Granville Island - Vancouver

notes from Mom


If someone asked me what my favourite place in Vancouver was, I'd say GRANVILLE ISLAND.  It has everything I love:  fresh vegetables, fruit, and seafood; good coffee; outstanding flowers; quaint shops to browse in; restaurants, artist's workshops; and it's located in a very picturesque spot, False Creek.  If you get tired of the market action, you can stroll around the seawall which meanders along False Creek, and gives you fantastic views of the city and mountains.

Your kids are sure to enjoy The Kids Only Market (1496 Cartwright), stuffed full of everything they love:  toys, clothes, and video games.  Plus there are two playgrounds.  One of them has a water park and water slide operating during the summer months. 

Age group:

All ages.  I've taken my kids since they were babies.   There's always been something for them to do or look at, whether it's feeding pigeons, watching ducks and turtles, or playing on the swings--they're never bored. 

Expense rating:

It's hard to leave Granville Island without spending any money, but you could. 


If you like eating fresh food, you can't beat Granville Island.  It has the broadest selection of fresh food in Vancouver. 


It can get busy at Granville Island, particularly during the tourist season.  If you don't like crowds, it might turn you off.  Parking also can be hard to come by.  Somehow I always manage to find a spot.  The number of people going is about the same as the number coming, so parking spots are always popping up. 


Granville Island is underneath the south end of the Granville Street Bridge.  I get to it by crossing the Burrard Street Bridge going south, and turning left around 2nd Avenue.  The Public Market is closed on Mondays in January.  Otherwise the craft shops and Kids Only Market are open every day of the week.  For more information call (604) 666-5784.  Website:  

Also checkout the Granville Island Brewing Company and the Granville Island Model Ships Museum.




All seasons 

Educational highlights:

Granville Island is home for a number of artisans.  Potters, glass blowers, and jewellers all have studios there where they make and sell their creations.  The Emily Carr Institute of Art is located there as well.  For younger artists (starting at 2 1/2 years of age), The Arts Umbrella offers classes in clay, painting, and for those looking for something different, Asian Art & Design, Funktional Art, or Photography.  They also have a reputable and popular dance program. 

Fun for the adult?:

Granville Island has a number of restaurants you can go for dinner or lunch.  It also has the Arts Club Theatre if you enjoy live theatre.  There are several artists studios and shops to buy hand-crafted works of art.  The Public Market is perfect if you're shopping for a dinner party, and you need a number of unusual spices or vegetables.  And the seawall gives you a place to unwind and stroll along the water before you head home.