The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian tale based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel. The fictional Republic of Gilead is a patriarchal society that exists in and around New England in the early 2000s.
Although the action is mostly set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a small suburb of Boston, the series also takes place in Chicago and Canada in later seasons. Hulu’s original television series has received 75 Emmy Award nominations and 15 wins to date. Unbeknownst to many fans, the filming didn’t always accurately reflect the setting of the story. So where is The Handmaid’s Tale filmed?
Where is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ filmed?
While most viewers think that The Handmaid’s Tale took place in the Boston suburbs, many of the exteriors of the first season actually took place in Cambridge, Ontario.
This planned community, built in 1816, sits at the confluence of two rivers. According to New Canadian Life, stone buildings, distilleries and old woolen mills are part of the area’s humble beginnings. An iconic bridge, a wall where women are hung, and a local café were used for film shoots in the small town of Cambridge.
Subsequent seasons were also filmed in Ontario, Canada, where Atwood was born. The main locations were Toronto, Hamilton and Cambridge. Smaller Canadian towns such as Brantford and Mississauga were also used. Toronto City Hall was a prominent filming location and many streets and buildings throughout the city mimicked the Boston skyline.
In season 2, there is an infamous scene where the henchmen gathered in Boston’s Fenway Park awaiting execution. According to The Sun, the producers needed a place with long grass, so they used Bernie Arbour Stadium in Hamilton, Canada to mimic Fenway Stadium. According to IMDb, filming in Toronto proved difficult. “Production for all seasons took place over the winter months when temperatures often dropped well below 0 on set.”