IT movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was IT filmed?

2017

About IT

As one of the bestselling horror books of all time, Stephen King’s IT has a special place in the hearts of many of us. Centered around a young group of friends who experience some supernatural goings-on in their hometown of Derry, Maine, it’s a classic coming of age story with a twist.

The group, who refer to themselves as ​​The Losers' Club, are seven children who all get terrorized by a creepy clown that rises up from the sewers to torture them. To survive, they’ll have to work together and face their own fears and individual problems along the way.

Surprisingly, this is the first feature length film adaptation of arguably Stephen King’s most famous and beloved book. It was previously adapted into a mini-series, but this film has been in the works since 2009, only to be released in 2017, with a sequel following quickly behind it, thanks to the film’s huge success.

Pennywise the Clown, otherwise known as IT, is one of the most recognizable movie villains of all time, first being played by Tim Curry and now by Bill Skarsgard. You’ll probably all remember Halloween after this film came out – clowns absolutely everywhere, it was terrifying.

City Locations

Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

Location Types

American, Retro, NatureScapes

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, School

IT Locations

As Stephen King has a lot of roots in the state of Maine, the majority of his books are set there albeit in fictional towns. For IT, the setting is the fictional town of Derry, Maine which is supposed to be relatively close to Bangor, Maine, which obviously actually exists.

However, as is often the case with Hollywood blockbusters, none of this film was actually shot in Maine. Really, none of it was even shot in the US. The IT production team headed over the northern border to find the small town filming locations that brought IT to life.

Predominantly shooting in Ontario, the IT filming locations revolved around the town of Pickering and Port Hope, both of which are popular filming locations for shows with US small-town feels.

For the more grand or large-scale sets and locations, the cast and crew of IT headed to Toronto for filming, so pretty much everything you see as Maine in the film, is actually Ontario, Canada!

The group confronts Pennywise scene in IT

Cranfield House

After much searching and figuring out, and a lot of growth by the main characters, The Losers’ Club finally meet and confront Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard). Of course, it took walking through a sewer and breaking into a super creepy abandoned house to do it, but honestly, with the creep levels of this film, it completely tracks.

The group is obviously nervous and Pennywise is just crouched across the room staring in that unhinged way he does, and Richie (Finn Wolfhard) has had enough. He wants to know what Pennywise wants and why he’s put them through all of this.

He starts to list off all the things he’s had to do for him, culminating in the line: “You brought me to a f––ing crackhead house”. The frustration is real and we don’t blame you, Richie.

The interior scenes of the abandoned house were all filmed in Cranfield House, in the Blake-Jones area of Toronto. It’s formally a historical landmark and used to have horror tours after the movie came out, but apparently, it’s now a women’s shelter.

As it’s now a shelter, you can’t really visit it, but if you want to walk or drive by and have a look, without disturbing the people who live there, you still can.

If you don’t want to drive out there, the 506 tram stops around the corner, so you can just hop on that and take a quick look around the area.

The storm drain scene in IT

Springmount Ave and William St.

Okay, so if you’ve never seen IT before, you’ll still know this scene because it’s certified iconic. In the opening scenes, after floating paper boats down the road in a storm, one of the boats ends up going down a storm drain.

It’s little Georgie’s (Jackson Robert Scott) boat, so he follows it down to try and get it back. When he gets to the storm drain, he can see that there’s someone there, in the drain. Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard).

He utters the phrase that starts the whole story off: “Here take it”. Oh, if only Georgie hadn’t tried to get his boat back.

The now iconic storm drain is located at the crossroads of Springmount Ave and William St. in the Weston area of Toronto, bringing those suburban vibes to life. Obviously, people live there so if you want to visit, please be respectful.

You can drive out there if you want, but the Weston train station is only a couple of roads away, so you can just hop on and enjoy one of the most famous storm drains in the entire world.

Balloon scene in IT

Memorial Park

Another absolutely iconic scene from the film is the balloon scene. Here we see Pennywise in pursuit of Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), across a park where he stands still with a red balloon in front of his face, and slowly reveals himself.

This is a callback to when he took Georgie and spoke about how much he liked balloons, and even though we know it’s Pennywise, the slow reveal is one of the tensest moments of the entire film.

The shot is so iconic that it was one of the first snippets to promote the film.

Pennywise says to Eddie “It’s time to float. We all float down there”. He’s of course referring to the sewers where he takes and kills his victims. Creepy.

