The return of the X-Files television show has sparked a revived interest in the places where the show was shot, both the original series and the new show. The scenery of the surrounding city along with the choices made by the director when it came to light and mood made the setting as much a character in X-Files as New York City was for Sex and the City.
But where the latter show was shot in New York City and was named, the setting for X-Files is never specifically stated. What is clear for any fans of the show is that it was primarily shot in the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver British Columbia to be exact. So what better way to celebrate the return of Mulder and Scully then by taking a trip north? Bring the kids along, because there is plenty for them to enjoy as well.
Grab the Kids and Head North to Explore X-Files Territory
Of course, if your kids are in school they may not be pleased at the idea of dragging them all the way to Canada for a bit of television nostalgia. Some schools such as the Montessori Fremont School may be open to working with you on devising a lesson plan that fits the location. With the huge impact of the First Nation tribes’ history in this part of the country, you may want to create lesson plans around this.
For some travelers who tend to stay within the lower 48 states, the idea of Canada as a foreign land with different money might be a bit intimidating. But you will soon get used to using one-dollar coins called Loonies by the natives (because they have a bird called a Loon on them) and two-dollar coins called Twonies. You will be especially happy with them when you find out that your American dollar is worth around $1.35 in Canada giving you great buying power. This alone makes it worth the trip.
X-Files Locations Worth Seeing
There are several locations in the Vancouver region that will be instantly recognized if you are a big fan of the show. Let’s start with the Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam just outside of Vancouver. Almost all of the hospital scenes were shot at this historic site that was once a place for the mentally ill in British Columbia. The hospital has been closed for years but you can still walk the grounds, which are beautifully maintained while the province decides what to do with the place.
Grouse Mountain is actually within a local bus ride of downtown Vancouver and is open in the winter for skiing thanks to the cable car Skyride up the mountain. Remember Mulder dangling from the lift in the second season? You can imagine aliens trying to abduct you as you ride to the top for an amazing view and dinner at The Peak Chalet.
Are you ready for pie and lots of nostalgia? If you head into Chinatown you can grab a cup of joe and a slice of pie at the Ovaltine Cafe. This is the same location in season three where Mulder and Scully ate pie and asked about UFO abductions from the folks in the cafe. The place hasn’t changed in decades and still looks the same.
The Truth is Out There
So grab the kids and make reservations for a northern adventure. While no one really knows if the new X-Files will go beyond the handful of episodes shot recently, they could. The powers that be may decide to keep on shooting in that grey foggy place filled with a sense of mystery. You just might run into Mulder yourself as you poke around Vancouver taking in the sights.