Recognizable Vancouver Locations in Films

Vancouver, as you probably know, is Hollywood North. Vancouverites regularly recognize locations in movies and television (in particular, the lame ones). I’ve been meaning to gather a list of these locations in one spot for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it. Lex is doing so (apparently for her marketing class), so I’m starting with her list, and soliciting help from you, my dear readers. I know that IMDB can do this, but without much accuracy and it’s too exhaustive for my taste.

Fire away, and try to be specific. Let’s stick to films, as TV shows would be, literally, all over the map.

Is this the sort of thing one would use Google Base for? Alternately, what’s the least painful, Web-based, technological solution to this problem? A wiki?


Location Film
Simon Fraser University The Sixth Day
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Vancouver Art Gallery

The Accused
Scooby Doo

Vancouver Public Library The Sixth Day
Queen Elizabeth Park The Boy Who Could Fly
UBC 88 Minutes
Marine Building Fantastic Four
Life or Something Like It
Downtown Post Office Ecks vs. Sever
PNE Cats & Dogs
Law Courts Shoot to Kill
BC Ferries Bird on a Wire
Shoot to Kill
Casino at The Plaza of Nations X-Men II
St. Andrews Church X-Men II
St. Paul’s Hospital Unforgettable
Stanley Park Saving Silverman
Helmcken and Granville Saving Silverman
Maple Ridge Water Park Jumanji
Crowne Plaza Hotel I Spy


  1. The public library was also used in Battlestar Galactica as a city on Caprica.

    I also think they used the Vandusen Botanical Gardens as a setting on one of the ships in the Colonial Day episode.

    I’m not positive on the location since I’m new to the area so please correct me if I’m wrong 🙂

  2. There are a number of recognizable Vancouver locations, including the law building downtown, in the thriller “Shoot to Kill” with Sidney Poitier and Tom Berenger (especially notable since the scenes in question are actually SET in Vancouver, unlike most other films wherein Vancouver passes for New York or some other metropolis). Deduct points for geographical discontinuity, however, as one car chase leaves downtown and ends up at the Tsawwassen terminal in about 3 frames.

    The X-Men series, also shot here, contains a number of recognizable shots too.

  3. ~ B.C. Ferries – Bird on a Wire
    ~ The former B.C. Pavillion now Something’er’other Casino – X-Men II
    ~ St. Andrews Church – also X-Men II
    ~ St Paul’s Hospital – Unforgettable (an ironically titled film, took me ten minutes to recall the name)

  4. +1 wiki. If your friend wants a lot of external help, having a low barrier to entry is key.

    “Saving Silverman” takes place in a couple places in Vancouver (Helmcken @ Granville, West Van, Stanley Park).

    “Antitrust” has a lot of scenes on UBC campus, mostly the north end (Chan Center, Koerner’s Pub, Main Mall). I know this because I was kicked out of Koerner’s pub because they needed to film 😛

  5. Parts of Jumanji were shot in the Maple Ridge Water Park. Actually, from what I remember, most of that movie was shot in BC. The “Sir Save-a-lot” ( or whatever the name of the generic supermarket was ) was actually a supermarket in Kelowna, if I remember correctly.

    And parts of X-Men III were recently shot near my house near the boundaries of the UBC Research Forest.

    Many of the hovercraft sequences near the end of “Rumble in the Bronx”, a Jackie Chan movie, were shot in Vancouver.

    1. I know it’s been 7 years since this comment but Sir Save-a-lot was Tsawwassen. I lived there at the time, we watched them fix it up and then trash it

  6. Derek – Good point. I’ll update that once we’re done here.

    Though, I’m troubled by the lack of title-style capitalization there. I wouldn’t have complained, except I can’t edit the title to change the case.

  7. Parts of “I-Spy” was filmed in the Crowne Plaza Hotel (downtown) … specifically a sequence in my wife’s old office area.

  8. Mr. Magoo was also shot in the VPL Downtown Branch Atrium (they made it into a museum).

    I’m sure Stakeout and Another Stakeout have to have something recognizable in them (pretty sure BC Ferries were featured in Another Stakeout).

  9. You can add The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972) and Agent Cody Banks (2003) to the SFU listing. Also, Bird on a Wire (1990) used SFU’s Harbour Centre campus as FBI headquarters.

