Reacher is largely shot in Ontario, Canada. That’s right, this delightfully quaint, southern town is in Canada. The spots in Ontario that were used for filming Reacher include Port Perry, Toronto and Pickering, coming together to bring to life Lee Child’s vision of the small Georgia town of Margrave.
From diners to jails to motels, there are a lot of iconic spots used throughout the series that span across Ontario. Even in the scenes that seem to show New York, that’s actually still in Canada. There is a reason that Toronto is known as the New York of the north!
Toronto strikes again as a city double for the scenes that seem to be set in Atlanta. As the biggest city in Georgia, it’s no wonder it features in the storyline of Reacher, but yet again, the cast and crew didn’t take a step out of Canada to film any of this first series.
With so many Canadian spots doubling as the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia, it’s pretty easy to rent a car and travel around the filming locations. So, if you’re a big fan in need of a road trip, keep reading for your dream Reacher itinerary! Spoiler alert – we cover some terrific scenes!
Reacher is imprisoned scene in Reacher
Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston, ON
In the opening episode of the show, we see Reacher (Alan Ritchson) arrested having just arrived in the town of Margrave - for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s then taken to be processed by Officer Roscoe Conklin (Willa Fitzgerald) at the station and temporarily put in prison.
Offer Conklin clearly isn’t in the mood to play around with dead bodies in her town, because she says to Reacher, “Sir? If you step over here, I can process you. I'm not asking, sir, I'm telling. But don't worry, I won't kick your ass unless you make me.”
The Margrave prison is actually the Kingston Penitentiary, a former maximum-security prison in Kingston, Ontario. It’s no longer a functioning prison, and now serves as part of Canada’s Penitentiary Museum, which offers visitors an insight into life in prison, how it’s changed over the years and you can even ask former guards for their experiences.
If you’ve got an interest in all things true crime, you don’t scare too easily and you love Reacher, then this might be the perfect place to check out while you’re in Kingston, Ontario. Just make sure you don’t get framed for anything while you’re there!
There’s a bus stop just outside the penitentiary so you can easily access it from downtown Kingston.
Reacher gets arrested scene in Reacher
Lakeview Restaurant, Toronto, ON
In one of the first scenes in the entire series, we see Reacher arriving in the unassuming town of Margrave and settling in to enjoy some pie at the town diner. Before he has a chance to finish his slice, he’s interrupted by the local law enforcement.
This diner, which also doubles as the diner in Memphis where Reacher meets his best friend and confidante Frances Neagley (Maria Sten) later in the series, is actually The Lakeview Restaurant at 1132 Dundas Street W in Toronto.
The Lakeview Restaurant is a Toronto hidden gem and institution that offers 24 hour service including a famous brunch menu and daily drink deals that change all the time, making every visit unique.
This is our first introduction to our eponymous hero, and immediately we know that he is eco-conscious and polite, asking the waitress, "You guys recycle?", before getting arrested and kick-starting the entire conspiracy plot of this thrilling and exciting series.
Getting to The Lakeview Restaurant is super easy as it’s in the heart of Toronto. Being on Dundas Street, there is a street car stop right outside the restaurant as well as several bus stops to choose from. Enjoy some delicious food while you visit this Reacher location.
Reacher and Roscoe dance to Patsy Cline scene in Reacher
Maple Leaf Motel, Scarborough, ON
As the series goes on, but still in season 1, we see the ‘will they, won’t they’ relationship between Reacher and Roscoe. While following a lead into the murders, simultaneously trying to discover who’s trying to go after Reacher, and get stranded by flooding, the pair check into a motel. This is one of the cutest and best scenes in Reacher!
During this particular scene, we see Reacher explaining how he doesn’t dance, to which Roscoe replies “It's a crime not to dance to the legendary Patsy Cline”. She’s not wrong, and she’d know, she’s an officer of the law!
This motel definitely isn’t in Georgia, it’s actually the Maple Leaf Motel in Scarborough. This is one of the many Reacher locations you can spot as you drive around this town.
The Maple Leaf Motel is an affordable option with plenty of parking if you’re traveling to the area by car. As it’s on the northeast edge of Toronto, it’s pretty well served by public transport, both by the LE train and by multiple bus routes.
