Hippie Vibe At Goats On The Roof, Vancouver Island

Goats might not be the most popular animals in Canada, compared with the likes of bears and orcas, but stick a couple of them on a roof and you have an attraction that pulls in hoards of tourists.

Yes, that is right, a top place to visit on Vancouver Island in Canada is ‘Goats On The Roof‘, located at the Old Country Market in Coombs, between Qualicum Beach and Parksville.

When I first heard about this, I had no idea the name was literal.

Who on earth would come up with such a crazy idea of sticking some goats on a roof? What could possibly be the motivation behind this?

Well, as with anything that is a bit out there and quirky, people love it. Even I wanted to visit as soon as possible to see this for myself.

When I did make it there one afternoon, I was not disappointed.

The goats, it turned out, were the least interesting aspect. But just in case you are curious to see a photograph of them, here they are chewing away on some tasty roof grass…

Wow, fascinating eh? I told you they were not much of a spectacle.

It was the array of shops located within the Goats On The Roof complex that fascinated me. To say that there was a hippie vibe is a massive understatement.

Bob Marley pictures were everywhere, mixed in amongst tie dyed and flowery clothing…

Gorgeous colourful lanterns covered the ceiling in one shop…

And vibrant wigs filled some shelves…

The soothing sounds of wind chimes could be heard….

I spotted these unique plant pots

If you want an ornament for your garden in this neck of the woods, the popular option is more likely to be a Buddha or Hindu God than a hedgehog or duck…

Near to the courtyard where the statues are located, there is a great ice cream place that has numerous delicious flavours to choose from. I indulged in a double scoop cone and it was heaven.

I never manage to catch photographs of all of these lovely ice creams I eat, because they usually disappear so quickly. I cannot remember the exact names of the flavours I selected, but they were basically orange and pistachio.

However, I did manage to get a picture of a goat that was not on the roof. Maybe this one has issues with heights…

 Have you ever visited Goats On The Roof on Vancouver Island?



  1. July 10, 2012 / 21:05

    This is one of my favourite places and I do enjoy watching the goats on the roof. The shops are great as is the restaurant inside the market. I often take out of town guests there.

  2. July 11, 2012 / 06:13

    Those goats (or more likely their ancestors) have been there since I lived in Port Alberni over twenty years ago. Our whole family enjoyed browsing through the Coombs Market, although it wasn’t so sophisticated in those days. The goats aren’t unique as overhead goats go, but they’re always fun to see and I like that they’re very organic lawn mowers. There are goats at the Old Log Barn on Hwy 97A between Armstrong and Enderby, BC, and more at the Davison Orchard in Vernon, BC but those ones mosey across an overhead walkway to munch their goodies. :)
    Carol J. Garvin recently posted..How do you make time for writing in the summer?My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 / 03:32

      Cheers for the information, Carol. I didn’t realise the goats had been around for so long! You’re right about goats making good lawnmowers :-)

  3. July 11, 2012 / 14:26

    Another terrific post, loving the goats on the roof! You would never getthis in the UK, too many stupid health and safety laws! I feel sorry for the lonely goat – maybe he has vertigoat?! I know, terrible!
    AndyK recently posted..Trailer: Arbitrage (2012)My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 / 03:29

      Vertigoat – love it! Wish I had thought of that Mr Witty :-)

  4. July 13, 2012 / 02:45

    Nice post, Alison. It made me want to visit the goats on the roof. Seems like a fun activity, hehe ;)

    • July 18, 2012 / 16:05

      It’s such a fun, hilarious and quirky place to visit.

  5. July 16, 2012 / 03:01

    The place looks amazing. I have added this to my list of places to go. Thanks for the suggestion. Also, another very well written post. Thanks

    • July 18, 2012 / 15:58

      You’re welcome, those goats are people magnets. Or is it the mention of ice cream :-)

  6. July 19, 2012 / 09:41

    Just some clarification: the business with the goats on the roof is actually called the Old Country Market (http://www.oldcountrymarket.com/index.php), though sometimes it is easier to describe it to visitors as “goats on the roof”.

    The goats spend the summer on the roof of the Old Country Market’s original building. The original building houses imported and local specialty foods, a bakery, deli, and restaurant along with a huge selection of imported goods like china and toys. The ice cream parlour is attached in a building that used to be called The Workshop. Behind this area is “Our Root Cellar” Produce, Wabisabi Boardwear, Zolena (clothing), Chinese antiques, Garden Center, and the fabulous Cuckoo’s Trattoria and Pizzeria. Also on the property (on the left as you walk from the Market towards Cuckoo) are a row of independant stores called the Old Country Stores.

    Next door to the Old Country Market is Grace United Church (tiny little church with an active congregation!) and then the Coombs Emporium. The Coombs Emporium is a collection of independant businesses. To make things even more confusing, the Coombs Fair (an annual country fair located just a few blocks from the OCM… not related to them in anyway except that they’re supporters) also uses a goat for their mascot.

    I’m not sure where the photo of the colourful bench was taken, but the photo with the Bob Marley banners was taken at the Coombs Emporium. The shots of the colourful ceiling decorations and wigs were taken inside the Old Country Market, looking towards the in-house cafeteria. The windchimes and funky planters are outside the Old Country Stores.The first shot of the statues (Buddahs) are from the Chinese antiques / garden centre part of the OCM. The second (Buddah) and third (?) are from the courtyard at the Coombs Emporium.

    I hope you enjoyed your visit to Coombs: the Old Country Market is the second-most popular attraction in our area (after the beach). I used to go all the time, but I don’t go as often now that they’ve booted the produce out of the main building. It is also incredibly busy during the summer.

    If you’re still on the island this weekend, you should come out to the Errington Farmers’ Market – it’s a very colourful, funky market in a community park. I’d love to meet you.

    • July 23, 2012 / 03:33

      Thanks for all of the extra information. I did actually say in this article that the goats on the roof were at the Old Country Market, although all of the locals who mentioned it simply called it ‘goats on the roof’.

  7. July 28, 2012 / 21:36

    There used to be a display called “baby rattlers”….it was a barrel with the top cut off, I think, and when you looked inside (expecting to see snakes) there were a couple of the baby toys (the things baby’s rattle that make noise) in there. Funny.