  10. Parts of Lynn Headwaters are visible in Jumanji, and many of the other scenes were filmed in Dunbar.

    Almost all of “Rumble in the Bronx” was filmed in Vancouver, which became kind of a in-joke in the industry, as the North Shore “Mountains of the Bronx” were frequently visible in the background. And there’s a great stunt where the Jackie Chan character is supposed to jump between the Woodward’s parking lot and a fire escape across the alley, but was actually performed by the film’s directory because Chan broke his foot early in the filming when leaping onto a Coast Guard hovercraft.

  11. Yes, wikis are great for this.

    And I was at SFU during the taping of Sixth Day. First, bad movie, btw. But, that 5 second car chase scene took weeks of shooting and the car fumes were so bad they kept having to evacuate the library!

  12. “The Butterfly Effect” — I recognized the Park theatre interior and a scene outside Koerner Library at UBC; I’m sure there were others as well.

    “Paycheck” — many recognizable locations like the train yards in North Vancouver and a corner in downtown Van (where Ben Affleck gets off the bus).

    “Carnal Knowledge” — I’ve never seen this film but I’ve heard there is a famous scene where Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel are talking on the steps of the SUB at UBC.

    Currently IMDb lists 1421 titles with Vancouver filming locations, though that includes television series.

  13. Even though the setting for the moveies,
    “Stakeout” and “Another Stakeout”, are supposed to be in Seattle. They are nonethless shot in Vancouver. I just thought I would point that out, seems to me there should be a complete list of all movies shot in Vancouver regardless of the original intent of the setting of any movie.

  14. “Rumble in the Bronx” also had scenes along Front Street, New Westminster; and there’s a scene in Mr Magoo aboard the New West paddlewheeler which used to (still does?)run day trips along the Fraser River to Fort Langley.The cruise company used to be called the Fraser River Connection, but was called “Paddlewheeler River Adventures” in the movie — the boat owners liked it so much,they took that as their new name!!
    “Man of the House” starring Chevy Chase and Farrah Fawcett, is one of the best travelogues for Vancouver — though it’s supposed to be Seattle. Shot in 1994, the finale pans back from a West End apartment rooftop to a great view of the city, including the ex-Sears tower doubling for the space needle!!! These days though,film makers often pan in so tightly around the action that it’s hard to be sure of specific backgrounds, unless you’re really familiar with them. (Which most Vancouver residents would be.)
    Cheers and good luck with your “locations collection”.

  15. Intersection starring Richard Gere is filmed around Sqaumish, but uses MOA as one of it’s sites (RG is supposed to be the architect)
    Double Jeopardy is filmed somewhere up the coast and in vancouver.

    Sorry can’t be more specific – a lot of my family live in vancouver but I am over here in Yorkshire, England. I love it when vancouver pops up when least expected and have been known to shout in the cinema!

  16. The first RAMBO film FIRST BLOOD was shot near Vancouver… in HOPE, BC.

    Also Rocky 4 shot some fight scenes at the Agradome at the PNE.

    GET CARTER was also in Vancouver.

    Not too menchion The 6th Day, Happy Gilmore, I-Robot, and all of the X-men films.

  17. I’ve just finished watching “Another Stakeout” after not having seen it in years. The last time was in 1995, when I was living on an island just off Vancouver’s coast – Bowen Island, to be exact, where most of the movie was filmed. The filming was done on board a BC ferry, first scene driving on the island was up the main street in Snug Cove, and interior and exterior shots were filmed on Bowen’s south side (check out the details – and the houses – on Google Earth).

  18. There was a movie recently filmed in Vancouver that had some sort of a car chase or driving scene that showed GM Place and/or BC Place in plain view. Anyone know which movie this is?

  19. I saw bright purple flashing lights a while back near jericho and kits. There was a film crew with loads of equipment there. Was that War of The Worlds? It looked alot like the lights in that movie.

    Also an old 80s orange camper van that is always parked on the lookout point at UBC closest to 49th and 41st street entrance was in Chaos Theory 2008.

  20. I just watched ‘The Chaos Theory’and I saw it was filmed in BC, but I really want to know where exactly, was it in Banff area ?
    I actually live in Brazil, but I went to Edmonton, Calgary, Banff ad Lake Louise in 2001…and I realy love those places and I feel proud to see it shown in movies,

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