Once Upon A Time…

Last weekend, the mister and I joined some friends in Storybrooke, Maine.  Once Upon A Time fans know what I’m talking about.  Storybrooke is a fictional seaside town in Maine and the central location for at least part of the TV series created by Lost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.  The show jumps back and forth between present day Storybrooke, and Fairytale Land.  As you may have guessed, this fantasy-drama is filmed here in Vancouver, and I am about to dispel a little of the magic.  Okay, not really…but I am sharing a few pics of buildings you may recognize.  The TV show is filmed in the real life seaside town of Steveston, a fishing village in the city of Richmond.  Richmond borders Vancouver and is home to the Vancouver International Airport.  Though Steveston still has a very active fishing community, tourism is definitely on the rise, with a growing selection of coffee shops, bistros and quaint shops hugging the small point of land where the Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean.  A sunny day in Steveston makes for a perfect afternoon.  

Storybrooke Pet Shelter, where David {Prince Charming}, volunteered.  

Above photo is of the library and the clock tower.  I didn’t reveal the top of the building because the clock tower is not there.  I assume they have taken the structure down, rather than photoshopped a clock tower in.  {The mister and I watched the outdoor set of the mega-flop Deck The Halls being built, and it is amazing to see how quickly the crews can create a cul-de-sac complete with houses, gardens, and in this case, snow.}  


Granny’s Cafe.  There is evidence that they cover up the Cannery Cafe signage and display Granny’s sign as required.
Storybrooke Country Bread.  Okay, I’ll be honest here.  I’ve no idea if this is featured in the series at all.  If you’re a fan of the show and recognize this, please let me know.


Mr. Gold’s, aka Rumpelstiltskin, pawn shop.  The blinds were tightly closed, so I did not see any black magic, or magic of kind, going on.

I  think they show this angle of one of the street corners in the TV show frequently.  The tea and gift shop, Nikaido, sells amazing teas.  I always buy a little something when I’m in Steveston. Today, I bought some lovely, low tannin Russian black tea. 

Last, but not least, is the Storybrooke City Hall, which is, in fact, actually Fort Langley Community Hall.  It’s not in Steveston at all.  It’s in the picturesque community of Fort Langley, but I wanted to include the photo here today.  I’ve attended many memorable Christmas concerts, craft fairs, and country antique auctions here.  

For some reason, I didn’t take a photo of the post office.  I think I was too distracted by the gardens next door.  This little pocket garden was redolent with the scent of hyacinth.  Heavenly!

Captain Hook’s pirate ship is somewhere in the left side of this photo.  I was unable to find it though. {wink wink}

Flowering cherry trees in Garry Point Park, fishing rope themed painted crosswalks, and a still life in the garden shop.

You may find this surprising, but I’m not all that eager to have my photo taken when we’re out and about.    But here I am in the lovely little garden shop that I could have spent hours in.  Good bloggers also snap arty pictures of their lattes and brunches, of which I always seem to remember to do after I’ve taken a few bites, or sipped a few sips.  I’m working on that though.

From time to time, I hope to share some candid shots of communities in and around Vancouver.  I am, however, looking back over these photos and thinking Ho Hum.  So, I’m hoping I haven’t unintentionally cast a spell on you and put you into a deep, deep slumber.  I’d love to hear what you think.  Please leave me a comment or pop me an email.


  • Reply hostess of the humble bungalow April 18, 2013 at 6:06 am

    I recently discovered your blog and am just across the pond from you in Victoria b
    It's been years since we have been to Steveston and I recall a sleepy little village vibe. Granny's cafe looks like a classic and I bet it's a local favourite.
    You look very photogenic btw

  • Reply Laurie April 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

    A friend wrote some stories that I was honoured to proofread for her. In them Stevenston was mentioned a few times. So glad you shared your pictures. Now I have images to go with her words. If the ferries weren't so darned expensive I'd come see it myself.

    The candid shot of you is perfect.

  • Reply Flo April 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

    How fun, it's neat when you can actually go to some of the places you see on the screen. I've never forgotten when I went to see the movie “The Mothman Prophecies” and they show Richard Gere at this dumpy motel–when they showed the exterior of the motel I gasped, I had driven past it a zillion times on my way to my sisters!

    And I wish I could smell those hyacinths, ours haven't bloomed yet here.

  • Reply Cindy April 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

    It's unbelievable that you posted this the day after I finished watching the complete first season on DVD. Can't wait to see the next couple. It's a great series and I was sure I recognized Steveston, and obviously knew about the Fort town hall. My daughter lives across the street from it and always tells me when she's had a sleepless night because of the filming! And, thought you might be interested to know that Murray's daughter is a stunt double and has been offered the job of doubling Henry next year!

  • Reply Laurie April 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

    STEVESTON! I meant Steveston. Let's blame autocorrect.

