Listen, we could all use a corny escape every now and again. Thankfully, some higher power blessed us with the Hallmark Channel in 2001. One of its many sweet-as-can-be series is When Calls the Heart, which spawned the spinoff series When Hope Calls in 2019.
Set in the early 1990s, Brian Bird's spinoff series, which now calls GAC Family its home, follows sisters Lillian (Morgan Kohan) and Grace (Jocelyn Hudon) who open an orphanage in the small town of Brookfield, originally a mining town.
"As the two are caught between the traditions of cattle ranchers and the ambitions of a growing town, they strive to find romance and happiness while overcoming the challenges of helping the children in their care," the official synopsis reads. Boasting morals surrounding community, acceptance, and love, When Hope Calls released a cutesy two-part Christmas special in 2021.
The special, simply called When Hope Calls Christmas, is still set in the little Western Canadian town, but was it actually filmed in the Great White North?
Where was GAC Family's 'When Hope Calls Christmas' filmed?
In When Hope Calls Christmas, Brookfield is recognized by national magazine Harper’s Bazaar for its uplifting holiday cheer, which motivates the residents to transform the town into a spectacular Christmas heaven.
The saccharine Christmas special stars Ryan-James Hatanaka (Joseph Pulitzer: Voice Of The People), Morgan Kohan (Love on Harbor Island), and Lori Loughlin (Full House), among others.
Though there isn't much information available regarding where the Christmas special in particular was filmed, we know that When Hope Calls utilizes the area surrounding Powassan, Ontario.
"We are sitting out in a beautiful field in North Bay, but they created — well, the whole town constructed it, and I believe it was in, like, 11 weeks," Morgan Kohan said of the Season 1 set back in a 2020 behind-the-scenes video.
Sitting right outside Powassan on the north shore of Lake Nipissing, North Bay has been deemed the "Gateway to the North.” It's located just over three hours away from Toronto and Ottawa.
"With a population of approximately 52,662 and a trading area of 112,000 people, North Bay offers economic advantages with easy access to larger Canadian and U.S. markets," the official North Bay website details.
Urban North Bay sits on a strip of land between the Ottawa River and the Great Lakes.
"On its eastern doorstep lies Trout Lake, the headwater of the Mattawa River and the source of the City’s drinking water which holds the distinction of supplying some of the best quality drinking water in the province."
North Bay’s Waterfront is considered to be the heart of the city, as it possesses a stunning walkway filled with gardens, a museum, and a public marina. The touristy area also features a passenger cruise boat, deemed the Chief Commanda II, as well as the Heritage Railway & Carousel Company, which offers family-oriented fun.
When Hope Calls Christmas is currently streaming on Prime Video.