Monday, March 21, 2011

Vancouver Chronicles - Granville Island

I thought it would be really fun to start a new series chronicling some of the great spots in Vancouver for all you non-Vancouver readers.  Since I'm relatively new to the city I still get excited by all the different neighbourhoods and attractions.

One of our family's favourite spots to hit on the weekend is Granville Island.

Granville Island is literally a little island right in the middle of the city of Vancouver and is surrounded by marinas.  It's made up of an amazing fresh food market and a slightly chaotic series of criss-cross streets with outdoor shops, restaurants and theatres.

The food market is all indoors and is a series of independently owned food shops.  There's really nothing you can't find here...produce, fish, meat, desserts, cheese, bread and an awesome food court as well.  There are tons of ethnic products and if you're ever looking for a hard to find ingredient, you'll probably find it here.

The kids market is a 2-story building dedicated to all things "kid".  There's a ball pit, a maze, an arcade, a candy store and tons of specialty shops including costume store, boutique clothes stores and zillions of toy stores.  It's also home to what seems like millions of screaming and sometimes crying children so be prepared for the noise.

Once last year when I was enjoying a scrumptious lunch with friends at Bridges Restaurant a grey whale took a detour from his migration path and ended in the water right outside the restaurant.  

You can drive right into Granville Island but if you decide you don't want to, this super cute Aqua Bus ferries shoppers back and forth across False Creek from the island to the city.

These guys get a big awwww.

There are a number of theatres for adults, youth and children and there's even a theatre school for kids.  How awesome!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Emily Carr, let me introduce her.  She was a Canadian artist and one of the first to introduce Canadian art in a post-impressionist style.  She is one of the beloved Group of Seven and is described by most Canadians as a "Canadian icon".  What does this have to do with Granville Island you wonder.  The prestigious Emily Carr University of Art + Design is located in Granville Island.  This lends a funky, edgy feel with all the cool kids wandering about the place.  Because of the school, there are also a surplus of amazing art supply stores located on the island.

So, what do you think?  Do you love Granville Island as much as I do?  


  1. YES, I LOVE Granville Island, definitely one of my Happy Places :)

  2. Just there yesterday eating lunch at the Sandbar. We also love the water park and enjoy many weekends there with the kids. Great post and lovely photographs!

  3. a great place to spend an afternoon...the lobster man is a great stop to buy fresh seafood for a great meal at home

  4. Thanks for the "tour". I have been to Granville Island but it's been a few years. This makes me want to plan a trip ASAP. Thanks and Happy Spring!

  5. I do love Granville! Makes me want to visit! I always love a market with fresh produce! I can't wait for that season around here!! Thanks for lovely tour :)

  6. One of my favourite places to visit! Your post is fantastic overview of the place!

  7. This is a great post Carol. You mentioned you are new in town. Where are you from? I love Granville Island too. Somehow, even though it is crazy busy and packed with people, it seems like an oasis from the stress of the city!

  8. I'm going to Vancouver for the first time this summer, for my brother's wedding! Thanks for this!

  9. Love this idea for posts!! I hope that you do more like this. Granville island is a great spot. Doesn't just everyone love van??

  10. I'm in Portland. Only a hop, skip and a a few hours in the car away. It's about time I go do some exploring in Granville.

  11. I want to go to Vancouver so much, so your new (and much appreciated)series will only intensify that desire! Granville island looks amazing. BTW, I was once lucky enough to see Emily Carr's work displayed along with Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo. An unforgettable exhibit.

  12. That is just in TX., we are void of this kind of beauty! Makes me want to visit, this will be a great series! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I would really LOVE to visit someday. Seems like such a vibrant city.


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