Kim Lee

Granville Island

granville island

Granville Island is a shopping and entertainment district at the southern edge of False Creek in downtown Vancouver. The island is a hub of activities, housing about 275 businesses and 2,500 people. 

Granville Island is one spot you should visit in Vancouver. Not only does it have an inspiring history, but it also has an assortment of eateries, theatres, art studios, bookstores, hotels, a Public Market, and more.

The peninsula offers an all-year-round activity that would leave you with fond memories. Some buildings reflect the 1920s era before the neighbourhood’s restructuring in 1976.

Granville Island derives its name from the second earl of Granville, Granville Leveson-Gower. Its initial name was Industrial Island but because it lies under the Granville Island bridge, the bridge’s name replaced it. The area is not a natural island but a sandbar developed in the 1900s for shipping purposes.

A Glance Through History

Granville Island was a fishing place for Canadian Indigenous People before British rule. In the 20th century, the Island became an industrial site with factories and warehouses. However, it became nearly desolate after the second world war.

In 1972, a federal order-in-council handed it to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for redevelopment. About $2.47 million was invested for its restoration.

By 1982, Granville Island had become a phoenix rising from ashes. And today, it is one of Vancouver’s tourist pride.

Places of Interest In Granville Island

Granville Island is a mini town with all the conveniences to satisfy you. Among its attractions are:

  1. Shopping Centres

  2. The Public Market

This unique indoor facility caters to your every food option. It is located at 1680 Johnston Street. Buy fresh farm produce like vegetables, seafood, and fruits from farmers at the market.

Outside the building is a picnic area by the waterfront. Admire the wonderful view of the peninsula as you enjoy your meal. Around the market are food vendors, each specializing in different delicacies including Thai, Chinese, and Mexican.

  • The Kids Market

Let your kids have an awesome experience exploring the thrills awaiting them at the kids’ market. The stores in the building sell specified products for children.

There is a toy shop, candy store, and magic shop. An indoor play area called the Adventure Zone features exciting games and playing facilities to keep your children occupied with fun times.

  • Net Loft

Buy a souvenir to remind you of your wonderful time at Granville Island. The Net Loft is a range of specialty stores dedicated to artworks and souvenirs.

Most of the products are locally made by BC artists. You’ll find interesting crafts like jewelry, indigenous artefacts, pottery, and gift cards.

  • Theatres

Granville Island has several popular theatres offering entertaining shows throughout the year. Buy a ticket and enjoy a live event from one of these theatres.

These include:

  1. The Arts Club Theatre Company

  2. Boca Del Lupo

  3. Granville Island Stage

  4. The Waterfront Theatre

  5. Granville Island Stage

  6. Vancouver TheatreSports

  7. Axis Theatre Company

  • Restaurants and pubs

There’s always a restaurant, deli, or pub wherever you are on Granville Island. You can order take-out or have your meal in-house. If you want to order a fast-food or take-out, visit:

  1. Laurelle’s Fine Foods

  2. Pizza Pzaz

  3. A Bread Affair

  4. Omi Japan, and many more

For sit-down dining, visit any of these places:

  1. The Keg

  2. Blue Hat Bistro

  3. Granville Island Brewing Company

  4. Bridges Bistro

  5. Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe

Events And Festivals

All through the year, Granville Island gives nonstop events and festivals. So whenever you visit the neighbourhood, there is an event happening.

  • Granville Island Farmers Market

Every Thursday, from June to September, local farmers sell fresh farm produce outdoors.

  • Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Join the Island’s lantern festival procession with fire-spinning performances every December 21st.

  • Flamenco, Tango and Wine Night

Enjoy an exotic night of dancing and drinking during the summer’s Carnaval del Sol festival.

  • Vancouver International Children’s Festival

This late-May event features many fun activities for kids.

  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Granville Island participates in the International Vancouver music festival from late June to Canada Day weekend.

How To Visit Granville Island

Granville Island is accessible by car, boat, or bus services. Join the #50 False Creek bus from downtown and stop at the southeast side of West 2nd Avenue. You’ll see the Granville Island sign.

Buy a ticket for the False Creek or Aquabus ferries that run from 7 am till 8:30 pm in winter and till 10:30 pm in summer.

If you’re driving to the Island, get to West Avenue and Fir Street. Go northwards from Fir Street and enter West 3rd Avenue at the right turn or West 2nd Ave. At the left turn.

You will come out at West 2nd Ave and Anderson Street, where you’ll see the Granville Island sign. And from Anderson St., you’ll get onto Granville Island.