Locke and Key Locations
The majority of the filming locations of Locke and Key are in Toronto, Ontario, with the fictional town of Matheson being Lunenberg in Nova Scotia. While the series is set in Massachusetts, the filming is mainly in Canada in Toronto, Etobicoke, North Hamilton, Kingston, Rockton, and parts of Nova Scotia. The Key House is a beautifully constructed set filmed at the Cinespace Film Studios in Toronto.
Fans may recognize many notable Locke and Key filming locations like Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Maple Leaf Tavern, and Humber College Lakeshore Campus. They may also notice Nova Scotia with some gorgeous scenes shot at the Ovens Natural Park, Feltzen South, used for the stairs leading to the caves.
Considering the gorgeous winters Canada sees, the town of Matheson, the school, and other locations are perfectly picked out according to how they are described in the comics. The Locke and Key production team did a fabulous job scouting these locations and bringing them to life onscreen.
Reader discretion is advised if you haven't watched the series yet, since most of the scene descriptions ahead contain some major spoilers!
Toronto is also famous for the filming of other TV series like Suits, Schitt's Creek, and Black Mirror. With an excellent public transport system and bus and metro connectivity, Toronto is one of the best places to visit to see your favorite shooting locations.
The gorgeous Key House shown in the best scenes in Locke and Key is not a real house, but one built entirely from the specifications of Joe Hill's comics. Netflix took the designs and fabricated the entire house, down to each minute detail. Even the exterior shots of the house are sets.
Kinsey Locke meeting Scot Cavendish scene in Locke and Key
Sweet Treasures Confectionery, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Let’s start in season 1. As the Locke family rolls into Matheson, they stop off for ice cream in the city before they head to Key House, their ancestral home. While crossing the road, Bode Locke sees Rufus Whedon (Coby Bird) with an action hero and shows him the same one in his hand.
As they walk into the ice cream parlor, Kinsey Locke smiles and says, "Must've just missed the rush." Scot Cavendish (portrayed by Petrice Jones), who works there, says, "Only pregnant women and masochists crave ice cream in this weather."
He compliments Kinsey on her pretty gold bracelet, and they share a moment. When Nina Locke offers her card to pay for the ice cream, Scot sees the Locke name on the card and offers them the ice cream on the house as a newcomer's discount.
Kinsey gets upset by this and says, "We don't need charity." Scot replies, "It's hospitality. Welcome to Matheson." He looks at her, smiles, and watches the new girl in town as she leaves the ice cream parlor.
This scene occurs at the Sweet Treasures Confectionery, an ice cream parlor in central Montague Street in Lunenburg in Nova Scotia. They serve tasty ice cream in homemade waffle cones! You will have to drive via Dufferin St to Linden Ave and continue onto Montague Avenue to get here.
Gabe and Eden with the dead server at the theater scene in Locke and Key
Playhouse Cinema, 177 Sherman Ave., North Hamilton, Ontario
In this scene from season 2, once the photo sessions with the cast and crew get done, everyone heads inside for the screening of The Splattering. Kinsey Locke, her family, friends, Scot (who directed the movie), and people from high school are all inside. She is sitting with Gabe (Griffin Gluck), who plays the lead with her in the movie and is demonically possessed.
In the middle of the screening, Eden Hawkins (Hallea Jones), possessed by another demonic entity, leaves the theater to get snacks. While the server flirts with her, she kisses him and bites him, eventually killing him. As Gabe comes out to search for her, Eden is sitting next to the dead, bleeding server and offers her bloody popcorn to Gabe, saying, "Want some? Honestly, the service s*ks here." Gabe gets angry and orders her to get up and screams, "The movie's almost over! We need to clean up and get rid of him! Now! Now, Eden, get up!"
This gory scene was shot at the iconic Playhouse Cinema at North Hamilton. To get here from Toronto, catch the number 16 bus from Union Station Bus Terminal to Main St West (Hamilton City Hall), walk down to John at Jackson, and take the number 2 bus to Barton at Sherman. Playhouse Cinema is a one-minute walk away from the bus stop.
Eden and Gabe try to control Scot using music box key scene in Locke and Key
Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
Also in season 2, Eden Hawkins (portrayed by Hallea Jones) gets the Music Box Key by stealing it from Kinsey's room at Key House. Gabe gives her the 'Anywhere Key' to get in and out of Key House undetected. She then follows Gabe's instructions.
At school, Gabe tries to rile Scot up by intentionally mentioning that when Scot leaves for his film program in Rochester, England, he will leave the rest of them hanging. Kinsey suggests it would be good to consider looking at other directors who can take over the projects for the future. When Gabe says, "You're being a little selfish." Scot suddenly gets up and stomps towards Gabe as though he will hit Gabe. When asked what he's doing, Scot is confused and doesn't know why he's doing anything.
In the background, Eden uses the Music Box Key and suggests, "Scot, walk at Gabe aggressively. Scot, punch Gabe," and so on, while Scot constantly says, "I'm not doing anything! I didn't do that. That wasn't me!"
