This scenic waterfront community is home to Vancouver’s largest public market.
False Creek which, as its name suggests, is not a creek at all (it’s an inlet) is home to Granville Island, which is not an island at all (it’s a peninsula). Got that?
One thing that is true of the largest attraction in the False Creek area is that Granville Island is one of the most successful former-industrial-park revitalizations in North America.
The community of False Creek—the waterfront area west from Cambie Street to Granville Street—is best seen from a seaside pathway that will take you right to Granville Island; here you’ll find such a dazzling array of fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, wine, arts and crafts and entertainment.
You can’t miss it: Railspur Alley, a relatively less-travelled road on the Island, offers visitors a concentrated dose of textile, glass and jewellery shops designed to allow window shoppers to view the artisans working inside.
Don’t miss it: False Creek’s Sea Village, a community of floating houses, is best viewed from the window of the Aquabus ferry route from Granville Island to nearby Stamps’ Landing.
A contingent of people come to the Island every day to do a job at one of the diverse shops, galleries and marketplaces, or the private businesses squirreled away in the upper floors, attics, nooks and crannies of the Island edifices and in separate buildings off the beaten path.
For me I remember the relaxing casual atmosphere. The smells of fresh food in the market, the entertaining buskers that bring life to the streets, the pacific ocean small, the birds and artists. Any visit to Vancouver should include Granville Island and for me it included a couple of visits to eat and just enjoy the atmosphere and shops. It's a cool place to hang out.
I also provided a web site with plenty of more detailed information on what you will find on the island.
Be sure to rate my tips and leave your comments I love them all.
When you are on the Island you will see maps like the one in this picture so it is very easy to find your way around. Everything is relatively close so don't worry about getting lost, just enjoy your stay!
Buskers on Granville Island are a great way to break up your day if your tired of touring Vancouver.
I remember this guy claiming to be from England really got a lot of attention. He involved the audience a lot of was very funny.
Not to mention talented throwing around this fire all day.
I really enjoy Buskers in every city but Granville Island has some great ones so be sure to take the time to stop and enjoy.
If you are into local breweries you should stop by the Granville Brewing Company. Actually in BC and Alberta these brewing companies put out some great beer.
At GIB for less than $5 CDN you can sampe 5 different beers that are made on site. I tried the English Pale Ale, Cypress Honey Lager, Gastown Amber Ale, Island Lager and one seasonal ale. Personally I enjoyed the lagers best.
You can also get tours of the brewery twice a day. The tour can only accommodate 14 people at a time so it obviously fills up quickly. I missed the tour because I tried to walk on, not realizing, so be sure to put your name on the list prior to the tour.
There is also a nice gift shop where you can obviously buy more beer or lots of beer and wine drinking accessories.
No visit to Vancouver is complete without taking at least a few hours to explore Granville Island (GI).
In the late 1970's GI was transformed from a decaying industrial park into the magnificent multi-usage facility it is today.
No single word can describe what GI offers, so let me list a few: Fine restaurants, fresh fast-food, drinks, fresh fruits & vegetables, cheeses galore, pate, sausages, fresh seafood, fudge, bagels, coffee, live music, theatre, parks, flowers, kids water park & market, microbrewery, houseboats, arts & crafts, fine wooden items, and did I also mention absolutely spectactular scenery?!
Depending on the day and time, it might be prudent to park elsewhere and walk down or take a ferry to GI. You won't regret your visit!
Click here to see more photos.
Granville Island is a man-made island built around 1915 for industrial purposes. It lies underneath the Granville Street Bridge, in False Creek. Many factories were established on the island, but starting in the 1950s, many closed down, burned down, or simply moved to a new location. Activity on the island dwindled down until a group of citizens decided to give it a new life in the 1970s, and turned it into a great example of urban redevelopment.
Today, the old factories and warehouses are still there, but the have become home to many restaurants, specialty shops, theatres, galleries, a kids market, the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Granville Island Brewing Company and the famous Granville Island Public Market. What makes spending a few hours on the island so much fun is that although its purpose has changed, it is still quite easy to picture life as it must have been during its industrial era. There is always plenty of activity going on, whether it be music by street performers or a show organized by a local radio station, kids playing in the park, visitors getting their picture taken, and so on - because another cool thing about the island is that it offers you a really great view of downtown Vancouver so don't forget your camera!
The Granville Island Public Market probably is the island's biggest draw. With over 100 stands, it offers an amazing selection of fresh products (fruits, vegetables, fish, cheese, cold cuts, pasta, bread, desserts, flowers and more) at a reasonably good price. There are also some crafts stands, and a food court that offers a great selection of food from all around the world. The market is open every day of the week, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. I would strongly suggest going to Granville Island on foot as driving and parking on the island is no easy task!
Granville Island is a small island, just south of downtown Vancouver, connected to downtown with a bridge.
This old industrial area had a remarkable make-over some years ago and is now the place to be for (food)shopping and galeries.
