Hip Locations for Celebrity Spotting In British Columbia

By Laura Goldstein

With the moniker “Hollywood North,” BC is a great enticement for film production and foodie heaven when it comes to top restaurants in Canada. That combination is a fan’s map to celebrity spotting. But don’t forget to also check-out museums, sports events or bicycling along Vancouver’s seawall like Shania Twain did. You can rely on serendipity or give yourself a celebrity spotting edge with these hip haunts of your favourite stars:

Hawksworth Restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver. Photo courtesy Studio Munge.

Hotel Lobby, Restaurant & Bar Hopping, Vancouver

Hawksworth Restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, is a celebrity spotting magnet. Home-town boy, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is back in Vancouver shooting Deadpool2. When he’s not stopping traffic on the Georgia Street Viaduct, he dined at the elegant award-winning restaurant. So did Sting when he performed here at the iconic Commodore Ballroom. Justin Bieber brought his posse to the Hawksworth Bar; Blake Lively, (Mrs. Deadpool) enjoyed a bite at Bel Cafe and glamourous British TV cooking diva, Nigella Lawson, took tea in the Hotel’s 1927 Lobby Lounge.

Steven Tyler front man of rock band, Aerosmith, poses with the culinary team at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Rocker, Steven Tyler, frontman of Aerosmith loves to meet his fans. Tyler had such a good time dining at Notch8 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver following his concert at The Orpheum, that he asked for a photo with their culinary team.

Ancora Restaurant, Photo courtesy Ancora

Actress Eva Longoria was spotted dining at Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio. The former Desperate Housewives star is in Vancouver filming the remake of the 1987 romantic comedy Overboard that starred Goldie Hawn. (Coincidentally, Hawn and partner, actor Kurt Russell lived in Vancouver for a while when their son Wyatt was a goaltender for a Junior B hockey team.) Chef Ricardo Valverde who specializes in Japanese Peruvian cuisine, prepared a Hamachi appetizer for her and a companion, then they each enjoyed a small lobster risotto with sides of grilled broccoli and mushrooms.

Celebrity Spotting Family Style

Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park

It’s amazing what two-legged creatures can be spotted amid the jellyfish, dolphins and stingrays! With families in tow, Neil Patrick Harris took a break from shooting Lemony Snicket and visited the Vancouver Aquarium with his family, taking this cute video of his daughter, Harper on Instagram (click on link to view video) who was enthralled with the otters.

Actress Zoe Saldana with baby son and husband, Marco Perego visiting the Vancouver Aquarium. Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium.

Zoe Saldana, celebrated her birthday with her family at the Vancouver Aquarium while shooting Star Trek 3, and posted this photo on Facebook.

Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver is the scenic location for the Odlum Brown Tennis VanOpen. Photo courtesy Odlum Brown Tennis VanOpen.

Tennis Anyone? Odlum Brown Tennis VanOpen, Hollyburn Country Club, West Vancouver

If you’re a huge tennis buff and visiting West Vancouver with your teens, plan your trip around attending or even volunteering at Western Canada’s biggest professional tournament: Odlum Brown Tennis VanOpen August 12-20th. Ball girls /ball boys get to work the courts with their favourite tennis stars. Past sports celebrity participants have included Grand Slam players Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis, Eugenie Bouchard, Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil.

Secret Location Concept Store in Gastown is a favourite among celebrity shoppers. Photo courtesy Secret Location.

Fashionista Celebrity Spotting, Gastown & MOA 

Fashionistas frequent Vancouver’s cobblestoned Gastown for designer shopping and go GaGa (yes, the Lady herself,) for John Fluevog Shoes and luxe labels at Secret Location Concept Store (Julia Roberts and Sandra Oh.)

And speaking of “sole” the fascinating UBC Museum of Anthropology (MOA) had a visit from French footwear designer,(he of the celebrated red soles,) Christian Louboutin who collects and is inspired by indigenous textiles and artifacts.

Comedic martial-arts master and actor, Jackie Chan visits Vancouver as an ambassador for Hong Kong Airlines. Photo courtesy Hong Kong Airlines.

Kung-Fu Star Power at YVR

If you’re a fan of legendary comedic martial-arts master and actor, Jackie Chan, you’re in luck. The amicable ambassador for Hong Kong Airlines is helping to launch a new daily service from YVR to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG.) He’ll be aboard the inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver on June 30, then on July 2, Chan will also be at YVR to see-off passengers outbound for Hong Kong.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery in the scenic Okanagan, set the stage for filming Distortion starring Christina Ricci & John Cusack. Photo courtesy Tourism Kelowna.

Sipping & Stargazing in the Okanagan

With the stunning mountain and Lake Okanagan backdrop, wineries make for in-demand film locations. Actress, Christina Ricci recently dined at Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Sunset Organic Bistro in Kelowna, after shooting scenes for Distortion there with co-star, John Cusack. Nicholas Cage filmed Humanity for over a month at Spirit Ridge Resort and the Watermark Resort in Osoyoos. Cage even went grocery shopping with the locals. An excited employee of Buy Low Foods, Denise Gray said “I found him in the produce section – it made my day!”

Vancouver home rented by Channing Tatum and family while his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, filmed TV series The Witches of East End,in Vancouver. Photo courtesy Unique Accommodations.

Live Like A Celebrity (Even if you aren’t one)

Do you ever wonder where celebrities stay in BC? Many reside in hotels but others who bring their families, like Julia Roberts, Channing Tatum, Tim Burton, Jeff Bridges prefer the comforts of a luxury home or condo. Unique Accommodations are rental agents who work with the film industry as well as mere mortals who want to experience the celebrity lifestyle.

Opening Image: Deadpool aka Ryan Reynolds shot Deadpool 1&2 in Vancouver BC. Science World is in the background. Photo courtesy Marvel Movies.