Gorgeous Wycliffe College in downtown Toronto is the location used for the interior scenes of Matheson Academy. If you're in Toronto, it is easy to get here. Catch a train or yellow line bus number 1 to Museum Station and walk about 5 minutes to the college.
Eden and Gabe trying to make a demonic key scene in Locke and Key
Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton, Ontario
In this scene, Eden Hawkins and Gabe try to make a key from a piece of Whispering Iron that Gabe stole from their professor. This piece of Whispering Iron is their last bit, so Gabe is extremely stressed about making the key. He grabs Eden's hand and cuts her palm, ensuring her blood spills into the molten iron. The liquid metal starts sizzling within its mold. While it's bubbling, Gabe and Eden can hear demonic whisperings, and suddenly, the entire thing explodes, causing the destruction of the small cabin where they are hiding out.
Gabe gets to his feet, walks towards the blast site, and screams in a demonic voice, "That old man… lied to me!!" He growls, and his face transforms partially into a demon with elongated ears, sharp, pointy teeth, and marks on his cheeks.
This disastrous scene is one of the few Locke and Key action scenes shot at the Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton, Ontario. It is a gorgeous open-air museum featuring costumed interpreters to guide visitors through the 30+ historical buildings. You can also learn how maple sap is extracted to make syrup. To get here from Toronto, drive past Etobicoke and Oakville via ON-403 W to ON-6 N at Hamilton, merge onto Hwy 8 W, and turn right onto Kirkwall Rd.
Tyler Locke takes Jackie Veda out on her birthday scene in Locke and Key
Springer Market Square, Kingston, Ontario
When Jackie Veda (portrayed by Genevieve Kang) is nearing her 18th birthday, Tyler Locke realizes that she will soon lose all her memories of ever having seen the keys. He starts the day by setting up beautiful streamers with 'Happy Birthday Jackie' above her locker. Tyler tells her, "I promised you something epic, and now I can deliver," while holding up a book titled 'Sensibly Jane – The Life and Letters of Jane Austen.'
When she thinks the book is her birthday present, Tyler smiles sheepishly, shows her the 'Anywhere Key,' and tells her to close her eyes and picture the door at the back of the book cover. He twists the key and takes her straight to Bath, England, where Sanditon was based. He then says, "We're in Bath. Happy birthday, Jackie!" They then spend the entire day in Bath, seeing all the locations based on Jane Austen's life.
This Locke and Key location is not Bath, England, in reality. Springer Market Square in Kingston, Ontario, was transformed to look like Bath. Springer Market is a public market running since 1801 and is known for its movie premiers, shopping, pop-up stores, and food stalls. To get here from Toronto, catch a train from Union Station to Kingston, then hop on a bus to Brock/Bagot. Walk a few minutes to reach Market Square.
Tyler with the Hercules Key outside Matheson Academy scene in Locke and Key
Humber College Lakeshore Campus, Etobicoke
In this scene, Tyler Locke searches for the Memory key using the clues his father left behind. Gabe accompanies Tyler to Matheson Academy, hoping to get the key for himself. After hours, they break into the Academy and search the school with a friend but don't find the key. While they are in the theater room, Tyler finds an old photograph of his father and friends with a quote that Tyler reads out, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on." Tyler's friend recognizes the lines, and they rush outside the main building to a bench with the exact wordings. Tyler realizes his family has donated the bench to Matheson Academy in memory of his father's deceased friends.
Near the bench, Tyler starts hearing the key's whisperings. With the help of the 'Hercules Key,' he lifts the bench and punches the concrete. Out falls the 'Memory Key.' Tyler stops Gabe from picking up the key and says, "It's okay. I got it. This is it. The Memory Key."
The exterior of Matheson Academy is shot at Humber College Lakeshore Campus, Etobicoke. If you want to visit this Locke and Key filming location, hop on to the 501L red line bus to Lake Shore Blvd West at Twenty Street. If you walk for a minute, you will reach Humber College.
Locke and Key, with its mysterious vibe, teenage drama, horror, secrets, romance narratives, murder, gore, and (sometimes) innocence, is a fun-filled adventure that resonated with most audiences above the ages of 12 years. The premise of Key House with its hidden keys, traveling through any door with the 'Anywhere Key,' unlimited strength with the 'Hercules Key,' the beautiful ancestral estate, visiting dead family members and more brings forth a longing to be part of this beautiful drama.
The Locke and Key production team have done a fabulous job with the filming. They have brought together quite a few similarities between the comic book descriptions and real-life locations. Even the characters, features, and behavior patterns align with the comics, making fans like the series even more.
Considering all the ups, downs, and plot twists that happen in seasons 1 and 2, there is great anticipation from audiences for the third and final season that is soon to be out in 2022. Hopefully, Locke and Key will live up to its hype and finish the series on a high note.