Exploring the Worlds of Supernatural and Riverdale in Vancouver


Clockwise from Top Right – Fort Langley, Season 2 Episode 1 Supernatural. Riverview Mental Hospital, Coquitlam, Riverdale and Supernatural. Rocko’s Diner, Mission, Season 1 Riverdale. Fort Langley Community Hall, Riverdale Town Hall and Season 7 Episode 5 Supernatural. Riverview Mental Hospital, Coquitlam, Building Only in Supernatural.

Chloe Boxer, Editor in Chief

I walked off of a flight in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on the crisp night of July 1st this past summer and had no idea the adventures awaiting me would take me into the worlds of hunters and serpents – and even an abandoned mental hospital.

To say I was thrilled when I found out I would be traveling to Vancouver is a true understatement. A few of my absolute favorite television shows were filmed in and around the city. I was pinching myself because Supernatural and Riverdale were about to become my reality.

There were so many – too many – places I was longing to visit. I began scouring the Internet to find some of the exact filming locations for the two shows. I stumbled across a great website with almost every single filming location of every single Supernatural episode to air. I was quite shocked someone had compiled such a detailed list, because who has all of the time it would have taken to make this list? I was able to easily find a few locations I recognized and added them to a list of places to visit. The locations for Riverdale were quite easier to come by, and I found what I was looking for after one quick search. The plan was coming together perfectly in my mind. Two of the nine days I spent in and around Vancouver were devoted to scouting out some of the most popular filming locations for Supernatural and Riverdale.

Now, I could only fit my five personal favorite photos in the collage, and my first encounter with either show is not shown above. My family rented a car for the trip, and we were driving back to our hotel on our second night in Vancouver when my mum made a sudden turn. I asked her where she was going and she just said, “you’ll see”. Five minutes later she pulled up to John Oliver Secondary School – or perhaps you know it as Riverdale High? My sister and I jumped out of the car and rushed to the front entrance. It was 10 o’clock at night and I wasn’t even sure we were allowed to be there, but we ran up the front steps and peered inside. It was beyond surreal and we posed for a few pictures before we rushed back to the car to conclude our magical night.

The next day I was determined to visit some more Riverdale locations, and while I only got to one, it was one you are sure to recognize if you are even a tiny bit of a fan of the show. Most of my third day in Vancouver was spent hunting a majestic waterfall, although this was after I stopped to have a milkshake with Betty Cooper at Pop’s Diner. Or should I say Rocko’s Diner in Mission, BC? The neon signs on the walls were straight out of some of the original scenes at Pop’s, and I was so excited when I got to sit at the counter and sip my milkshake in the same place my favorite characters did. Rocko’s was not as amazing as I thought it would be, especially when I found out the Pop’s we typically see on the show is on a private set they made after the first few episodes. Either way, I could check it off of my list and move on to something bigger and better.

Let’s fast-forward five days to my last full day in Vancouver. My family and I had been all over the place since we stopped by Pop’s, and were dying to get back to the areas around Fort Langley and Coquitlam. I was a bit tired of chasing after Riverdale (did I mention we found Veronica’s apartment? Or Betty’s house?) and was ready to fight demons with Sam and Dean Winchester.

The day began with one of the most brilliant experiences of my life thus far. There was one spot both Riverdale and Supernatural (among a variety of other shows) shared – the Riverview Mental Hospital. The main hospital and its great number of surrounding buildings are immense and take up around 1000 acres. We did not get to see the majority of the land despite having walked over two miles around three of its biggest buildings. I never thought I would find myself in a place where there was once over 4000 mentally ill patients living. I definitely did not think it would be as creepy as it was at 10 a.m. It was completely deserted and eerily quiet. My family and I truly felt as if we had just stepped into an entirely different world from our own.

The first building we walked around was the largest; at the front of it, I found a familiar looking place. I had almost forgotten they used the place to film Riverdale until I stumbled across the steps leading to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy home. I walked up to both sides just for kicks and looked inside. I should also add I attempted to yank open every single door on every single building to find a way inside to no avail. I did stick my arms through the broken windows to get some rather spooky photos, though.

My sister and I were together the entire time and it was a beautiful and slightly terrifying experience I was lucky enough to share with her. We finished surveying the first building and rushed to the second, which is not pictured. This one was quite a bit newer and I wondered aloud when this place had been shut down. My mom answered and claimed only six years had gone by. My mouth dropped to the floor, and I shivered at the thought of this place filled with people. We then found ourselves in front of one of the most magnificent buildings I have ever seen. It was the oldest building on the property; you could see the decay, yet, it was so eerily beautiful. I stood gazing at it for quite some time, and then it was time to go. I got in the car and gazed out of the window, watching the buildings shrink in the distance.

Our last adventure took us to the quaint little town of Fort Langley. A river runs just beside the town and there is a very distinct-looking wood fence on its border. Sam and Dean Winchester had a serious conversation while leaning up against this fence and my sister and I could not help it – we recreated the stills with me as the older Dean and her as the younger Sam. The sun was beginning to set, and we had one last place to visit. We rushed over to the main street in Fort Langley and found a lovely yellow building you may know as Riverdale Town Hall, or maybe you saw it in Supernatural. It was a rather perfect place to end what had been one of the most memorable trips of my life.

None of our adventures would have been possible without this brilliant shows I spend a little too much time watching. They really would have been impossible without my mum and my dad, though. Thank you for allowing me to drag you all over British Columbia to find Sam and Dean. To find Betty and Jughead. You helped my wildest dreams become a reality the summer before my senior year. The last summer before everything changes.

To Sam. To Dean. To Castiel. To Crowley. To Betty. To Veronica. To Jughead. To Archie. I can’t wait to see you all again.