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The Ultimate Movie And TV Show Guide To Visiting Vancouver

You thought that was Chicago or New York in that show? Nah, it's Vancouver.

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1. Vancouver International Airport

Aldo Singer / Via

If you're arriving in Vancouver via a plane, you're going to most likely be coming through Vancouver International Airport. Several movies have filmed here, so when you arrive, keep an eye out for what looks familiar. The overall green/blue theme will probably jump out at you. Good Luck Chuck, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and Snow Dogs filmed here. And remember when Lena Kaligaris (Alexis Bledel) from Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants comes back from Greece and her friends are waiting for her? Yup, that was filmed in good 'ole YVR.

2. Robson Square

UBC Robson Square / Via

Robson Square is a civic centre and public plaza that's a beautiful public space to explore. In the winter, there's a skating rink in the glass dome! Shows like Smallville and The X-Files frequently filmed here. Most recently, Robson Square served as the exterior of Kim Jong-un's presidential palace in The Interview. Robson Street is also a great street for shopping and you might recognize it from She's the Man when Viola (Amanda Bynes) is practicing to be her brother!

3. The Vancouver Art Gallery


The Vancouver Art Gallery is the largest gallery in Western Canada! In Arrow, the gallery subbed for the Starling City Royal Museum, the police department, and the city park. In Fringe, the building was used for the Federal Central metro station and the U.S. Capitol Building. Some pretty famous movies were filmed here too. Scooby-Doo 2, X-Men: The Last Stand and Night at the Museum. If you're interested in artworks by Emily Carr, the Group of Seven and Marc Chagall, come to the Vancouver Art Gallery which has about 10,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection! If you aren't into art, in the summer, it's a great place to sit on the grass and enjoy the weather.

4. Vancouver Public Library

Arno Jenkins / Via

The central branch of the Vancouver Public Library is nine stories and the exterior was built to resemble the Colosseum in Rome. It's a beautiful building from the outside and the inside. There are some retail shops and restaurants too. It's been used in TV shows, such as Fringe where the building stood in for The Fringe Division's headquarters. It was also in This Means War where Reese Witherspoon's character runs into her ex-boyfriend and learns he is engaged.

5. Stanley Park

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Frequented by locals and tourists, Stanley Park is a public park almost surrounded entirely by the waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. There's a beach, a park that basically looks like an enchanted forest, a path along the water - there's so much to Stanley Park! The X-Files frequently filmed here and Psych has filmed a couple of scenes here too. Most recently, 50/50 and Fifty Shades of Grey shot here. Both movies are supposed to be set in Washington! You can bike or walk along the Seawall, explore the park or sit on the beach and admire the view.

6. The Orpheum Theatre

kinecticfoto / Michael Thoeny / Mike Sachtjen

The Orpheum Theatre is a theatre and music venue that is a National Historic Site of Canada! You may recognize the inside from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The L Word, Battlestar Galactica (season 1 episode 13), Fringe (season 2 episode 22) and Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. Come here to explore the theatre or for a night out of live music!

7. The Marine Building

Tony Hisgett / Bobanny / Boecko / Blogtrot

The Marine Building is a skyscraper located near the Financial District features Art Deco details and was at one point renowned for being the tallest building in the British Empire. The building acted as the location of the fictional newspaper, The Daily Planet in Smallville and was the location for the bank robbery in the opening scene of Watchmen! The outside and the inside of the building are beautiful so if you have time, come and check out the building!

8. The Pacific National Exhibition

Steven Ballegeer / PNE

The Pacific National Exhibition has several buildings including the Agrodome (pictured left) and the Vancouver Coliseum which is a music venue. Movies like Best in Show, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Happy Gilmore were filmed here. During the summer, the amusement park called Playland (pictured right) is open and there is a fair that features vendors, shows and events.

9. Simon Fraser University

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The Burnaby campus of the university was featured prominently in Underworld: Awakening and Agent Cody Banks (remember that movie?!). The campus was designed by Arthur Erickson who also designed the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. If you want, check out the campus in Downtown Vancouver because it was featured in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

10. Gastown

David Gn

Do you like cobblestone streets, small shops and great food? Look no further! Gastown has all of this and more. It's home to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the famous steam-powered clock built in 1977! Gastown has been in 21 Jump Street, The Flash, Big Eyes and Once Upon a Time.

11. University of British Columbia

UBC / Via

UBC is known to have a beautiful campus that is dubbed a mini city in itself. It's surrounded by acres of forest, it's near several beaches and has views of the North Shore mountains. Since the campus has a mix of modern and historic buildings, it's a popular film location. UBC has been in movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Taken and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The campus is huge but be sure to check out the Nitobe Memorial Garden!

12. Granville Island

Jay Banks / Via

Granville island is a peninsula and a shopping district! There's a public market that sells food and homemade crafts. The most famous movie to be filmed here? Definitely Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

13. Buntzen Lake


Buntzen Lake can be enjoyed all year round but is best during the summer. You can go swimming, walk on the trails, or take your dog to the dog park/beach area! Buntzen Lake has been used in several movies, including It, Hot Rod and Freddy vs. Jason.

14. Grouse Mountain


Grouse Mountain can be enjoyed in the winter (skiing, snowboarding, general playing in the snow) and in the summer (The Grouse Grind hiking trail)! The gondola works all year around so you can see the sights from the sky! Fun fact: David Duchovny dangled from a gondola for a scene in an episode of The X-Files!

15. Metrotown


Metrotown is a town centre in Burnaby. It is also home to the largest shopping mall in BC. If you want to get some major shopping in, come to Metrotown! When you are shopping, you might think it looks familiar. It's the mall used in Life-Size and Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

16. Steveston


Steveston is a very popular spot for filming. It has been used in movies like 17 Again, Charlie St. Cloud, Taken and Godzilla. If you are a major Once Upon a Time fan, Steveston is a major filming location for the TV show. It acts as the fictional town of Storybrooke. The Steveston Dock is often featured in relation to Hook's ship and the yard of Steveston Museum has acted as a mini park. Steveston is a quaint, historic fishing village and is home to the annual Steveston Salmon Festival! Garry Point Park is also a beautiful park to explore and is also featured prominently in Once Upon a Time!

17. Fort Langley

Chris Fort / Via

Even though Fort Langley is about a 45 minute drive from Vancouver, it's a very popular filming spot because of its scenic beauty and unique buildings. There are several movies and TV shows that have used the community hall (pictured). It has been seen in Air Bud, The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time and Are We There Yet?. The village community also has several historic heritage buildings and the Fort Langley National Historic Site which is a former fur trading post. Take half a day to explore the quaint village!

18. Aldergrove

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1070 272nd Street, Aldergrove, BC. That's the exact address to the Bates Motel filming location. It looks very similar to the original set used in Psycho. If you are a Norman Bates fan, this is a must see. You can see the hotel as well as the house that Norman and Norma stay in on the show!

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