Granville Island – for the creative, hungry, and adventurous

Granville Island is a mecca for lovers of fresh local food, arts and crafts, and water sports. This small ‘island’ is under Burrard Bridge and comes complete with a view of the North Shore mountains and the smell of the ocean (especially at low-tide).

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The outdoor courtyard at the public market is a great place to enjoy your lunch, or just watch the boats and ferries.

The most notable aspect of the island is probably the food. Any appetite can be satisfied at the public market, which is a maze of stalls selling local meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. There is a food court area that serves Chinese, Mexican, Thai, and most other types of food, or you can get fresh baked bagels or hand-made fudge just around the corner. If that doesn’t have you drooling, there are also a handful of pubs and restaurants on the island that serve fresh sea food and have a great view to accompany your beer.

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The public market’s main food court area is packed full of every type of cuisine
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Specialty stalls like desserts or cheeses and meats provide temptation at every turn
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Fresh local fruit is around every corner within the public market’s maze of stalls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just a few of the many tasty treats available in the market.
Every grain or spice you can think of is at this shop in the market.
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There are a handful of permanent stalls that specialize in local meat.
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The view from the dock near the public market over looks False Creek, where a water taxi is heading to the beach on the other side of Burrard Bridge.

Granville Island looks across False Creek, and near the public market is a variety of outdoor courts and benches along the dock where you can watch for harbour seals while enjoying your food. Seastars can often be spotted on the piles, and blue herons can be seen wading in the shallows near the sea wall.

Besides local food, Granville Island also hosts local talent. There are many shops that feature local artists specializing in pottery, blown glass, jewelry, metal and wood works. There is amazing sculptures and creative instruments to browse through, or you can buy your own art and craft supplies to get creative at home.

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Flowers at the market.

At the entrance of the island is a tall yellow building that appeals to anyone with an ounce of childish wonder. The Kids Market is a swirl of bright colours and a maze of toy stores and children’s clothing. If you can block out the children’s screams coming from the play pen at the center of the market, there are some really interesting toy stores selling intricate puppets and wooden trains. If you prefer children screaming outdoors, there is also a water park with a water slide and a playground.

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The Kid’s Market and duck pond are located at the entrance of Granville Island.
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The duck pond has a dock, and the coffee shop sells bird feed all summer.
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The inside of the Kid’s Market is brightly coloured and full of all types of toys.
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The kid’s water park is really popular in the summer and a great way to stay cool.

Having access to the ocean means that Granville Island has plenty of water activities and rentals. You could sign up for a day of whale watching, or rent a kayak or paddle board and explore the coast line on your own. There are plenty of boat service and repair shops, and you can even take lessons on how to sail, kayak, and scuba dive.

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Any time of the year Granville Island is great for both locals and tourists, and there is even a hotel on the island. I don’t recommend driving around the island because it is busy with pedestrians and has limited parking, but I do recommend everyone to spend an afternoon on the charming island under a bridge.

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