Culture & Travel17 May 2023
Immerse yourself in a world of fear, excitement, and drama with The Last of Us. This series, based on the legendary video game, offers a breathtaking journey in each episode. With its unique atmosphere, deep characters, and heart-wrenching story, it stands out as one of the best post-apocalyptic productions. Explore the fascinating filming locations that bring this world to life. Enjoy the article!
Canada: The Land Where Legendary TV Series Are Filmed
Canada, with its expansive landscape spanning nearly 10 million square kilometers, has served as the backdrop for various acclaimed productions. The Last of Us, The Handmaid's Tale, Suits, Orphan Black, Hannibal, The Umbrella Academy, Riverdale, The 100, Schitt's Creek, Kim's Convenience, Shadowhunters, Vikings, and many more have all utilized Canada's diverse locations. The country's vast geography provides the ideal setting for creating post-apocalyptic atmospheres, with its ruined cityscapes and natural areas. Furthermore, Canada's favorable tax rates and filming incentives have contributed to its popularity as a filming destination. Vancouver, in particular, stands out as one of Canada's major film production hubs and has been the shooting location for numerous series such as The X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, The Flash, Arrow, and more.
The Last of Us series extensively utilized outdoor shooting locations to capture the wild and breathtaking atmosphere of its post-apocalyptic world. Besides Vancouver, British Columbia's suburbs, forests, and mountainous regions provided ideal settings for the show.
Other Canadian provinces such as Alberta and Ontario were also involved in the filming process. Cochrane, a town near Calgary in Alberta, served as a location for certain scenes. Additionally, various locations in Toronto, Ontario, including Downsview Park in the northwest, were utilized. Downsview Park effectively recreated the streets of Chernobyl, giving viewers a haunting impression reminiscent of the events that took place 37 years ago.
The historic Kingston Penitentiary in Toronto was among the filming locations for certain scenes in the series. Constructed in 1833 and even visited by renowned writer Charles Dickens, the prison's architecture resembles more of a castle than a traditional penitentiary. However, it remains uncertain if the series captures the same aesthetic ambiance of the location.
Additionally, scenes featuring the main characters Ellie and Joel's journey were filmed in the Queen Street West neighborhood. Known for its dark and moody atmosphere, this popular neighborhood in Toronto aligns well with the series' thematic elements.
Chinatown also serves as a notable setting in the series, as it is a characteristic district found in many metropolitan areas across North America, including Toronto. Scenes depicting Joel and Ellie walking through the streets of Chinatown contribute to the show's immersive atmosphere.
Another significant location in Toronto for the series is Liberty Village. Once an industrial factory district, the area's blend of ruined and demolished buildings, modern structures, and industrial ambiance perfectly aligns with the series' concept. The scenes filmed in Liberty Village portray Joel and Ellie navigating through the dilapidated buildings while armed with guns. These moments highlight their efforts to survive in a challenging world, showcasing their reliance on each other.
The Cradle of the Film Industry: California
While the majority of The Last of Us series was filmed in Canada, California, the renowned hub of the film industry, also played a role. Incentives and tax breaks facilitated a smooth filming process. California's historical significance in the film industry dates back over a century when it had a similar tax situation to Canada. Thomas Edison, the well-known inventor of the light bulb, played a part in establishing California as the heart of the industry. Some scenes of the series were shot in the San Fernando Valley, located in California's southwest, surrounded by the Transverse Mountains and renowned for its unique valleys and natural beauty. These San Fernando Valley scenes, including Joel and Ellie traveling by bike, contribute a distinct visual flavor to the series.
The Last of Us captures the atmospheric essence of Santa Clarita, a Californian film classic known for its sense of freedom and spaciousness juxtaposed with a creepy and mysterious aura. The decision to film in Santa Clarita, which has been a popular location for numerous Hollywood movies, proves to be fitting. The Newhall area in Santa Clarita aligns well with the series' concept, evoking an apocalyptic atmosphere with its sprawling hills and dilapidated buildings. Notably, Ellie's house, one of the main characters, is situated in this region.
Pasadena, located near Los Angeles, also served as a filming location for The Last of Us. It is known that certain scenes of the series were shot in a shopping center in the vicinity of Los Angeles.