Hugely successful HBO series “Last of Us” made Alberta a movie pilgrimage

The eagerly awaited The Last of Us on HBO has been a huge success so far! The first season of the show, which featured Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones, Becoming Elizabeth) and Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos), was entirely filmed in Alberta between July 2021 and June 2022.

The series is both one of Canada’s and Alberta’s largest-ever cinematic productions.

Going to the movies

Season one has sequences that were filmed all around the province, including in Edmonton’s Legislature Building, Fort Macleod, Canmore, downtown Calgary, SAIT, and Mount Royal University in Calgary.

Episode One: When you’r lost in the darkness

Some well-known locales in southern Alberta appeared in the first episode “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” including Beaver Dam Flats, downtown Calgary, which served as Boston’s quarantine area, and the Inglewood district. Fort Macleod received a lot of attention as well, with Johnny’s Restaurant, Don’s Barber Shop, and Main Street pretending to be downtown Austin (in the midst of a zombie outbreak).

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Episode Two: Infected

Alberta is proving to be a varied setting for the show, serving as Austin, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts, and even Jakarta, Indonesia. The episode two contains the first significant departure from the video game’s plot about the genesis of the Cordyceps infection.

The two largest cities in Alberta, Edmonton and Calgary, were prominently featured in this episode. These cities included Calgary’s Fourth Avenue Flyover, a significant overpass into the city’s downtown, and Edmonton’s Alberta Legislature Building, which served as Massachusetts’ State House, complete with a gold dome.

You may also have recognized many pictures taken in Edmonton’s downtown, particularly 108 Street and the well-known shopping and dining strip along 104 Street, as Joel, Tess, and Ellie entered the Boston Museum.

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Alberta, Edmonton

Episode Three: Long, Long Time

The Shannon Terrace pedestrian bridge in Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary was beautifully captured in this episode as Joel and Ellie continued their journey toward Bill’s land. With a length of 19 kilometres (12 mi) from east to west, Fish Creek Park is the second-largest urban park in Canada and among the biggest in North America. Fish Creek runs the entire length of the park before joining the Bow River on its eastern border. The Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Center, Sikome Aquatic Facility, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, and Fish Creek Environmental Learning Center are all located there. Joel and Ellie arrive to a convenience shop where Joel has hidden a few items throughout the years that would aid them on their quest after crossing the bridge in Fish Creek Park. This place is in Priddis, which is located around 15 minutes west of Calgary. On the route, you’ll pass by the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, which was also a stop on Joel and Ellie’s trip.

Episode Four: Please hold my hand

Calgarians rejoiced to see their city prominently represented this episode, with several downtown Calgary spots serving as Kansas City. The scene around the laundromat, which Joel and Ellie crashed into, seems incredibly genuine even if it was a created set. Look down the alley on your right between 11 Avenue and 10 Avenue SE as you travel north on Macleod Trail to find it. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Bell Block building, which was seen in the season’s first episode.

Alberta, Calgary

This episode, Joel and Ellie saw the Lethbridge Viaduct, also called the High Level Bridge, while driving on the highway. It was built by Canadian Pacific Railway and opened in 1909; it is still the world’s longest and highest structure of its kind, measuring 1.6 km (1 km) in length and 96 m (314 ft) in height. This bridge is still used by trains to cross the Oldman River.

Episode five: Endure and Survive

Although the amazing set was created especially for the show, the conflict in this week’s episode climax just outside the Calgary Film Centre in the southeast of the city. The Calgary Courts Centre, which doubles as a U.S. courthouse and is the largest courthouse in Canada, was the scene of the resistance group’s bloody rebellion against FEDRA in episode five. In reality, the complex is situated in the midst of Calgary’s downtown, just a short stroll from some of the city’s best dining and shopping. The indoor botanical park Devonian Gardens, a few blocks away, offers a respite from the busy city life that surrounds it.

This episode’s program also included Nanton, which is situated 66 kilometres (41 miles) south of Calgary. The Ranchland Inn served as the setting for one of the most tragic moments in the history of the show. This small but thriving community in southern Alberta, known for its historic main street and museums, is a picture-perfect location for travellers looking to experience everything Alberta has to offer, including stunning mountain scenery to the west, rolling prairies to the east, and easy access to major cities nearby.

Episode six: Kin

This episode, a charming Albertan town Cenmore, was transformed into Jackson, Wyoming, a functioning post-apocalyptic society with electricity, running water, a hospital, a theater, kids playing outside, and more indications of the life that Ellie and Joel have never known and that Joel hasn’t known for 20 years.

Canmore is a picturesque mountain town and the perfect retreat for people yearning for wilderness, less crowds, and mountain adventure. It is situated in Kananaskis, a breathtakingly gorgeous region of the Canadian Rockies.

Alberta, Cenmore

Episode Seven: Left Behind

Although there were hints of modern places in this episode’s program, such as an abandoned suburban village in the Suntree community of Okotoks and a fitness establishment in northwest Calgary, the primary setting was Calgary’s Northland Village Mall.

The mall closed in December 2021 and is currently being developed into an outdoor shopping center, providing a blank canvas for production teams to transform the area the next month into a post-apocalyptic mall filled with nostalgia for the early 2000s.

Episode Eight: When we are in need

This episode while Joel continued to recover, but he also managed to catch a peek of Waterton Lakes National Park, one of Alberta’s most overlooked tourist attractions.

The penultimate episode, in which Ellie turns from prey to predator, made extensive use of this stunning area of the province.

The only place in Alberta where you can locate a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an international peace park, a dark sky preserve, and a biosphere reserve is the little but massive Waterton Lakes. In the winter, it is a peaceful area of the province, making it ideal for unwinding at a lodge after a day of snowshoeing.

Episode Nine: Look for the light

This episode was largely set in the Queen Elizabeth II Ambulatory Care Centre in Grande Prairie. Although you might not want to go inside the hospital, this community in northwest Alberta has full of exciting things to do.

Grande Prairie is a city steeped in history and is situated in what is referred to as Peace River Country. At the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, take a 360-million-year adventure, or explore one of the many paved trails in Muskoseepi Park that cover more than a dozen kilometres (7.5 mi). In spring 2022, a section of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo was closed to the public so that a famous scene, starring one of the zoo’s own giraffes, could be shot. The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, which is home to approximately 1,000 animals from 119 different species, is the third most popular tourist destination in Alberta and the most popular zoo in all of Canada.

Zoo in Calgary


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