The centrepiece of Granville Island is the Public Market, filled with green grocers, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, importers, ethnic food sellers, craft vendors, sweet stands, florists as well as casual eateries. Another great place is the Kids Market, filled with toy and game stores.
The combination of this busy atmosphere and the industrial setting, combined with a great view across the water towards downtown, make Granville a place you definitely have to visit when in Vancouver.
The Granville Island Brewing Company was established in 1984. It is British Columbia's oldest microbrewery and they offer brewery tours to visitors every day at noon, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The tours cost $9.75 and include four tasters. If you don't feel like going on a tour, you can simply go to their tasting room and try out a few beers - most of their beers have been named after local neighborhoods (English Bay Pale Ale, Gastown Amber Ale, Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale, Robson Street Hefeweizen...) and thus make for pretty cool souvenirs (you can get them at the brewery's store). The Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale turned out to be my favorite one!
Any time of the year, Granville Island is a fantastic market to hit. There is plenty of produce down here, and on the Island itself, you'll find lot's to keep your interest.
Theatres, shops, ferry rides, the Emily Carr Art School claims some ground down here as well. Woodworkers co-op has a venue where you can browse or shop for gifts.
On Friday, May 30 Hans and I took the Aqua Bus to GRANVILLE ISLAND. Nestled under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge, Granville Island is a mixture of maritime and industrial history, shopping, live theatre, restaurants, parks and a hotel, all on the shores of False Creek.
Granville Island is one of my consistent 'fun-day' activities. Whether you have a lot of money to spend, or just a little, there's so much to do and see.
The Island (only about 5 or 6 blocks long on any side) is full of artists studios, where you can shop for their wares, be it jewellery, sculpture, paintings, glasswork, tapestries, or clothing. This is where the best artists in BC display their work, it's also the location of the Emily Carr fine art college.
There are also several small or large playhouses that have changings shows from comedy or drama, to modern dance. Arts Umbrella and the arts club theatre are 2 that come to mind.
My favourite shop is called Dragonspace, and is filled with all sorts of fabulous medieval and faerie-tale based things. Also some great celtic and viking replica jewellery.
The 'market' itself is the public market, crammed full of fresh fish, donuts, perogies, all sorts of fruits and veggies, about 113 different types of meats and cheeses and 50 types of bread!
For the evening, I strongly recommend going to Theatresports. It's improvisational comedy theatre that will have you laughing out loud (generally not for kids).
Keep your eyes peeled. Granville Island is another Vancouver location where the 'hollywood stars' frequent as tourists too!
We made the mistake of visiting Granville Island on a Saturday morning at about 10:30 a.m. However, we did luck out and find a parking spot near the Public Market (whew!). If you have to drive, I would highly recommend getting to the market at 9:00 a.m., when they open, as the place was already packed.
The Granville Island Public Market is a foodie's dream. I am envious of people on the West Coast as they have the most variety and fresh of produce and seafood. Besides fresh produce and arts and crafts, there's a unique food court and restaurants, such as Bridges.
There is also lots of gift shops , as well as the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, which consists of many arts and craft studios. For the kids, there is the Kids Only Market which has clowns, face painting, and kid-orientated shops. If you're a foodie, bring a cooler. Even if you vow you won't buy anything, you probably will. Estimate at least 2 hours for shopping, and of course, eating!!
Granville Island is not exactly an Island. However, since around 90% of it is surrounded by water - i won't complain!
Granville Island is a busy little place. There are plenty of shops, some restaurants, some bars and plenty of excellent views from every edge.
It has the most mouth watering food market - you cannot leave it without buying something! ha ha ha!
Granville Island is fairly easy to get to either by bus or taxi. It is only 5 - 10 minutes in either from the centre of Downtown - although bus would be a lot cheaper.
We had already booked ourselves on to a sightseeing tour bus, so just hopped off at Granville Island and back on when we were finished.
A nice way to spend the afternoon - and free to enter.
Granville Island has the most outstanding mouth watering public market i have ever seen!
There are rows upon rows upon rows of fresh fruit, veg, fish and meat.
It is almost impossible to walk through here and not be hungry at the other side.
Upon entering Granville Island along Anderson Street, head straight along the road and take a left when the road forks. The Public Market sits to the North West of the Island.
Even if it is just for the magnificent range of colours on display - you shoulf go if in the area!
Granville Island on False Creek just across from Vancouver itself is an interesting spot to visit especially when the weather might be threatening rain has it did on the Saturday we visited. They have a number of shops you can browse through, a really nice public market with wonderful smells and sights. Buskars are encouraged here so you will see your fair share of entertainment of various types.
The public market is open everyday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There is also a marina for those of you who may want to boat there and various small theatres.
Picture #1 - Main Entrance Under the Granville Bridge
Picture #2 - One of the Entrances to the Public Market
Picture #3 - One of the Small Ferrries you can Catch from the Mainland
Picture #4 - An Umbrella Shop
Picture #5 - Some of the Buskars in the Public Market