What is Granville Island?
Granville Island is a peninsula located to the Southwest of Downtown Vancouver. Granville Island is known for its famous public market and shared goods involving scrumptious dishes, tourist souvenirs, indigenous art pieces and many other Canadian commodities in Vancouver. Originally a First Nations fishing site before the early 1970’s, the Granville Island today is a hotspot for many wandering tourists in British Columbia. Considering the indigenous origins of Granville Island, tourists that are also interested in learning the history of the First Nations peoples will also make Granville Island a wonderful find as there are many Indigenous works and Indigenous inspired art pieces in the vicinities of the shopping district.
Article by Dawson Jen
Things to Do in Granville Island
With many boats near the docks and stores on shore, the atmosphere of Granville Island has a strange unique feeling unlike any other place in Vancouver. If I were to describe it, it would be a mixture of the unique architecture of buildings in the shopping district with the emphasis of First Nations culture expressed through art pieces, First nations structures such as totems in the area and delicious First Nation dishes. With the many building of Vancouver on the peninsula, constructed markets with unique architecture and the floating boats on the water banks near the shore, the location is a suitable place for tourists to take photos. A personal recommendation of mine would be the small duck pond right outside the Granville Island Toy Company closest to the Crystal Ark and My Island Café. Though there are many Canadian Goose and ducks within that vicinity, the place is generally good for taking photos in the spring or when the flowers bloom as this applies a natural aesthetic to the photos that are taken.
As Granville Island is a shopping district with its famous public market, there’s also a variety of stores around Granville Island that sell artisan goods such as clothing, jewellery, toys, souvenirs, gifts and even furniture. STRUB Activewear for example, is a shop that sells outdoor clothing and equipment located to the left of Duranleau Street. On the same street, a gift store known as “MAKE” also sells a variety of goods ranging from quality clothing and hats to board games, unique fridge magnets and designed cups.
Jewelry stores like Beadworks and the Circle Craft Store are also located inside Net Loft, a small shopping mall located close to the Granville Island Public Market to the right of 1689 Johnston Street. Beadworks sells fine hand-crafted Jewellery created in Vancouver and allows its own customers to create their own customized beads and use customization tools free or charge. The Circle Craft store sells hand crafted art pieces and jewellery created by over 130 artist co-op members across the cities and towns in British Columbia.
Located underneath the Granville Street bridge to the right, the Granville Island Toy Company sells a variety of goods for the young including educational board games, toys, and different puzzles created by toy manufacturers around the world and is a suitable location for any tourists inside British Columbia to bring their children if they ever wanted to be entertained. Near the flagship store, there’s also a pond usually with ducks suitable for landscape photography.
Being a tourist attraction, Granville Island also has a playground and waterpark located to the right of Cartwright Street near the False Creek community center. The environment is generally lively on sunny days, as the many children at Granville Island play around the playground and waterpark in the summertime. With the grassy areas nearby for picnicking and hanging out, tourists can relax and engage in the experiencing the environment of Vancouver as their kids play around in the park.
Inside the Granville Island Public Market, there are many small businesses and vendors that sell different kinds of artisan goods such as hand-crafted art pieces, jewellery, and a variety of foods that are palatable and appetizing for the many tourists in Vancouver. For the tourists unfamiliar with Canadian cuisine in Vancouver, this is a great opportunity for the tourists to try out Canadian cuisine in the Granville Island Public Market. Here are some of my personal recommendations:
For sweet desert related foods, Bon Macaron Patisserie Ltd has a vendor located in the market near 1689 Johnston Street. The vendor opens 11am to 6pm and sells gluten free Macarons, with a multitude of different flavors, bringing a taste of France to the east coast for tourists to enjoy.
Open from Thursday to Sunday every week, Candy Kitchen is also a vendor in the Granville Island Public Market located near 1689 Johnston Street. The vendor sells treats and deserts like sugar-free chocolate, lollipops, handmade Belgian chocolates, and many other imported candies for the tourists to enjoy.
Do you like savory foods rather than sweet treats and deserts? Benton Brothers Fine Cheese also has a vendor in the Granville Island Public Market located near 127 – 1689 Johnston Street. The vendor sells different kinds of artisan cheese produced around the world in Vancouver. The cheese sold by the vendors can be bought as gifts for family, friends and even lovers.
Tourists can also take a cruise across the water banks of False Creek during their trip at Granville Island by boarding the ferries at the ferry dock near 1699 Johnston Street. Cruise travelling through the False Creek water banks provides tourists with many opportunities to explore the many places in Vancouver such as Sunset Beach located Northwest of the Granville Island peninsula. Cruise traveling is most recommended for tourists who are interested in exploration as it provides tourists with a phenomenal experience on discovering the many different areas in Vancouver.