  • Reply Shirl April 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    TOTALLY NOT ho hum…….just lovely to see these pics and motivating to maybe watch the tv. series as well, and do a jaunt around Steveston in the not too distant future….


  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Yes, Steveston still has the vibe, especially if the weather is dull. But, if you have not been there for along time, you would be very surprised at the condo development that has been happening for the last few years.

    Thanks for commenting, and thanks so much for following along.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Hey Laurie, LOL, yes Steveston it is. I do that kind of thing a lot. It's like my brain is on auto pilot and decides for me, often incorrectly, what word I want to use.

    Meh….those ferry prices are scary. Having said that, I will be heading over soon for a short visit.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Oh, I wish you could smell the hyacinths too! Yours will come soon, I'm sure.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Cindy! How nice to hear from you. Hang on to your seat for the next season. Things really start cookin'. How cool that you have a family member in the biz. And extra cool, that she has been offered a gig on my favourite fantasy series.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Oh yeah! I'm glad you enjoyed the post Shirl. It seems to be appealing to my BC peeps, and that's great. Count me in for another visit to Steveston. You can remind me to take photos of my food, LOL.

  • Reply Cheryl April 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    This post appeals to your ex-BC peeps too. I spent a lot of time in Steveston when I lived in Richmond, a hundred or so years ago. (The laundromat there was much nicer than the seedy establishment close to where I lived). Teehee.
    Many a good beach party there too!
    I've never heard of the T.V. show, but I guess I should look it up. Thoroughly enjoyed your photos, and I wish the one with the hyacinth was a scratch & sniff.

  • Reply Carley Lee April 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Once Upon a Time is one of my favourite tv shows! In fact… I am just about to catch up on a few episodes.
    It's so special to see photos of places so near to where I live, and places that I recognize from being lost in another world through the art television.
    Thank you for sharing, Sue! These are lovely pictures, and beautiful writing.
    I can totally relate to you with forgetting to take photos of your lunch or latte before marring the presentation with a bite or sip! I tend to do that with recipes I want to share – I always forget to take a photo of the finished product before it's gobbled up! Oh well, we are all learning 🙂
    Now.. to Storybrooke 🙂
    Have a wonderful evening!

  • Reply two birds April 19, 2013 at 3:47 am

    my kids would freak out…we watch this show together (i know, i know, it's s little grown up for them). i will have to show them these pictures! i love the idea of candid photos about town!! it's fun to get a glimpse into your life!

  • Reply Megan April 19, 2013 at 6:15 am

    What a cute little town! I've always wanted to visit Maine and have heard it's gorgeous and quirky 🙂

  • Reply Anne M Bray April 19, 2013 at 7:14 am

    You got me at “fishing rope themed painted crosswalks” — be still, my pattern loving heart. I will have to walk on those crosswalks someday! Perhaps in 2014…
    Thanks for the tour, that was fun!

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo Style Files April 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Okay I totally feel chuffed right now that I knew that Fort Langley Hall was the same from the film. My Mom and Dad live in Langley and I kept telling my husband I was sure that was where they had filmed. Wohoo! : ) I was right!


  • Reply sabine April 19, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Although I don't know the series I find the places picturesque and marvellous. I always love to see how and where other women live.
    Seems you had a wonderful outgoing with your friends.
    Have a great weekend Sue!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Love to hear about those beach parties one day Cheryl. 😉

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you so much Carley! Have fun catching up on your episodes. We always record OUAT to watch another evening too.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for popping by Megan! I've seen a lot of Disney movies that have seemed to me to be pretty intense, and even scary. If you're all having a fun together, I say enjoy! I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the photos.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I too would love to visit Maine and all of the New England states. The coastal towns just look so full of character.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Ooooh, perhaps a trip to Vancouver is in your future!!! I have to agree, Steveston got it right when they painted those nifty crosswalks.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Woot Woot! Glad I could settle a score, and in your favour too. Thanks for popping by Suzanne!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 19, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks Sabine! I too love seeing your beautiful part of the world.

  • Reply popcosmo April 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    My son now thinks you have the coolest blog on the internet! Coming from an almost 14 y.o. this is HUGE praise! I already love your blog, so we agree 🙂 He says the bakery has not been featured (yet) but he'll be on the lookout for it. Love the photos and glad you had a nice trip! Our only movie/ tv experience has been living down the street from where The Truman Show was filmed! See you soon!
    XO ~Kim & chloe @ popcosmo.com

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Yeah, another fan! I loved the locale for The Truman Show. Everything ice cream coloured with white picket fences. Dreamy!

  • Reply Emalina April 22, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I don't know the series, but the photos look great! Lovely one of you!

  • Reply Natacia Louvier February 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    So lovely to see these pics! I was searching for some images of Steveson and you are the best place I have found so far. After looking through it, I told my hubby that we need to drive up from our little Vancouver, WA to visit. 🙂

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