Solving the Mysteries
I didn’t know anything about the Bolton, Ontario locations until very recently, when I met a gentleman who was part of an Ontario movie group on Facebook. Clayton Self is my Martin’s Day hero, single-handedly handing over the locations to just about every filming location in Martin’s Day that I’d never been able to find on my own. Over the years, I’d even managed to track down the films’s producers, crew members and cast – but besides “the lake,” none of them were able to remember any of the exact filming locations that I so desperately wanted to visit. All dead-ends. I’d watch the movie over and over again, pausing play frame-by-frame, trying to spot some road sign or business name on the side of a building to help I.D. the locations, but I kept coming up empty-handed. After 15 years of research I’d given up. The info Clayton found was just astonishing…this guy is an expert on Canadian films and the landscape in Ontario. So let’s dig in!
Grand Theft Auto
There were three scenes in Martin’s Day that were filmed in and around Bolton and Caledon. The first one was where Steckert stole that first cop car, right out of the officer’s driveway – it’s one of my favorite scenes:
I don’t know how in the world Clayton was able to discover the exact location of this house, but he did–the guy must be extremely well connected. He passed on this message from one of his “contacts”…
The house that he drives into in that scene is my house, the old united church manse on Nancy Street. Before I owned it, I watched them film that scene. The young kid is from Kramer vs. Kramer and Richard Harris couldn’t even drive they had to rig the car.
I couldn’t believe Clayton managed to find the guy (or gal) that currently lives in that house! That’s just crazy! I immediately jumped on Google Maps to survey Nancy Street. I found the house in less than thirty seconds.
Clayton also helped me identify the main street in which Steckert speeds down with his newfound squad car. This too was in Bolton, actually very close to the house on Nancy Street. I remember pausing the tape to catch the “Mr. Submarine” sign on one of the buildings, but it wouldn’t help. Clayton actually recognized the street from the hill that Martin drives away on. I’m telling you, Clayton is gifted!
Here’s the scene from Bolton, starting from the car theft on Nancy Street:
But possibly the biggest score, besides finding out the location to the actual lake, was discovering where that big red barn was located. If you’ve seen the movie, you remember this farm location from the scene where young Martin escapes: He runs down a country road and slips into the bowels of a giant, old beautiful barn, complete with hay and the sounds of cattle mooing.
I remember specifically asking producer Roy Krost if he remembered where this barn was located, and he didn’t. He did offer me the production tidbit that they had painted the structure red just for the film. But after even the movie’s producer couldn’t tell me even the city that the scene was filmed in, I had–for good reason–given up my search for this barn entirely. There are a million red barns dotted all over the countryside of Ontario; finding “the” barn would be like finding a particular grain of sand at the beach. That is, until I met Clayton.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, Clayton is an expert on Canadian film and film locations throughout Ontario. I was so grateful to meet someone else who had matched my enthusiasm in finding Martin’s Day locations. This was actually a new movie for Clayton, but he jumped right in and got really serious about finding the filming spots. It was a mission for him, too. There was no way I could’ve done it without him!
I nearly fell out of my chair when I received this message from Clayton, with a link to “the barn!”
“Found this by accident.”
I could not believe it! How did he find this??? Once I had the link above, it only took me about two minutes to locate the address of this beauty. This was a horse farm called Coffey Creek. Here are a few words from the owners, who were kind enough to respond to my “unique” inquiries…
Yes indeed that is Coffey Creek Farm . We bought it in 1995. Those barns burned down 2001. We had good insurance so were able to rebuild them using old beams from taken down barns. We were able to use a lot stoned too..it is a popular farm for movies and ads now. So much to tell, I would be happy to speak with you and send you some photos. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Robin
Needless to say, I cannot wait to get back to Ontario to do another location-run…to see the many locations I missed on my first trip. Robin was extremely friendly, I hope to visit the farm on my next visit to Canada.
Before we leave the area, let’s talk about the tiny gas station/shack that was next to the farm; it’s where young Martin made his attempted escape:
It looks like this little structure was made just for the movie. See the email below:
I can tell you exactly where the gas bar/store and winding road into the valley is located. It’s The Gore Road in the Town of Caledon, travelling north, just before The Gore intersects with Finnerty Sideroad. I vividly remember seeing the gas bar/store set carved into the embankment (east side) as I drove past it on my way home from university (so this puts the film/scene in the mid-later 70s). The Gore was one of my routes home from Erindale College (in Mississauga)—I usually used Highway 50. I assumed it was for a TV/movie shoot. Even still, it was the WEIRDEST sight. Don’t know how long it was there but there was no trace of it the next time I drove that route. The 4th Line was gravel at the time but it’s now paved. BTW, the lane to the farm is the entrance to Coffey Creek Farm.
Hope you’re well and I guess I should really join the Facebook page to make it easier to chime in on FR topics.
Here’s that scene by the way…cued up to the barn feature:
There is just one more location in the area I have yet to find, and that’s the house that young Martin runs into for help, immediately after fleeing the barn. I hope that enough people from the area will see this post and someone will recognize this classic house:
If you have any info on the unknown house above, or were a part of any of the filming in these locations, please reach out to me HERE! I would love to know about any experience you’ve had with the production, anything at all!