Filming Locations: Where was The Shape of Water filmed?

Posted by Ra Moon

The new movie of Guillermo del Toro is a visually powerful film, featuring some interesting filming locations.

This is a love story between a mute woman working in a hidden high-security government laboratory, and a sea creature that was found in the rivers of South America.

The Shape of Water Locations

The Shape of Water was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton in Ontario (Canada). However, the movie is set in Baltimore (Maryland) during the years of the Cold War, around 1963.

The cast is led by Sally Hawkins as Elisa and Octavia Spencer as Zelda, the facilities cleaning women. Doug Jones gets -literally- into the skin of the other-worldly amphibian. Michael Shannon is the temperamental Colonel Richard, and Richard Jenkins plays Elisa's friend, Giles.

The Shape of Water film location
The exteriors of the research facility were filmed at the John Andrews Building in the Scarborough campus of the University of Toronto.

A large part of the film, including the Occam Aerospace Research Center and Elisa's apartment, was shot at Cinespace Studios.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight and Sean Marshall - Map

Movie Theatre
The waterman goes to the cinema in the beautiful Elgin Theatre in Toronto, where the film premiered during the Toronto International Film Festival.

This is the same location where the Umbrella Academy was filmed in season one.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight and Anton Bielousov - Map

The shoot in Toronto
The exteriors of the Orpheum theatre were filmed at Massey Hall, also in Toronto.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight and Secondary Waltz - Map

The city where the movie is set
A diner scene was set in The Lakeview Restaurant. The Dundas and Ossington streets in Toronto around this historic eatery were filled with vintage cars for the shoot.

This is one of the locations where the Reacher series was filmed.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight and Google Maps

The house in Hamilton
The Shape of Water crew shot Dr. Hoffstetler's apartment outside a building at 181 MacNab Street South in Hamilton.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight and Google Maps

Modern offices headquarters
According to local newspaper filming also took place in Hamilton City Hall, which served as Giles' former company building (pictured), and the old Delta Bingo at 46 King Street E.
Image by Saforrest - Map

La Forme de l'eau Lieux de tournage
The meeting place of the Russians is the Lakeshore Sand Company in Hamilton.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight - Map

Das Fl├╝stern des Wassers drehort
The scenes at the docks were filmed in the Don River area around the Keating Channel, Lake Shore Boulevard E, and Villiers Street in Toronto.

This is also one of the locations where The Boys was filmed.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight - Map

For further information to go behind the scenes, we recommend you the book Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water: Creating a Fairy Tale for Troubled Times featuring amazing concept art and design work created for the film.

Also, it's available the atmospheric soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat, and the novel of the movie, co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus.

Can you help to improve this article about the shooting locations of The Shape of Water? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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  1. Any information on the scenes at the docks??

    I'm traveling to Toronto in a week and I'm gonna hit all these places... what an incredible movie...

    1. The dock scene was definitely near the Gardiner Express Way, possibly near Cherry Street.

    2. 62 Villiers St... found it. :) But you need permission from the Toronto Port Authority...

    3. Awesome, thanks a lot for your help. Updated!

    4. I absolutely loved it, wow what a screenplay. I write screenplays and I was blown away.

    5. The diner scenes are filmed st The Lakeview Diner, 1132 Dundas St. West, Toronto

  2. In the background of one of the scenes you can see the old ferries from the Toronto Island Airport.

  3. Just FYI: Delta Bingo is in the process of being demolished, in Hamilton, to make way for Condos.

    1. It's now entirely demolished.

  4. I believe the Russian pick-up and extraction scenes were shot on location at a company called Lakeshore Sand in Hamilton

    1. Thanks a lot Andrew, we can confirm this thanks to Google Maps!

  5. The diner Jiles goes to is Lakeview diner in Toronto on Dundas St.

  6. Hamilton City Hall also featured in interior scenes, notably the striking mosaic tiles.

  7. One episode was partially filmed @ 62 billers
    The tug boat scene was a beautiful hand crafted replica of the stern of the tug boat “ Brutus “
    The office since was filmed in the offices of the Toronto Port Authority @ 62 Villiers


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