To ensure that the character Adrian Monk, played by the famous Tony Shalhoub, was in an environment that put his character to the test, the producers of the series sought out locations that varied and allowed Monk to display his quirks and troubles in all of their glory.
Some locations were used for specific scenes and episodes, like Vancouver for the pilot episode, while others were used regularly like Monk’s apartment which was in San Francisco. If you’re interested in nature and beautiful sights, no doubt, you’ll love visiting the locations where Monk was filmed.
Several scenes throughout the show were filmed within studios on a sound stage, like recurring sets where the characters would regularly interact with each other, which helped hasten production as well as reduce costs. Since most of the scenes were shot in California, with the exception of Vancouver in the pilot episodes as well as Toronto, which was utilized in Season 1, episodes 3 to 13, you’re sure to spot a lot of these locations if you look hard enough. These cities are by no means small or isolated from the rest of the world, so you’re bound to have plenty of things to do as well as plenty of sights to take in while looking around for the various Monk filming locations.
A candidate gets shot scene in Monk
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
Moments before disaster, the mayoral candidate in the pilot episode of Monk delivered a rousing speech, proclaiming that his wife would also do her best to make decisions that mattered to the benefit of the people. He finished it off with, “I’m ready to walk the walk. Are you ready to walk with me?” A few moments later, a sniper in a nearby building misses the mayor and instead shoots the bodyguard of mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire. He dies, which causes the mayor to order Captain Stottlemeyer, Monk’s former supervisor, to call in Monk to solve this case.
This scene where the candidate’s bodyguard was shot, was filmed in Vancouver, at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This art gallery is one of the more famous locations in Vancouver which means there are plenty of ways to get to this location, including both public and private forms of transportation.
To get here via bus, take the number 17 bus that travels along West 12th Avenue. From there you can get off at the intersection between Robson Street and Granville Street. Vancouver Art Gallery will be within 200 meters from where you hop off. Definitely one of the more scenic locations, this art gallery, although briefly shown, is a beautiful Monk filming location.
Adrian Monk escapes death scene in Monk
Filbert Street, San Francisco
Also in the same pilot episode, Monk evades an attempted assassination as he gets closer to the truth behind the seemingly random murders. It starts off when he starts touching poles as he walks down the street. A car starts up and plans to run him over, but at the last second, Monk turns back to touch a pole that he missed, also evading the car that planned to run him over.
His last count was him saying “One hundred and thirty-four.” Before evading the car once again in an alley. Before the scene changes, the audience can still see him touching poles as he runs away from the car that is now stuck between several garbage bins.
This scene was shot along Grant Avenue in San Francisco. Although the area has been developed and the roads have been repainted, several things still remain the same including the fact that there is still a garage at the corner of Grant Avenue.
To get to this location in San Francisco, drive along Columbus Avenue and then make a turn at Filbert Street. From that point onward if you continue driving, you’ll eventually come across the intersection where Filbert Street meets Grant Avenue which is the exact location where this Monk action scene was filmed.
Monk visits his wife’s former school scene in Monk
Mount Saint Mary's University Los Angeles (Chalon Campus)
As per the request of his wife’s former classmate who is now the headmaster of the Ashton Preparatory School, Monk heads to the education institution to solve an intriguing case. Not expecting much, Sharona is shocked when they arrive at the school and says, “Wow! This is where Trudy went to school? How did she afford it?” To which Monk replies, “On scholarship.” This scene in season 2 showcases more on the background of Monk’s wife and allows the audience to better connect to what kind of character Monk really is.
Although the school is called Ashton Preparatory School, the actual school used in this shot was Mount Saint Mary’s University in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. This was one of the more scenic filming locations used in Monk and is relatively easy to get to, provided that you have a vehicle.
To get to the university, you have to travel along North Norman Place and then turn left onto Chalon Road. From there you can take a right that leads onto Grace Lane but do be advised that these roads may be restricted usage roads since the area is an educational institution.
Monk speaks with his psychiatrist scene in Monk
RED Studios, Hollywood
In the tenth episode of season 3 of Monk, the audience gets to see an interaction take place between Monk and his psychiatrist, Dr. Kroeger who was played by the late Stanley Kamel. Monk is in denial about how Sharona Fleming has left him, but Dr. Kroeger seeks to set things straight by assigning potential candidates for Monk. He mentions, “Adrian, you were lucky to know her. And I know you’ll always be grateful, but it’s time for you to move on.”
Seasons 2 to 5 of Monk were filmed in Los Angeles at the Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood, now known as RED Studios. These studios are well known for making several other popular television series and movies including Seinfeld and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The area is accessible through both private and public transportation. To get there by bus, you can take the number 207 bus and then hop off at Melrose Avenue to take the number 10 bus. By doing this you can get to within minutes of RED Studios.
Monk visits the SFPD scene in Monk
Tip Top Lofts in Toronto
In the season 8 finale episode, the audience finally receives closure on the death of Adrian Monk’s wife. Moreover, we see Monk meet up with Stottlemeyer to look for his wife’s daughter who was originally thought to have died immediately after childbirth. With the help of the Captain of the San Francisco Police Department’s Homicide Division, Adrian Monk is quickly able to track the location of Molly Evans, who is now 26 years old. Stottlemeyer goes on to say that “…she writes movie reviews for the Chronicle.” Which pays homage to the fact that Trudy Monk was also a writer.
Although the interior of the police department was shot within a studio all the way in the US, the exterior shots of the SFPD were shot at the Tip Top Lofts in Toronto, Canada. Although only the first season was filmed in Canada, several shots remained consistent throughout the runtime of Monk, and this included the exterior of the department.
To get to the location where the exterior of one of the many Monk’s film scenes was shot, drive along Front Street West and then make a turn on Bathurst Street to go down Fort York Boulevard. If you take the next left leading down Lake Shore Boulevard West, you’ll arrive at Tip Top Lofts.
Adrian Monk checks the stove scene in Monk
Paramount Studios, Hollywood
With Adrian Monk’s story drawing to a close in the final episode of Monk, the audience gets to see his mental state begin a healing process as he talks to Natalie Teeger, played by Traylor Howard. She’s surprised that he is doing something as normal as watching a movie and starts tearing up when Stottlemeyer calls asking for Monk’s help on a new case.
Just before they leave, we see Monk run back to the stove and turn it off, and Natalie mentions that “That’s a good idea. You don’t wanna get all the way downtown and not be sure.” To which Monk says that “That actually happened to me once.” Fun Fact: For those that remember, this is an ode to the pilot episode of Monk where he and Sharona were arguing about whether the stove was left on or off.
Seasons 6 to 8 of Monk were all shot in Paramount Studios in Hollywood. With many different events occurring throughout the last two seasons, getting a place that allowed you to make different scenarios without having to travel was vital which led to Paramount Studios being chosen as Monk’s production location. To get to this studio in Hollywood, drive along Western Avenue and then make a turn on Melrose Avenue to get to the studios that hosted Monk’s final three seasons.
The series Monk featured memorable locations that were showcased throughout the series. From the apartment of Adrian Monk to the SFPD department building, these locations add to the character and rich storytelling that Monk is well known for.
Although Monk is known for its storytelling, there were some instances of inaccuracies, including the fact that in San Francisco, there is no police rank of ‘Detective’. The title is Inspector. With similar attention to detail, much like Adrian Monk, feel free to thoroughly comb through any of these cities next time you’re in them to see just how much they’ve changed since their Monk days.