Code 8: Part 1 and 2 Filming Locations Explored

Conceived by Jeff Chan, the ‘Code 8’ series of sci-fi films introduces a dystopic world where four percent of the human population has some form of superpower. Known as powers, the superpowered individuals were welcomed with awe and appreciation when they began to emerge. However, with time curiosity gave way to fear, and the powers became a marginalised community within a totalitarian state using robotic sentinels and heavily armed police to keep them in line. The narrative of the films follows Connor Reed, a poverty-stricken and well-meaning citizen with electric powers, who inevitably gets pulled into a life of crime and rebellion. He is joined by Garrett, a seasoned telekinetic criminal who warms up to Connor and assists him with underworld contacts.

Both films deftly explore themes of class inequality, marginalization, and ultimately, defiance. The stories unfold around the fictional Lincoln City, a gritty urban landscape, where the infrastructure is visibly worn down, and poverty and crime are rampant. The city is divided into distinct districts, with the wealthy and powerful living in luxurious high-rise towers, while the less fortunate reside in impoverished neighborhoods. With the movies holding up a dark mirror to parts of our own world, one may ponder which locations the ‘Code 8’ film series chose to create their dystopian cityscape.

Code 8 Part 1 and 2 Shooting Sites

Both ‘Code 8’ and ‘Code 8: Part 2’ were filmed entirely in Toronto, Ontario. Principal photography for the first film began on June 1, 2017, and was wrapped up in seven weeks by July 19, 2017. For the second film, shooting began on October 18, 2021, and was wrapped up by December 10 of the same year. Apparently having had an incredible time behind the scenes of the first film, actor Robbie Amell wrote on social media, “What a ride. The last 7 weeks have been some of the best times of my life.” He continued, “Jeff our director and the real driving force behind Code 8 put together a flawless team of people who I am so incredibly grateful for.” Let us take you through the specific filming sites chosen to capture the movies’ backdrops.

Toronto, Ontario

The provincial capital city of Toronto is the bonafide home of the ‘Code 8’ films, with the majority of shooting for both movies being carried out on location around the metropolis. The first movie’s action begins with the protagonists stealing from a restricted facility in real-world Old Town Toronto, and then driving into an auto workshop to avoid surveillance. The repair shop is actually the A1 Auto Service, and its graffitied exterior can be seen on 1083 Dundas Street West in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighborhood. Soon afterward, the team carries out a heist at the Lincon Dominion Bank, which is the real-life TD Canada Trust on 363 Queen Street East.

The film crew ventured to East Chinatown to lens the scene following Connor’s interrogation. The Welcome Food Mart visited by Connor at the beginning of the initial film is on 839 Runnymede Road. The P.J. O’Brien Irish Pub & Restaurant on 39 Colborne Street can be seen in the background as Connor shorts the car alarm. The subsequent driving scene was shot along Richmond Street East.

As the first movie nears its crescendo, the police deploy in full force against Marcus, and the exterior of his strip club is swarming with enforcers. The Waverley Hotel on 484 Spadina Avenue stands in for the exterior of the club. After the finale, Connor meets Cumbo next to the real-world Toronto Harbour, at Pier 35, with a stunning view of Lake Ontario. To shoot the jail sequence at the first movie’s end, the film crew creatively utilized the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant on 2701 Queen Street East.

The second film features an aerial shot of the Main Square at 2575 Danforth Avenue, with its four drab towers and concrete frontage giving a perfectly dystopic look to the marginalized residence of the powers. Within the square, the corrupt policeman gives an unsettling speech about avoiding fatal retaliation from police by raising one’s hands. Garrett subsequently interacts with him, and the bricked apartment complexes are visible in the background. Further landscape shots of Toronto can be seen as we follow the police drones high in the sky.

Read More: Code 8 Ending, Explained