I’m kind of a fangirl when it comes to certain things Hollywood (and all things Disney). When the chance came to go on a Storybrooke filming location visit from Once Upon a Time, I jumped at it. After all, I don’t live that far away. Vancouver is definitely increasing it’s visit-ability factor with so many great shows being filmed here.
Although Once Upon a Time films in quite a few locations in and around Vancouver, the main location for Storybrooke is actually in Steveston, BC. Found just right outside of Richmond, it’s an amazingly cool historic little fishing village, and even if they weren’t filming Once Upon a Time here Steveston would still be worth your time. Here’s some directions if you need to find your way.
When your reach Steveston, you can drive straight down the Main Street and see buildings used in Once Upon a Time. On one side is the Storybrooke Bakery. It’s pretty empty in there, and I really thought it was just used as a backdrop, but when we walked by on a Saturday there was a man inside selling bread. He had a very heavy Italian accent and my kids swore he was Mario come to life. After all, we were in Storybrooke. My dog didn’t want the bread he was trying to feed it, but you could buy yourself a loaf for $10. And it was good bread.
Stroll down a little further and you’ll see a Toy Shop with all sorts of things designed to empty your wallet. They had a sign in the window they must have made that said “Once Upon a Time,” that I really wanted to buy. I don’t think it was for sale though.
Near the end of the street is the epitome of Storybrooke as far as I’m concerned – Mr.Gold’s Pawn Shop is sitting right there in all it’s splendor. You can imagine the magic just flying around in there, and if you peek inside the mail slot, you can see some of the interior.
On the other side is Granny’s Diner. You’ll notice there are fake signs on either side of Granny’s Neon sign, which obviously come down for filming. I didn’t go inside Granny’s, but you can tell from the windows it’s not the actual interior from the show. I get the feeling some of these places just opened up to capitalize on tourists looking for the real buildings. Having never visited Steveston before, I have no idea what was there prior to when it became the location for Once Upon a Time.
There’s a lot more to Steveston than just the Main Street. If you take a stroll down toward the ocean, you can visit Grey Point Park where kite surfers are driving around and chasing the birds is a fun past time. It would be beautiful on a nice day, but it was really windy and cold when we were there in February. When you do visit, you’ll be able to see the huge cargo ships floating into port.
Heading toward the lineup of colorful shops, you’ll run smack into Fisherman’s Wharf. Not only can you walk down the dock and see the boats lined up, but you can buy seafood right off the boat. There was some, uh, interesting specimens lined up in frozen row after row, and everything looked like it was a great deal for fresh fish.
When in Steveston, don’t forget to stop in and visit some of the unique shops along the strips. You’ll find the best hot chocolate you’ve ever had in one, and some mini-donuts to die for in another.
If you’ve ever wondered, Where do they film Once Upon a Time, now you know. Check out The Steveston Village Community website and watch my YouTube video for live shots and more info on this fun little town.