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There is more to Life than we were led to believe. Being led is not wise, and no longer of interest. Our interests are alternative, innovative, and lean toward what is different from ‘this’. We anticipate and encourage our collective’s current transition, albeit tumultuous, into kinder and wiser states of being that are informed by, and resonate with Nature. The goods that we sell are among those that we use ourselves to enhance our personal well-being. We believe that like-minded souls will share our interest in quality goods, aesthetics, felt relationship, and the power of beneficial subtle energies that uplift and support living with integrity.

Currently, we are a staff of three, with many helpful colleagues upon whom this business depends.

Mary Johnston Founder of WaterMatters

Mary is the founder and CEO.

Ian came onboard in 2015.
He is a kind, empathic being who attends to our customers with care, and is the steady presence that enables daily operations.
His background is in mechanical engineering.

Robert at WaterMatters

Robert has been with Watermatters since 2021 and is now moving into a management role. He brings strong executive and operational skills, plus the technical aptitudes of a younger generation, to our business.
He is our best water taster and has a keen sense for subtle energies.

How Watermatters came to be

Watermatters started as a home based business in late 2004. Earlier that year, at a late age and after decades of unsuccessfully seeking a fulfilling livelihood, Mary decided to focus on water treatment. She had recently returned to Vancouver. Late one night, while searching online for an Asian source for water ionizers, her attention was overtaken by an insistent internal directive which, if put into words, would be:
‘You are planning to sell water treatment devices in Vancouver and you don’t know anything about Vancouver’s water!’.

That was the defining moment for what was to become Watermatters™ in late 2004. Mary’s attention immediately shifted to learning about the source, characteristics and treatment of the tap water supplied to Metro Vancouver, and the filtration equipment needed to address health concerns related to Metro Van’s unique water conditions.

The business started with a humble array of water filtration products specific to Vancouver’s water conditions, sold evenings and weekends from Mary’s Vancouver apartment, at health shows, and summer festivals. In those early days everyone was toting a Nalgene water bottle. Recognizing the need for a stainless steel alternative, Mary became the first Canadian distributor of Klean Kanteens, before the general public was aware of the endocrine disrupting effects of commonly used plastics.

When the dangers of BPA and plastic water bottles became overnight headline news in 2006, CTV contacted Mary for an interview about her stainless steel water bottles. It was the public’s rush for a stainless steel alternative, and being positioned to deliver that solution that funded the growth of Watermatters™ into a full time retail location on Laurel Street in 2008.

Meanwhile, noticing a mountain of empty plastic water bottles and the long lines of people waiting to drink warm tap water out of a garden hose at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Mary conceived of a simple water stand with the help of her brother (consisting of a plank with spigots held up on 2 saw horses with a water filter underneath) and proposed that festivals supply their water line to these self-serve branded water stands. The public thronged to the water stands, an unprecedented novelty at that time, and a very welcome one on hot summer days. This summer tradition continued for many years. The huge success of the Watermatters™ water stands established a relationship, bonded by water, with thousands of people within our community that persists to this day.

Relationship with our community and ‘word of mouth’ have built our retail business over the years. In 2020, after 12 great years on Laurel Street, the Broadway Transit project claimed the location of our first store. This prompted our move to West 4th Avenue, where you will currently find us.

Supplying residential water filtration solutions that are appropriate to our customers’ specific needs remains our guiding principle regarding water treatment. This is the backdrop against which we interact and evolve with our community and each other. We thank you for being a participant in our ventures.




The following colleagues have assisted Watermatters™ in the creation of this website. In alphabetical order, we extend our boundless gratitude to:

Janine Coney - our photographer, for her affinity with light and luminosity,  and for capturing the essence of Watermatters.
and for her restorative bodywork:

David Johnston - master of wood, for crafting the woodwork that defines our space at Watermatters™ store, and the backdrop for product photos.

Alex Salb - webmaster, Shopify and software wizard, video editor and personal assistant extraordinaire whose dedication and skill brought this website into being.

Victor Swarovski - graphic designer, for his talented eye and highly skilled expertise generously offered at critical moments requiring design solutions.