Special feature: Welcome to Steveston


In Once Upon a Podcast episodes 45 (listen here) and 46 (listen here), I (Amanda) visited Steveston, British Columbia, aka. the town that stands in for Storybrooke, Maine in Once Upon a Time!

There are tons of familiar buildings and places for Once Upon a Time fans to see if they visit the real life “Storybrooke,” as I found out when I spoke with Ed from Visit Richmond BC at the Visitor’s Centre in downtown Steveston. In episode 45, I talked to Ed about the impact that ABC has had on the small fishing town of Steveston as well as what visitors to the town can expect. In episode 46, we walked around the town of Steveston and Ed pointed out some behind the scenes information about the Once Upon a Time filming that happens in their little town!

Welcome to Steveston

The first stop in Steveston was the Visitor’s Centre! This is where you can get all of the licensed Once Upon a Time merchandise, and a helpful map detailing all of the storefronts in town and the names of their Storybrooke counterparts.

Visitor's Centre in Steveston


Next up, Granny’s Diner (the Cannery Cafe in real life) which is near the Visitor’s Centre. (In between, there’s a tiny park that’s also been used in OUAT filming.)

The Cannery Cafe in Steveston


You’ll see the “Storybrooke Library” (which is not actually a library – and doesn’t actually have a clock tower!) on the street corner.

real storybrooke steveston


On another corner is the storefront used for Mr. Gold’s shop. (In real life, it’s a cute gift shop.)

Steveston British Columbia


Close up of the window (reflecting the “clock tower”).

The real life Mr. Gold's shop


On another part of the street is a garage that sometimes makes it on camera in Once Upon a Time. The day I was in Steveston, Emma’s car used on the show was parked outside!

The car used in OUAT parked in Steveston


I was told this storefront would be an important part of season 4 (we now know why!) Unfortunately it’s not a real ice cream store. ABC staged the front and the inside is used for prop storage. Ed also mentioned that the restaurant next door was used as Bo Peep’s butcher shop.

Once Upon a Time season 4 sundae shop


Steveston is a very picturesque town even without all of the interesting OUAT filming locations.

Filming location for Once Upon a Time


The Gulf of Georgia Cannery has appeared from time to time in OUAT. It’s actually a historical site and museum.

Cannery used in Once Upon a Time


Near the cannery, you will find some amazing fish & chips at Pajo’s located literally on a barge on the harbour. Perfect for a meal after a busy day in “Storybrooke.”

Fish and Chips from Steveston


…and because fish & chips don’t travel well on planes, instead I got a bag of coffee beans  from Steveston Coffee Company to enjoy at home in my Once Upon a Time mug (the official mug is available at the Visitor’s Centre!)

coffee Steveston coffee company



Thanks to everyone at Tourism Richmond for being so welcoming! For more, visit the Tourism Richmond website. You can follow Ed on Twitter at @TourismEd.

– Amanda

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