How Canada has become a pilgrimage site for ‘Skits Creek’ fans

GOODWOOD, Ontario – Joe Toby was recently giving a tour of his workshop to a young couple when the man sprayed rose petals on the concrete floor and sat on one knee.

He said the woman was a big skit’s creek fan, got out and was busy building, which doubled as the mechanic’s garage in the series.

“And here I was thinking this was just my workshop,” said Mr. Toby, a retired machine maker who uses the space to make special beds for children with disabilities. “I think it’s special.”

A satire About a rich family He loses all his money and is forced to settle in a city, bought as a patron because of his name, Schitt’s Creek becomes one Cult hit For his quirky humor, Haute Couture is unlikely to have a gay love of costume design and fantasy city. this Won a record nine awards at the Emmys, Including one for Best Comedy.

Nowhere is its sudden popularity felt more acutely than in Goodwood, a sleepy commuter hamlet 28 miles north of Toronto that was the main location for filming in six seasons.

Hamlet feels like a postcard from ancient times, with heritage houses on either side less than a dozen streets and a farm. The final census put its population at 663 – mostly with retired and young professional families who come to the city for work.

Prior to Skit’s Creek, Goodwood’s claims to fame were certainly more pedestrian – potatoes grown on nearby farms, and surrounding gravel pits, which would have produced the raw materials for building highways and city buildings. Huh.

Now, it has become a pilgrimage site for fans, who call themselves “Sachtheads” and arrive at the main crossroads of the hamlet to take selfies in front of buildings that serve as sets of series. Some figure in the character, who is dressed up as Moira, a theatrical metrich who names her precious wigs to children or Alexis, the socialite daughter. They spend money at local bakeries and general stores, but also stare into windows, block off parking spots, and in some cases, walk into homes, locals say.

Sheila Owen said, “They are rude”, whose house doubled for the supporting character “Ronnie”. “They come and expect us to portray the same people on the show – who we are idiots.”

This feeling is not universally. Eleanor Tod, 87, agreed to take a walk with her granddaughter to the now famous corner and take photos like all tourists. It is the busiest that the intersection has been since the glory days of Goodwood, when it boasted two hotels, four general stores, a skating area, and a cobbler and tailor. He was in 1885.

“I’m getting a kick out of it,” said Ms. Todd, a former teacher who wrote and published Hamlet’s official history, “Burse and Blackberry from Goodwood.”

Development in Hamlet has become very limited as it is located on ecologically sensitive land, Oak Bridge Moraine. As a result, it has retained its bizarre brevity and avoided the spread that has spread to so many cities in southern Ontario. That’s what drew Schitt’s Creek creators, Eugene and Dan Levy, according to their location manager Geoffrey Smort.

“They like that feeling – the city here, the country there,” said Mr. Smort, who visited 28 small towns scouting for the perfect backdrop for the show. “None of them are born and depart like Goodwood.”

When he appeared before the local township councilors to ask for filming permission, he laughed and burst out.

“It was going to put us on the map,” said Bev Northeast, a former long-time councilor living in Good Luck.

Locals say fans began appearing in 2016, a year after the show began airing on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a national broadcaster, but came on the ramp in 2017 after Shit’s Creek was picked up by Netflix. By the summer of 2019, two chartered buses arrived. At the crossroads, ejecting people matching T-shirts and lanyards said “Skitcon.” (That is short for Shit’s Creek Convention.)

But no one was prepared for the deluge of fans that landed in September after the Emmys overflowed by Shit’s Creek.

So many people come to the local bakery, Annina, that the owner, Marco Cassano, hired two security guards to do crowd control. Since Annie Murphy – Socialite-daughter-as-heart-a-gold playing Alexis told Seth Meyers, the late-night talk show host, told of the bakery’s delectable buttercream planks, bringing orders from across the United States.

“It means I stayed open during Kovid and kept most of my staff,” said Mr. Cassano, who worked for the crew over five seasons.

Across the street, Mr. Toby was driven by a crush of Seichtheds asking for tours of his workshop, to build a donation box from the front door. He said that over a weekend, he raised $ 270 for a local hospital and historic center.

“For, I was best kept a secret in Goodwood,” said 75-year-old Mr. Toby, who is a natural narrator and enjoys court. “Nobody knew what I did here.”

He knows that some of his neighbors feel differently, and that part is due to an epidemic. In the building’s window across the street, a residence that was transformed into a cafe for the chain, a handwritten message is taped into a window: “Please stay away from the property during the epidemic, we are immune.”

At the onset of the epidemic, the show’s co-producer Dan Levy appealed to fans to stay away. “The cities we have shot Shit creek We were very sweet and accommodating, “she said Tweeted. “Please show them the same respect. Visiting now poses a threat to the health and safety of residents. “

It did not stop any pilgrimage compared to the rising layers of snow.

Merlin Leonard owns the building that for more than a century, Goodwood had a general store. At Skit’s Creek, it was transformed into the “Rose Apothecary”, a hipster selling body milk and cat-hair scarves. Ms. Leonard decided to close it permanently last month.

“It’s very important to me,” Ms. Leonard, 74, said. “I need to stay away from people.”

The motel served as the set for the family’s new residence in the chain is not in Goodwood, but in Mono, about 50 miles west. One day, so many people crowded around the motel that the owner called the police.

“At least 100 cars an hour were trying to get in,” Jesse Tipping said as his motel, which has not been operational for years, entered dozens. Sarcasm review On Google Maps. “At one point, I saw someone on the roof. They were stealing numbers from doors with welcome boxes. “

Mr. Tipping, who is currently selling the motel, said he asked Dan Levy about selling the material at the venue. However, the show has signed an exclusive business deal with ITV Studios in London.

This means that no one in Goodwood is suddenly getting rich with fame. Plans to run a Shit’s Creek trip on the local Heritage Railroad were shattered by the epidemic. The 145-year-old yellow brick town hall, which had not hosted a council session in nearly 50 years, would have the perfect place to host tours, including Dex Barton, mayor of Uxbridge Township, which includes Goodwood. Unfortunately, the township sold the building a year ago to a couple who are converting it into a private house.

“Nobody expected Shit’s Creek to be the most famous Canadian show of all time,” Mr. Barton said.

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