4 Canadian TV Shows Shot in Sudbury, North Bay, & Mattawa

The film and television industries are "booming" in these Northeastern Ontario cities

Quick–name some Canadian film and television hotspots! Did you name Toronto and Vancouver? What about Nova Scotia?

You could be forgiven (just this once) for not putting the Northeastern Ontario cities of Sudbury and North Bay on that list, but it’s true! The film and television industry in Northeastern Ontario has developed substantially in the past 10 years and the range and diversity of productions being shot here shows that off. Our scene continues to develop, but it’s diverse, vibrant, and, to many newcomers to the region especially—unexpected.

Good news: you can experience your first slices of Northeastern Ontario film and television culture without leaving your comfy couch. The productions below were all shot at various locations throughout North Bay and Sudbury, and can be watched on Canadian television or streaming networks.

Cardinal

Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse on screen for Cardinal. Photo: CTV

Cardinal is a CTV & Super Écran crime drama that aired for the first time in January 2017. The show quickly became the #1 Canadian crime drama of 2016/17, averaging roughly 1.1 million viewers weekly (CTV.ca)! Season one is a screen adaptation of Ontario author Giles Blunt’s novel, Forty Words for Sorrow, which is part of the larger, John Cardinal Mysteries series.

Filmed in locations throughout Ontario, including Sudbury, North Bay, Mattawa, Nipissing First Nation, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, and Toronto, viewers are sure to identify some familiar sights and scenes. What else might be familiar area are starring actors Billy Campbell (a Golden Globe nominee) and Genie Award-winning Karine Vanasse, alongside a talented cast?

Watch four seasons of Cardinal on CTV

Carter

Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Jerry O'Connell take a break on the set of Carter. Photo: Carter

A Bell Media and Amaze Film + Television production, the detective drama Carter was filmed largely in North Bay. Created and written by Garry Campbell, the show tells the story of an actor who returns home to his Northern Ontario roots after a public meltdown in Hollywood.

Jerry O’Connell (remember him from Sliders?!) co-stars alongside Sydney Tamiia Poitier (yes, the daughter of another Hollywood great, Sidney Poitier) as they work together to solve small-town crimes. Supporting actors include Varun Saranga, Kristian Bruun, and Matt Baram. Anticipate light-hearted procedural crime-solving, small-town vibes, and the breathtaking scenery we know and love in North Bay and area. 

Stream two seasons of Carter on CTV Drama Channel

Letterkenny

Stars Jared Keeso and Nathan Dales on set of Letterkenny. Photo: Letterkenny

I grew up in rural Ontario and find lots relatable about this award-winning Canadian sitcom filmed in Sudbury. The first original series commissioned by CraveTV, Letterkenny is intended for an adult audience and takes advantage of small-town stereotypes, Canadian tropes, and witty (if sometimes crude) humour to nail those punchlines. Show creator Jared Keeso and co-star Nathan Dales bring rural Ontario to life on-screen.

Stream all seasons of Letterkenny on CraveTV

Hard Rock Medical

North Bay actor Chris Farquhar being directed by Derek Diorio on the set of Season 4 of Hard Rock Medical. Photo: Hard Rock Medical

Filmed in the cities of Sudbury, North Bay, and Mattawa and produced by Distinct Features, the medical drama Hard Rock Medical follows a group of students attending the (fictional) Boréal Medical School. Their real-life influence? The Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Filming sites have included the Canadore College campus in North Bay, Nipissing First Nation, and Collège Boréal in Sudbury. 

Originally airing on TVO in 2013, and on APTN in 2014, Hard Rock Medical has even made it all the way to Australia’s National Indigenous Television network. 

Fun Fact: Many guests and supporting actors that appear in the show are Sudbury and North Bay area locals. Music used in the series was also largely performed by local artists.

Stream seasons on APTN lumi 

Honourable Mention

Hopefully, it’s not considered cheating if we mention made-for-television movies. Starring Brooke Shields alongside Brennan Elliott, the Flower Shop Mystery Movies air on the Hallmark Channel and tell the stories of ex-lawyer and crime buff turned florist, Abby Knight in punnily named installments.

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It’s not just productions—there is a growing range of things to do for anyone who’s interested in the cultural arts on a visit to Northeastern Ontario. From live theatre, a growing number of film festivals large and small, art galleries, and historical museums, there are many ways to experience the local arts and culture. Whether you're a fan of one of these particular films or series, looking to check out an up-and-coming cultural scene, or a bit of both, Northeastern Ontario might not have been on your radar as a cultural hub, but it should be! 

About Jordan Nicksy

Jordan is a writer, digital marketer, amateur photographer, and experiences severe wanderlust. After backpacking parts of Southeast Asia, she knew she wanted to work in travel and tourism, and joined Northeastern Ontario Tourism. She is passionate about food & culinary arts, history, spending time outdoors, photography, and travel.

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