Reacher beats up three punks in Reacher
Stratford Suburban Motel, ON
By now, we know that Reacher likes to deal with a lot of issues with his fists, and as a former military police officer, he’s no stranger to violence and punch-ups. This became even more apparent in the second episode of the first season where he beats up three guys in one go.
This is where the conspiracy deepens with KJ (Chris Webster) hiring each of the guys to go and beat up Reacher. Unfortunately for them, they were no match for the ex-military man and ended up with broken wrists and heavily bruised egos.
Upon seeing the fight take place and the surprising result, Roscoe comments, “What the hell just rolled into Margrave?”. What the hell, indeed. It’s clear this season is going to be a wild ride.
The dark parking lot where this intense scene takes place is in the car park of the Stratford Suburban Motel. Far from the darkened, unsafe area that it’s portrayed in the show, this motel is wrapped in green gardens on the edge of town.
It’s conveniently placed just a 10-minute drive from Queens Park and it’s ideally placed for visitors who want to visit the ever-popular Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
The nearest public transport systems are the train stations in Stratford itself, connecting the town with cities and towns further afield. From here you can either grab a taxi to the Stratford Suburban Motel, but it’s probably easier to drive.
The fight in the cafe scene in Reacher
Piano Inn and Cafe, Port Perry, ON
Another episode of Reacher, another fight. It seems like a recurring theme for our main character, and oddly it seems to be getting results. However, this time the fight was a set up to get him arrested, yet again. It takes place in season 1, episode 5.
After seeing the word ‘wh––’ spray-painted on Roscoe’s truck and knowing that KJ was somehow behind it, he confronts him about it in a local diner. After a smart comment from KJ, Reacher sends him flying with a slap that’s witnessed by half the town. There’s no getting out of that one.
In response to the arrest and KJ’s behavior, Reacher says, “Bad people should get what's coming to them. No apologies.” It seems to be setting up a mighty showdown that’s only going to get more intense.
This particular diner scene isn’t filmed in the same place as the initial pie scene, instead, it’s shot in the Piano Inn and Cafe at 217 Queen Street in Port Perry. Port Perry is used a lot in Reacher as it has that small-town vibe that makes it a great double for rural Georgia.
The Piano Inn and Cafe is in the heart of Port Perry and as such is easily accessible by bus. It’s located near the marina, so if you’re traveling by boat you might want to check out if there are any short-term moorings during your visit.
Reacher and Roscoe talk outside her house scene in Reacher
Perry and Queen Streets, Port Perry, ON
After a long day of investigating, fighting, and making up, Reacher and Roscoe have a bit of a heart-to-heart, explaining some of the backstories of both of their characters. Following the Patsy Cline scene in the motel, they head back to Roscoe’s place for a change of clothes before breakfast.
Discussing the next steps and what they’ve already learned in the short time that they’ve been together, Reacher emphatically states, “I’m going to need a gun.” You’re not wrong about that. It’s about to go sideways!
As with a lot of the external street shots that are supposed to be Margrave, Georgia, this spot is actually in the town of Port Perry. Specifically, on Perry and Queen Streets, two of the main roads that carve their way through downtown Port Perry.
Noticeably near to the Piano Inn and Cafe, these roads are home to many small, independent villages and walkable streets that really bring to mind that small-town vibe that the set designers were looking to achieve.
With these being main streets within Port Perry, there are several buses that you can get that’ll stop all along these streets, but honestly, the best way to explore these spots is by foot. You’ll feel like you’re actually in Margrave!
All in all, Reacher is an exciting and thrilling season that is full of twists and turns, no more so than the show’s shocking finale, lining up its upcoming second season nicely. It’s rare that a show is well received by both new TV fans and fans of a book series, but this particular adaptation of Lee Child’s hit series seems to be striking that crucial balance.
With multiple books in the Reacher series, there is plenty of source material to keep the Reacher TV show going for years to come, much to the delight of Amazon and the fans alike.
As only a few sets are specially built for the show, it’s really easy to find yourself walking around what feels like the “real” Margrave, Georgia, without stepping out of the Canadian Province of Ontario!
Simply fly into Toronto, rent a car and relieve those pivotal Reacher scenes that keep us hooked and on our toes as he seeks to find out the truth!