Durham’s Perfect Selfie Spots for Film and TV Lovers

portrait of photographer Shay Conroy Shay Conroy

Did you know that the downtowns of Durham have a lot of spots that are low-key famous? We don't just mean "local" famous; we're talking award-winning, Hollywood, rock star/movie star-level famous.

Have you ever noticed many celebrities wear a hat and sunglasses in photos, kind of like a disguise? We can’t really blame them for wanting to be low-key when grabbing a latte in their neighbourhood. Did you know that the downtowns of Durham have a lot of spots that are low-key famous? We don’t just mean “local” famous; we’re talking award-winning, Hollywood, rock star/movie star-level famous. Most locals already know that the award-winning show “Schitt’s Creek” did most of their shooting in and around Durham, but did you know we’ve been home to shoots for productions like “12 Monkeys”, “Hannibal”, “American Gods”, and more? That the likes of Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, and Meryl Streep have filmed in the streets of downtown Orono? Our downtowns are full of perfect selfie spots for film and TV lovers.

If you’re a fan, you may already know some of these spots, but we’re kind of hoping some of them are delightful surprises to you— just like they were to us.

(All photos by Shay Conroy)

13 Perfect Selfie Spots for Film and TV Lovers

Downtown Oshawa: TV Series, Ads, and Music Videos

Exterior photo of Doug Wilson menswear, Oshawa Ontario Photo by Shay Conroy
Doug Wilson Men’s Wear located at 18 Simcoe Street South was featured in the Emmy-winning “Schitt’s Creek” TV series in 2019 in Season 6, Episode 4.


Exterior photo of building at 38 Simcoe Street South in Oshawa, as featured in Schitt's Creek Photo by Shay Conroy
What once stood as a BMO Bank, this building located at 38 Simcoe Street South was also featured in “Schitt’s Creek” back in 2019.


Exterior photo of Rainbow Family Restaurant, downtown Oshawa. Photo by Shay Conroy
Rainbow Family Restaurant located at 82 Simcoe Street North has been featured in music videos, including Matthew Good’s 2015 “All You Sons and Daughters” and National Hum’s “Dragging Me Under,” and TV commercials, including a 2017 Expedia production. A fantastic spot for breakfast in a location that FEELS like it’s from a movie!

Downtown Uxbridge: TV Series Galore!

Exterior photo of York Durham railway passenger car. Photo by Shay Conroy
Find Uxbridge’s York-Durham Heritage Railway train station featured in an array of productions from “Private Eyes,” “Willa,” “Taken” Season 2, “Baroness von Sketch Show” and “Life.” Located at 19 Railway Street and just moments from the downtown core, you can see locomotives, coaches, box cars and more.

Downtown Port Perry: TV Series and Movies

Exterior photo of Piano Café and Inn, Port Perry. Photo by Shay Conroy
The Piano Inn and Café located at 217 Queen Street in Port Perry has had lots of filming action recently, including the “Jack Reacher” TV series. It’s also a perfect lunch or dessert spot with that small-town feeling.


Southeast-facing photo of Queen St, downtown Port Perry. Photo by Shay Conroy
Port Perry is best known locally as the setting for the fictional town of Mooseport in the 2004 film “Welcome to Mooseport,” starring Gene Hackman and Ray Romano. Queen Street in downtown Port Perry has been featured on the big screen in various Christmas Hallmark movies, including “Mistletoe Magic” (2019), “The Christmas Chalet” (2019) and “A Christmas in Vermont” (2016), so don’t be confused if you visit in the summer and see storefront sets decorated with Christmas decor and “snow.” As romantic as the downtown of Port Perry can be, it’s also been featured in the thriller “Killshot” (2008).


Photo of American Gods set, Port Perry, ON. Photo by Shay Conroy
At the bottom of Queen and Water Street in Port Perry, you can find the “American Gods” TV series’ set currently still dressed for filming.

Ajax – Pickering, Pickering Village: TV Series

Exterior photo of Marathon Gas, Ajax. Photo by Shay Conroy
Ajax’s Marathon Gas Station located at 550 Kingston Road West, Ajax has quite a history, dating back to 1986. It was recently featured in Netflix’s “Ginny & Georgia” (2021) Episode 2. Outside, you’ll find a gas station that takes you back in time with an old-school aesthetic…


Interior photo of Marathon Gas, Ajax. Photo by Shay Conroy
Inside Marathon Gas, you can find their historic photographs and unique, vintage gas artifacts.


Exterior photo of Moodies Motor Inn, Ajax, ON Photo by Shay Conroy
Located at 778 Kingston Road West, you can stay at Moodie’s Motor Inn where “Ginny & Georgia” (2021), “Jack Reacher” (TBD), “Hannibal” (2013) and many more large movie and TV series have been filmed.


Exterior photo of Moodie's Motor Inn, Ajax ON Photo by Shay Conroy
Outside the rooms at Moodie’s Motor Inn, Ajax.

Downtown Orono: TV Series and Movies

Exterior photo of Soper Creek Yarn, Orono Photo by Shay Conroy
At the corner of Park and Main Street, you’ll find where scenes from “Polar” (2019) with Mads Mikkelsen and Vanessa Hudgens was filmed, amongst Orono Town Hall and the former bank building, now operating as Soper Creek Yarn.


Exterior photo of Orono Town Hall Photo by Shay Conroy
Orono Town Hall located at 5315 Main Street has been featured in an array of productions from “Anne with an E” (2018) to “American Gods” (2017), “First Do No Harm,” “12 Monkeys,” “Wind at My Back” and more.


North-facing view of Main Street, Orono. Photo by Shay Conroy
Main Street was transformed into a 1963 America for the mini series, “11.22.63” (2016) and was also featured in “…First Do No Harm” (1997) starring Meryl Streep.


Exterior photo of Orono Antique Market by Shay Conroy
Orono Antique Market is located at 6 Park Street and its exterior is featured in a few of the many productions filmed here, including “Polar” (2019).  Inside, you might just find past set-dressed signage alongside many cool antiques and pieces of local history.


NOTE: At the time of publishing, Durham Region and the Province of Ontario are in Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen; the Province’s three-step plan to safely and gradually lift public health measures, based on ongoing progress of provincewide vaccination rates and improvements of key public health and health care indicators. Residents are encouraged to follow health guidance when safely exploring their local communities, wash hands frequently, wear a mask and physically distance from others.