This scene and quite a few other scenes are shot in Memorial Park, Port Hope, Ontario. They even erected a Paul Bunyan statue in the square, especially for the film. It has since reappeared for the filming of the sequel.

It’s also home to the bridge where the other balloon scene in the film takes place, and with Port Hope largely standing in for Derry, there are a lot of IT filming locations in this town.

You can drive here, or there is the Port Hope train station that’s a few blocks away.

Last day of school scene in IT

Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster

Oh to be young again. In this scene, we see the Losers’ Club excited for the start of another fun summer in Derry, free from their High School bullies' daily torment. Little do they know, another tormenting bully is on the horizon.

Throwing their school books into the bin outside the school, Stanley (Wyatt Olef) says: “Best feeling ever”, to which Richie replies “Try tickling your pickle for the first time”. Teenage years really bring out the best and worst in people, don’t they?

The exterior shots of Derry High School, where this scene happens and the group are bullied by the Bowers gang are actually shot at the Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, in Hamilton.

Listed as a spiritual retreat center, you can go and stay at Mount Mary Retreat Centre, but you can’t really visit unless you know someone there or are intending to stay there yourself. However, there is a waterfall trail next to it where you might be able to get some views of the building.

It’s best to drive here, and there is a lot of parking thanks to the hiking trails and numerous nature parks. It’s between Ancaster and Ancaster Heights, so there’s plenty to explore if you’re a big fan of nature and relaxation.

Figuring out Pennywise scene in IT

Walton Street and Queen Street

Most of the film surrounds Pennywise trying to pick the kids off one by one. Whether that’s using psychological methods or physically chasing them through the streets of Derry, that’s his general modus operandi.

So, it gets to a point where half the gang has seen him or experienced his torment and the other half hasn’t. In the Pennywise-free column, we find our favorite outspoken Losers’ Club member, Richie.

While they’re walking and riding around town, he stops and says: “Wait, can only virgins see this stuff? Is that why I'm not seeing this s––?”. Classic Richie.

The main streets that are used as IT filming locations in Port Hope are Walton and Queen streets. So much so, that many of the businesses altered their signs during production to make the town have a more 1980s look and feel. It saved them from having to entirely close down during production.

Walton Street and Queen Street are both major thoroughfares in Port Hope and are filled with cool, independent eateries, bars and cafes. So, you can check out a few IT filming locations and kick back and watch the fictional town of Derry unfold before your eyes.

Port Hope is pretty small and walkable which is great if you’re staying there, but if you’re doing a day trip, you can either drive or take the train.

The fight at the river scene in IT

Rouge National Urban Park

The conflict between the Losers’ Club and the Bowers Gang is a running theme throughout the movie. The fact that both of them have bigger problems in a Pennywise sort of way is besides the point.

As the Losers’ Club members start to learn more about themselves, preparing to face Pennywise, they realize that they don’t have to take the torment and bullying from the Bowers Gang anymore.

Down at the river, this comes to a head when both groups are there on opposite sides of the water. The result? A rock war which somehow the Losers’ Club ends up winning. It’s a triumph all around.

Victorious, Richie tells Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton), the leader: “Go blow your dad, you mullet wearing a––hole!” Beautiful poetry in motion right here.

This scene was filmed in Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto, home of the Toronto Zoo and a whole host of amazing trails, beaches and canoe routes. As it’s in the heart of Toronto it’s pretty easy to get to and it’s a great way to spend a day.

There’s plenty of parking here, but there’s also a designated bus stop for the park that the 917 bus route goes to, so if you’re wanting to do your bit for the environment, that’s the way to go.

Conclusion

Just as IT was a beloved, bestselling book, the movie adaptation has been a huge hit with audiences of all ages. The sequel, which has cast the Losers’ Club as adults, has also been a great success, showing just how good Stephen King’s source material was.

As far as creepy, supernatural horrors go, this is a super entertaining film that’s good to watch even if horror isn’t really your thing. At the heart of it, IT is a coming of age story and shows how different events shape us and force us to grow. The cast, crew and production team behind IT do a great job of creating a nostalgic, small town feel that’s familiar to a lot of us.

That being said, if you’ve got a phobia of clowns, the circus, storm drains or balloons, it’s probably best that you don’t watch this film in a hurry. Bill Skarsgard is scarily good at being a super creepy clown that wants to lure children to their death. You have been warned!