Netflix's hit show Maid, one of the best dramas of the year, has a beautiful and haunting location to match the heart-wrenching story of Alex (Margaret Qualley), (opens in new tab) a young mother building a new life for her two-year-old daughter Maddy, away from her abusive ex. Based on Stephanie Land's memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (opens in new tab), the show takes place in a fictionalized version of Land's hometown in Washington State.
Throughout the show, Alex moves between shelters and low-income housing in Port Hampstead (based on real-life town Port Townsend) and travels to wealthier areas, such as the town Fisher Island, to clean her clients' houses. Though the show's depiction is true to areas of the Pacific Northwest, the show was actually filmed in Vancouver Island, Canada, with several areas in the Victoria region standing in for Washington. The production was able to find locations for their fictional settings, including the luxurious Fisher Island.
Where was Maid filmed?
Vancouver Island is a popular filming location, with films including the X-Men films and The Twilight Saga (featuring Maid star Billy Burke playing Bella's dad), per Condé Nast Traveller (opens in new tab). Creator Molly Smith Metzler told the local paper Times Colonist (opens in new tab) that the show was filmed entirely on location in the Victoria region, using 160 different sites, from budget supermarkets to oceanfront mansions.
"We didn’t have sets, we were a location shoot. That comes through. Victoria is such a character on the show," Metzler said.
For fans who want to walk in Alex's shoes, there are several options in nearby towns. Downtown Victoria has many of the local restaurants where scenes were filmed, including The Guild on Wharf Street, which was the stand-in for Sean's bar The Swan. Cadboro Bay, part of the Saanich District, is home to both Regina's oceanfront mansion, in the Ten Mile Point neighborhood and the Cadboro-Gyro Park where Alex and Maddy have a playdate with Nate and his son. (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also stayed in North Saanich in January 2020, if you want to imagine the royals in a house like Regina's.)
As for the many ferry scenes, the one where Alex and Maddy sleep at the terminal was filmed at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, in the town of Sidney on the northern tip of Victoria Island. There's even a chance to stay in one of Alex's apartments; the gorgeous oceanview cabin where Alex throws Maddy's birthday party in Episode 6 is available on AirBnb (opens in new tab), gazebo and all.
Where is Fisher Island meant to be?
The wealthy town, home to both Regina's mansion and Alex's preferred daycare for Maddy, seems to be a fictionalized stand-in for the wealthier communities near Alex's hometown. There is a real-life Fisher Island in Washington State, but it's further south on the Columbia River, instead of the show's location near Seattle.
Maid's two main settings, Port Hampstead and Fisher Island, show the real-life income disparities between wealthy and poverty-stricken towns in the Pacific Northwest, mirroring similar conditions across the country. Alex's dependence on Fisher Island, both as the location of several cleaning clients and the best daycare, subtly enhances the show's overall theme, watching Alex build a life for herself and Maddy without the resources that she needs.
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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