The Last of Us: 5 Real-Life Exhilarating Canadian Locations Where the Apocalypse Took Place
Updated On: March 16, 2023
Whether you consider yourself a believer or not, it’s time you accept the inevitability of the apocalypse. Not that we’re trying to force any beliefs or notions upon you, but how boring would life be if it keeps going at the same pace with nothing else to happen? Well, for decades, the movie industry has been showing us different perspectives on the apocalypse would take place.
HBO’s latest take on the apocalypse was through one of its 2023 most outstanding hit series, The Last of Us. We believe the credits initially go to the world’s renowned publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment, who presented the story first on PlayStation 4. The Last of Us was originally a video game released in 2013 and received positive reviews from gamers that it got a second part later in 2020.
HBO took responsibility for turning the storyline of The Last of Us into a fascinating TV series for everyone to enjoy without playing the game. Although the series follows a smuggler and a teenage girl facing the horrendous consequences of the apocalypse, we can’t help but notice the fantastic locations where ruins and vast empty landscapes fill the scenes.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the spectacular filming locations where the events of The Last of Us took place. It was primarily filmed in great destinations in Canada, which is a secret we’re divulging just for you. Although the story is set in the United States, most filming locations are in Canada, and very few took place in America.
If you’re willing to visit any of these locations, we advise you not to disturb “The Infected” and be safe!
1. Kansas City and Missouri
The story is initially set in the United States, although most of the series was shot in Canada, where they found more sites suitable for creating a post-apocalyptic America. Thus, Kansas City and Missouri were the only American States used for filming locations throughout the series. They focused on the Interstate 435 highway.
This highway goes in a loop for over 130 kilometres, surrounding much of Kansas City and encompassing parts of Missouri. Although it’s just a highway connecting between states with nothing much to see, it still overlooks scenic landscapes in some sections.
Kansas City was supposedly the destination where Sam and Henry were. It was featured in those scenes where Joel and Ellie travelled and crossed paths with Sam and Henry. However, in the original video game story, this location was supposed to be Pittsburgh. Yet, the crew believed that Interstate 435 was the best to be featured in the story.
2. The Pre-Apocalypse Scenes Were Shot Across Calgary
Calgary wins the contest regarding the shooting locations of The Last of Us. Most of the show took place here, including the Pre-apocalypse era. Calgary is a beautiful Canadian city in Alberta province in Western Canada. Interestingly, people refer to it as the cleanest city in the world. That was supposedly before “the Infected” came into the picture and ruined everything.
This city is also famous for its renowned Rocky Mountains, which attract tourists from all over the globe. Calgary served as the fictional Boston, where the quarantine zone was located in the first episode. It was also home to the fictional Eastern Colorado University, where college scenes were shot at Mount Royal University and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Other sites in Calgary that were used as fictional Boston were Downtown Calgary and Beltline. They perfectly had the elements used for creating a nightmarish Boston, which featured the storyline of Ellie and Riley.
3. The Cordyceps Virus in Edmonton
While the game wasn’t referring specifically to zombies, it did mention that virus that could affect the brain and turn living creatures to zombie-like beings. The cordyceps virus is real and does exist in real life, yet it’s restricted to insects of different types. This is where the Naughty Dog developers got their inspiration.
Although the actual virus doesn’t affect humans, the storyline narrates that a mutated strain affects the crops, causing fungal moulds, and that’s how humans get the virus. Returning to the filming locations, the scenes where the virus outbreak occurred were in Edmonton city. It’s situated north of Calgary and has areas suitable for recreating Boston.
The Alberta Legislature Building was home to Massachusetts’ State House replica. It was that scene when Ellie was Joel and Tess’ responsibility, and they had to deliver her safely. This building is a prominent landmark in Edmonton, Alberta, dating back to 1907. Although it’s a government building, it’s still open for weekend tours for people to visit.
4. Tommy’s Community Was in Canmore Town
Canmore is a Canadian splendour that no travel bug would ever want to miss. If you are a fan of The Last of Us, this is an even more compelling reason to visit the town. Canmore town sits west of Calgary, part of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. It’s a heavenly spot on Earth, where lush greenery, snow-capped mountains, and blue crystal waters come together to offer us this slice of paradise.
Even the cast of the series couldn’t get enough of the beauty of Alberta city. The town was a perfect location to film the game’s Jackson Hole. Although a real-life Jackson Hole is located in Wyoming, USA, they had to go for Canmore in Canada instead. The town had the right elements to serve as the right setting for a post-apocalyptic community.
They live with power plants that generate electricity for the town. When Joel and Ellie arrive in town, they struggle with being accepted into the Jackson community. Although this community seems to be thriving in a dystopian world, they still have their own struggles, mainly fighting off bandits.
5. Small-Town Scenes Were in Fort Macleod
Fort Macleod was another Canadian celestial town used for filming The Last of Us. It’s another town in Alberta that’s only two hours away from Calgary city, offering a wide array of tourist experiences you’ll never forget. Even the cast of the series professed that they enjoyed every inch of Alberta, claiming that it’s a magical place you’d never want to leave.
Fort Macleod, out of all the other Canadian places on this list, was the most spot heavily featured in The Last of Us, especially its Main Street. Moreover, it’s famous for being a hotspot for filming different monumental masterpieces, including Interstellar and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The town served perfectly the scenes featuring small towns, given its small population barely exceeding 3,000.
The scenes and events in Fort Macleod supposedly happen in Austin, Texas, in the United States. That’s according to the original The Last of Us story in the video game. The production team managed to play around with the views and storefronts to recreate real-life sceneries from Austin.
Although Alberta was a filming location for hugely popular movies, this one has been deemed the most significant production. Interestingly, The Last of Us is considered their most extensive production, taking place in almost every part of the Canadian city. If you’re interested in walking through where this fictional post-apocalyptic world existed, we suggest you pack up and fly to Canada right away! For more thrill, check out these top haunted places in Canada.