Travel Blog

2 Dec

Fairy Tale Steveston

Once Upon A Time

The following article was submitted by Megan Hogarth, a recently transplanted Aussie and Inside Vancouver reader. Megan shares her story from a recent visit to Steveston.

A quick stroll through Steveston puts you on a first-name basis with half the town. You can visit Dave at his fish and chip shop, buy some hardware from Rod, let Sara serve you an ice cream, or buy a board from Steve. But the fishing town is currently host to some more familiar names: Cinderella, Snow White, Prince Charming and Rumpelstiltskin among them.

Steveston’s main street has been slightly transformed into Storybrooke, the fictional world in which fairy tale’s biggest names are unknowingly trapped in the TV series “Once Upon A Time.” The series, which stars Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin and Robert Carlyle, has been picked up by ABC for a full season. The filming has brought some life to Steveston, which at this time of year usually experiences a little lull until the weather warms up.

Steveston, about 30km (an hour by public transport) from Vancouver, is a popular summer day trip. Many Vancouverites recall enjoying fish and chips at any number of the local joints, or an ice cream by the water as youngsters. Come winter, the town and its summery offerings are less appealing, if not inaccessible as some attractions are seasonal. But you don’t need a sun hat to enjoy this charming place. When the city and suburbs are about to become the scene for the seasonal crazy shopping, an escape to a quieter town might be just the ticket.

Steveston Whale

Despite the winter chill and rain, Steveston comes across as a very cozy town. Part of that can be put down to the warm nature of the locals who are happy to share their recommendation for good coffee or place to eat. Coffee shops are a dime a dozen, and Steveston hasn’t been immune to the infiltration of Starbucks and Waves. But for good caffeine hits, as well as a spot to watch the town go by, try Rocanini. Other options are the Steveston Coffee Company or the Cannery Café, although the latter was closed for filming on this particular visit much to the disappointment of some regular customers who were lost as to where to head to for lunch.

Fueled up and ready to tackle your Christmas shopping list? There is a solid selection of specialty stores to choose from. Moncton St (aka Storybrooke) is home to A Monkey Tree, The Candy Bouquet (where they make the fudge in-house along with the impressive gingerbread house in the front window), Nikaido and Pieces Giftware, among a host of other niche stores.

When the hunger sets in, many locals would send you to Dave’s Fish and Chips, but the town has branched out to offer a lot more than seafood these days. Again, the Cannery Café is a popular choice, but other favourites include Diner No 1 and Steveston Bakery. If you want to think about dinner that night, visit the family-run Heringers Olde Fashioned Quality Meats to stock up. Follow that with a cupcake from Bell’s, or an ice cream from Sara’s, and you’ll be about ready for round two of shopping, and the drive back the city.

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