lot of intense scrutiny and found.
When you glance at the show, there aren’t a lot of stand out details that give it away. It’s a quiet street, and it’s one way, but at first glance, there isn’t really much to go on, there isn’t even a visible number on the house. There are an enormous number of quiet one way streets in Toronto, so many that I didn’t think this was going to happen, but after watching the clip a dozen times something really jumped out at me that is an anomaly for Toronto: a boulevard lawn. That’s right, a thin strip of grass between the road and the sidewalk is a rare sight in Toronto and what lit a fire under this search.
The first thing to do would be to slow scroll satellite view until I found one, which is easy to say, but requires a lot of patience. The next step is to look at the background, and that second floor bay window across the street in the first frame is a perfect marker. So after a few weeks of searching, I found it (in case you hadn’t guessed already), and surprisingly not a lot has changed in the surrounding buildings (That bay window is still there, hidden by a tree in my photo).
Located at 71 Alton Avenue in Toronto’s east end, Liz’s house is still standing. There’s been a paint job, some numbers added and the front lawn has been converted to a garden, but other than that, it’s the same place it was in 1987. For bonus points the neighbor to the north still has the iron fence around their yard (4th photo) and it’s still open.
If you’re going to visit: Bring your homework and some condoms, but don’t expect it to mean you’re getting any. As always, respect other people’s property.