Dear friends, let me take you into the real-life fairy tale world of Steveston, Canada. Steveston was founded in 1880 and is a suburb of Vancouver on the western coast of Canada. It is famous for its incredibly tasty salmon caught fresh from the Fraser River. The thing that attracted me to this beautiful quaint and picturesque town is its architecture. Vancouver is a massive filming hot-spot for television shows and movies. Nine times out of ten when you see the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in a movie, it is actually the Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver city. One of my favourite television shows called "Once upon a time" is filmed in Steveston, Canada. Once upon a time is a darker modern day twist on all of our favouite fairy tales. I highly recommend it, you can watch it on netflix and Disney+. The town in the centre of the series is called Storybrooke which is in fact Steveston.
To find me, look for my chihuahua's face
I was surprised how quiet Steveston was when my brother and I visited. There weren't any other tourists around which made it nice for us to explore. It also was about a month before full time filming started up again. Usually, television shows utilize sets that are built up in a studio to ensure continuity and consistency between seasons. It really is remarkable how Once upon a time is able to use this little town for the majority of its filming. As both Storybrooke and Steveston start with the letter S, it was pretty easy for those working on the show to adjust the signs throughout the town for filming purposes.
Map of Storybrooke
Steveston is located about 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver and is easily accessible by public transport. When we arrived, the first place that I recognized was Granny's cafe or Cannery cafe as it's called in real-life. This cafe is featured in almost every single episode of the show and is arguably one of the most prominent buildings. The characters in the show often meet up in Granny's to have a hot chocolate. We had to go inside, I was so pleased to see that they actually served "Granny's Hot Chocolate" on the menu, why of course we had to try it. It was delicious and to our delight, it was offered with coconut milk to suit our dietary requirements.
Our next stop was the beautiful little building that served as a post office, museum and tourist centre all in one. Once inside we were greeted by a lovely lady who gave us a map of all the locations in Storybrooke. She sold some very cool badges of the characters from the show, we both got some and wore them all day. The map was very helpful, I mean Steveston isn't a very big place by any means but with the map, we would be sure not to miss any of the locations.
Even if you aren't a fan of the show, I highly recommend visiting Steveston. It really is a gorgeous little town full of vibrant history and traditions with some of the most stunning architecture I've ever seen. There are no modern buildings and the ones that are here have been restored. Taking a walk through the town is lovely, every shop is privately owned by locals usually passed down through generations in the family. You will not find any "name brand" stores or fast food outlets. It really is like walking through a time portal to the past. Seems as though time has forgotten Steveston and I absolutely love it.
Some of the shops sell a little bit of merchandise from the show, though it isn't anything like what you would find in a targeted tourist area. Locals are proud of the fact that the show has put Steveston on the map, globally. Miraculously, the town has not been destroyed and over-run as most tourist attractions become over time. As you can see from my photographs, it is a very quiet and peaceful place.
Vancouver is one of my favourite cities in the world for many reasons. I didn't discover Steveston until I visited Vancouver the second time. I love history and places that tell you their history through their buildings, architecture and design. Sure, you can always read about a place in a book or a blog like this one but nothing can beat the feeling you get from actually being in a place. Steveston is a happy community with a history that isn't violent. Now how can that be you must be thinking, almost everywhere has some sort of violent past. Steveston, even though visually looks to be stuck in the past, in actual fact, it's liberties and ideals were way before its time.
Prior to World War II, there was a large community of Japanese people living in Steveston. Having had lived there for a few generations and becoming Japanese-Canadians. The global atrocities carried out by Japan during this dark time in history didn't affect the way the Japanese community was treated in Steveston post war. Across the world and very prominently in my country Singapore, the Japanese were hated for what they did in the war long after it had ended. The fact that the people of Steveston could acknowledge that the devastation caused by Japan wasn't reflected in the Japanese community living in Steveston says a lot for its forward-thinking. If only every town on earth could see life with these same ideals, I think this world would be a much better place. So why not take a trip to Steveston, regardless if you are a fan of Once upon a time or just want to immerse yourself into a truly wonderful little town.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog on Storybrooke, Steveston, thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you, until next time, Vegoutt Everybody!