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Hallmark Channel’s period drama When Calls the Heart has captivated viewers for the past five years. The show takes the audience back in time to the Canadian frontier in the early 20th century. Characters like Elizabeth Thornton, Dr. Carson Shepherd, and Faith Carter live in the town of Hope Valley (formerly Coal Valley), a picture-perfect Old West town. But is Hope Valley a real place?

When Calls the Heart is filmed in Canada

When Calls the Heart set
The When Calls the Heart set | Andrew Chin/Getty Images

When Calls the Heart is filmed in the Canadian province of British Columbia, in the town of Langley, which is not far from Vancouver. Production happens on the Jamestown Movie Set, part of the family-owned MacInnes Farms.

The set might look like an authentic old town, but its origins are pretty recent. The filming location got its start when Scary Movie 4 producers decided the farm would be the perfect spot to shoot a part of the movie that mocked the film The Village, Melanie MacInnes told the Langley Advance Times, after. After than, “the movies kept coming,” she said.  

When When Calls the Heart began filming at the farm in 2013, a crew created Hope Valley in less than a month, according to an article in the Huffington Post. Rather than just putting up facades and shooting interiors elsewhere, entire buildings — including a saloon, a store, and a cafe — were constructed, all with period-appropriate details like hand-cranked Victrolas and oil lamps. Some of the items came from the set of a very different Western-set show, FX’s gritty drama Hell on Wheels, about the construction of the transcontinental railroad.  

Hearties make special visits to the set

Hearties love their show, and the most devoted fans have taken to making pilgrimages to British Columbia to meet the stars and see the set in person. Hearties Family Reunion organizes the tours, the most recent of which happened in October 2018. Last year, attendees met cast members like Erin Krakow and Paul Greene, producers Michael Landon, Jr. and Brian Bird, and Janette Oke, the author of the books that inspired the series. They also visited the set for a special Hope Valley Tour.

So far, there are no reunion dates scheduled for 2019, with organizers saying that they were waiting to hear about the fate of the show before planning future events. But now that When Calls the Heart has been renewed for Season 7, fans who want to see Hope Valley for themselves should keep an eye out for information on any upcoming events and how to register.

The cast sometimes posts updates from the set

Even if you can’t make it to Canada to see Hope Valley in person, you can still get a behind-the-scenes look at the set on social media. The When Calls the Heart cast often posts updates on Instagram when they are filming, which offer a glimpse at what it takes to create the drama that plays out on TV screens on Sunday nights. Even Daniel Lissing, who left the show at the end of Season 5 when his character was killed off, still shares throwback posts from his time on the set.

The Hope Valley set will even make an appearance in another Hallmark production. Recently, Kristoffer Polaha shared that he was filming a new installment of Mystery 101 for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries at the Jamestown Movie Set. Some fans even think that the new movie might be a crossover with When Calls the Heart. That’s certainly something for Hearties to look forward to!

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