A Visit to Granville Island makes a Great Day Trip
by R. Borhi
If you are planning a trip to Vancouver, make sure to set aside at least one day to visit Granville Island. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. When I used to live in Vancouver I'd go to the market almost every weekend, and take the small boat ferry across to the beach on the city side.
Where is Granville Island?
Granville Island is a small island and market shopping area within Vancouver, BC, Canada. It is situated in False Creek across from Downtown Vancouver's peninsula, under the southern side of the Granville Street Bridge.
The location was once an industrial manufacturing area, and still hosts a brewery of the same name, but is now a major tourist destination. Some of the features at Granville Island include a hotel, marina, public food market, Emily Carr University, theatres, and many other shopping areas. You can find all sorts of great, fresh food in the market
There is a short walk-on ferry service from Granville Island across the water to Downtown Vancouver. The ride is only a few minutes long but is a fun way to get on the water, and kids love it. On the other side you can walk along the beach to Stanley Park.
You will also find many art studios at Granville Island, such as:
- a glassblowing studio
- a printmaking shop
- a luthier
- a master shoemaker
- various jewellers
- the B.C. Potter's Guild
There are also many local artisans who sell their wares in the market, from carvings to paintings, candles, and beads.
For me, the Granville Island Brewing Company is an important tenant of the island. The beer they make is shipped all over, and some of it is still made right here. The brewing company has a shop you can visit, and tours for the public. Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones are two famous people who have toured the brewery.
Buskers have become an important part of the Granville Island experience. The island is host to a variety of buskers throughout the year. Performers need to purchase a license prior to busking, and are restricted to specific areas of the island. Buskers include musicians, jugglers, magicians and other types of street performers.
The hours of operation for the food markets are 9:00am to 7:00pm, seven days per week, except Christmas and New Years.
If you have time, make sure to take in a trip to Granville Island on your visit to Vancouver. There is no other place like it!