Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district located in False Creek directly across from Downtown Vancouver, under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge. The peninsula is a major tourist destination and working neighbourhood.
The Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Arts Umbrella education centre for children, Arts Club Theatre Company and Carousel Theatre are also located on the island. There are two businesses remaining from the island’s industrial heyday: a machine shop and concrete plant.
Since its redevelopment in the 1970s, Granville Island has maintained a community of craft studios, including art galleries, boatbuilders, a glassblowing studio, two co-op printmaking studios, a fine art print studio, a luthier, a master saké maker, various jewellers, the BC Potter’s Guild Gallery, the Crafthouse Gallery, the Circle Craft shop, a wood co-op shop, and woodworkers studios. The Granville Island Directory contains an extensive listing of businesses on the peninsula.
Granville Island Brewing is the name of a beer company that originated on Granville Island in 1984. The company’s main base of operations was later moved to Kelowna, British Columbia. It was purchased by Molson’s Brewery in 2009, and continues to brew small batches of its varieties at the company’s original site, and offers beer-tasting and tours of their brewing facilities.
Granville Island offers many activities on the water. Visitors to the peninsula can rent a boat or a kayak, go for a dinner cruise, a scuba diving excursion and whale watching. See the Granville Island Directory for a listing of businesses offering these services.
Granville Island plays host to a variety of talented buskers. Performers must purchase a licence prior to busking, and are restricted to specific areas of the island. Approximately 100 performers are registered to busk, including jugglers, magicians, musicians and other street performers. The main outdoor performance locations are located at the triangle square in front of La Baguette Bakery and the market courtyard behind the public market on the waterfront. Buskers perform at indoor and outdoor locations throughout the island. Performances take place year-round with the majority taking place from May to September.
The Granville Island Public Market features artisans, day vendors and a farmers market. There are approximately 50 permanent retailers offering local products and more than 100 day vendors selling a variety of artisan cottage-industry foods and handmade crafts. A bevy of merchants sell breads, cheese, seafood, fresh pasta and produce. The daily farmers market has been ongoing since the early 1990s, and was the first contemporary farmers market in Vancouver.
Aquabus and False Creek Ferries provide year-round ferry service from Granville Island to Downtown Vancouver, including numerous stops in Yaletown, False Creek South and North, and the West End as well as Vanier Park near Kitsilano Beach. Other water transportation options include a taxi service to Bowen Island provided by English Bay Launch.
Passenger ferries in False Creek offer a unique perspective of one the most vibrant areas of Vancouver. In the past 30 years, more than 25 million passengers have taken a ferry ride in False Creek.
There are more than 70 cafés and restaurants on the island. It is impossible to walk more than a few steps without being tempted by the food stands, restaurants and waterside cafés. The extensive selection of baked goods and other delicious offerings are a food lover’s delight!
Minnie Maniac (aka Toni Smith) lives an amazing life travelling the world as an adventurer and performer. At 18, Toni began her training at a circus school in Christchurch, New Zealand. She later joined a traveling circus performing trapeze, hula hoops, clown and acrobalance. Along the way, she has done some really cool things, including a high wire act between two buildings 46 metres (150 feet) above ground, a stint as a half-woman/half-ape in the BBC movie “The Lost World,” and a performance on the red carpet at the premiere of “King Kong.” Toni has travelled to Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.