Toronto Life gave a behind-the-scenes look at the Degrassi set as the show transitions into its newest incarnation (Next Class). There are some changes, especially to the interior of the school, which you can check out below (along with some of TL’s annotations):
- The main buildings at Epitome Studios were originally a printing plant. Later, they were converted into the sets for Riverdale, a primetime soap that ran on CBC for three seasons. Degrassi: TNG took over in 2001.
- (Front steps) This is where visitors to the Degrassi set tend to want their pictures taken. There are no official tours of Epitome’s backlot, but fans arrive at the front gate from all over the world. The show’s producers try to oblige with impromptu tours, sometimes conducted by cast members.
- The LED sign and the banner are upgrades for the new series. Set designer Stephen Stanley says that the graphics and overall look of Degrassi Community School have been made cleaner, sleeker and more modern for Degrassi: Next Class.
- Just a few metres away from the doors to Degrassi Community School is a group of residential home facades. They’re barely a room deep, and once you walk through the front doors you’re only a few steps away from the next set over: a swimming pool.
- This schoolroom set has been used in every episode of Degrassi: TNG for 15 years. Degrassi creator Linda Schuyler is a former teacher, and she’s a stickler for making sure the school sets are accurate.
- Textbook publishers supply Degrassi with books for product placement. For the new series, they’ve been arranged not by subject but by colour. Set designer Stephen Stanley says that Degrassi Community School has entered the “post-book age.” Expect more digital screens in the new series.
Also, you can spot the new color scheme of the lockers in the doorway to the right.