With all the enjoyment I experienced while finding more unknown films that are filmed here in British Columbia, I thought it would be exciting to do a sequel (of sorts) and discuss some television shows that are filmed in Vancouver and the greater province that we may not have known or have forgotten about.
As previously discussed we all seem to know and adore the film and television industry that happens here and according to the bc government website is one of our biggest economic sectors. It’s not just Vancouver that gets the bright Hollywood lights shining their way, it’s all over BC. From small towns of Squamish to a couple cities over in Langley, you could say all of BC is a hotspot for finding film crews and for many here it just seems like a common occurrence to see film sets or desperately try to get closer.
I know when I first moved here, from a tiny town in Ontario where nothing happened I was absolutely starstruck by the amount of productions that happen here. My family and I would track down filming locations of our favourite television show at the time (which is also included on this list) Once Upon a Time. Seeing how they used the tiny town of Steveston to be the home of the show for 7 seasons even when real people lived there with the stores being their livelihoods, it fascinated me how normal everyone seemed to make it. But now being a transformed, self proclaimed British Columbian this doesn’t faze me as much anymore. (Maybe because my home town of Abbotsford is the land of Hallmark movies).
For Vancouver, superhero shows are pretty common, from such shows as The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. But there are some amazing other shows with no superhero ties that are shot here. So this is my list of television shows that are filmed here in BC that you may not know about. Let’s begin!
Virgin River (2019- ) : This hit Netflix show follows a nurse practitioner Melinda Monroe, who is trying to escape her past by starting fresh in a sleepy Northern California town of Virgin River nestled between the gorgeous mountains. This show is
constantly using shots of evergreen forests, crystal blue waters and sleepy mountains as their B-roll and just seeing some of these shots, you would have to agree, looks like it came off a postcard from somewhere in BC (and it is). This show films all over BC, including Squamish where the exterior shots of Jack’s bar on the river are filmed and Burnaby where the lake that houses Paige’s Bakery food truck is shot. Most predominantly though, this tv series is shot on Bowen Island which pillars the show as the downtown main street. This show was recently renewed for a third season, so hopefully this will include new locations local audiences can keep an eye out for.
Where to Watch: Netflix
The X Files (1993- 2002 , 2016-2018) : A long television series with an even longer list of filming locations in BC. This classic television series follows FBI Special Agents as they deal with unsolvable and mostly supernatural cases known as the X-Files. This series and the reboot that happened in 2016 are shot in many locations all over the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. From Chilliwack, Delta, Vancouver and Victoria this show stems all over. Some well known sites are Vancouver Art Gallery, the now closed Roosters Country Cabaret in Pitt Meadows and our very own school, BCIT’s Aerospace Technology Campus.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime (seasons 1-9)
Once Upon A Time (2011-2018) : This television show follows classic fairytale characters, like Prince Charming and Little Red Riding Hood who are cursed by the Evil Queen and find themselves in our world where there are no Happy Endings. For most of the series it takes place in the make believe town of Storybrooke all set in the real town of Steveston, a historical town in Richmond BC. The thing I find most
interesting about this is that for the most part all of the locations in this show are set on the same street. The clock tower/ library is a focal point of the show is just a two minute walk away from Granny’s Diner and Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop, all real stores in this real fishermans town. Unlike some other shows where one set is far away from another in real life, you can walk down the street in Steveston and instantly recognize every corner of this quaint town.
Where to Watch: Disney Plus
A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-2019) : The Netflix series (although the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey also uses Vancouver) was a show I was completely unaware of being filmed in BC. The show is about three children who after the death of their parents are placed under the care of their evil guardian Count Olaf played by Neil Patrick Harris. In real life the star of the series is known for actively sharing his love for BC on social media. Whether that be, showcasing his kids climbing trees in Stanley Park or tubing down a snowy Cypress Mountain, so it makes sense that he would want his work to take him here. The show is mainly filmed all over Vancouver with notable locations including SFU campus, Lynn Canyon Park and the Hollywood Theatre.
Where to Watch: Netflix
The Good Doctor ( 2017- ) : This show follows an autistic doctor as he tries to prove himself in a prestigious hospital in San Jose. In real life this television show is filmed in and around Vancouver. Primarily set within the hospital building, the show uses three different BC locations in order to pull it off including, Vancouver Community College, City Hall in Surrey and Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. (Interesting that no actual hospitals make that list). This show has been on my list to watch for a while and anchored to a BC base. I may just have to give it a chance.
Where to Watch: Crave
Honourable mentions go out to Riverdale who film all around the Fraser Valley and mainly for using Rocko’s Diner in Mission as a main location in their show.