Granville Island

Vancouver, British Columbia

Granville Island: where bustling markets, artistic wonders, and picturesque waterfront views intertwine, creating an urban haven of sensory delights in the heart of Vancouver.

Discover Granville Island

Granville Island is a popular destination known for its vibrant public market, diverse arts and cultural scene, shops, restaurants, and waterfront views. It also plays host to several reputable festivals including the Vancouver International Children's Festival, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and the Vancouver Writers Fest.

Set on the site of a former manufacturing industrial complex in the Fairview neighbourhood, Granville Island has transformed over time into the must visit destination it is today. From mud flats and tin factories into a place of bustling markets and world-class theatres, this urban gem is truly an unforgettable experience.

Granville Island 6
- Shahar Ben Halevi

A Historical Transformation

Vancouver’s Granville Island was once a mudflat full of corrugated-tin factories and heavy machine shops that serviced the city’s booming logging and fishing industries. The area’s first merchants, during the Great Depression of the 1920s, were entrepreneurial squatters who lived in ‘hobo jungles’ and worked with what the area had to offer, namely salmon, smelt, and wood. They were incredibly independent people who ventured door-to-door or sold their products at the local Public Market as a means of earning their living.

In the 1970s, the island underwent a transformation; the old factories and warehouses were repurposed and Granville became a vibrant hub for art galleries, craft makers, and shopkeepers, while also making a culinary statement in the area with handfuls of restaurants and cafes.

Its evolution from a once-industrial complex to a thriving cultural district serves as a prime example of urban revitalization, and showcases Vancouver's commitment to creativity and its entrepreneurial past.

Visiting Granville Island

Granville Island Public Market: A Gastronomic Delight

At the heart of Granville Island lies the Granville Island Public Market, a bustling marketplace that was established in 1979 as a space for farmers and other food vendors to sell their local produce. Today around 50 vendors, operating their stalls year-round, entice visitors with the promise of delicious and sweet-smelling fresh produce, gourmet treats, and artisanal delights.

Once you’ve got samples of everything you need for a mighty feast head to the large outdoor seating area to indulge in your goodies whilst overlooking stunning views of False Creek. For local Vancouverites, Granville Island and the Granville Island Public Market are one and the same thing. If a local says they’re heading to Granville Island it undoubtedly means you’ll find them perusing the aisles of the indoor facility for their next mouth watering snack.

Granville Island 4
- Kyoungju Kim

Food Walking Tour of Granville Island

In order to truly make the most of the Granville Island Public Market why not hop on a food walking tour? And if you do, be sure to take your appetite with you as the guides know all the best spots to whisk you away on a delicious culinary adventure! They’ll weave you through neatly packed stalls that are full to bursting with tempting selections of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, maple syrup butter, locally caught candied salmon, baked goods from A Bread Affair, Benton Brothers’ fresh-off-the-wheel cheeses, and international delicacies from Mexican to Mediterranean.

The group tours will not only expose you to the tasty side of Granville Island but also allow you to uncover the fascinating history of the area as well, and allow you to make friends along the way.

Granville Island 2
- Kyoungju Kim

Island Restaurants

If plucking delicacies from a jam-packed marketplace is not your style do not be disheartened; Granville is also home to some of the best restaurants in Vancouver. All of the meals are made using locally sourced ingredients from the Public Market anyway – you just get to sit back and sip a Granville Island Brewing pint or cocktail whilst someone else prepares it for you! From world-class seafood appetisers at the Sandbar Seafood Restaurant to fiery Mexican flavours at Alimentaria Mexicana there’s a restaurant for every palate on Granville Island.

Granville Island Brewing

Granville Island is also the birthplace of Vancouver’s craft beer scene. Granville Island Brewing has established itself as Canada’s first microbrewery and continues to supply many of Vancouver’s best bars all over the country. You’ll find their Coastal Series beers like English Bay Pale Ale and Cypress Honey Lager on tap. But the more creative small batch series are what lure the beer-lovers to their taprooms at Granville. For a small fee you can tour the tap house and sample some of the thirst-quenching, flavour-packing nectar on offer.

Kids Market and Family-Friendly Fun

If the adults are heading to the brewery headquarters then it only makes sense that there’s a place especially for young adventurers to enjoy as well! And there definitely is, at the multi-level Kids Only Market. With an arcade, sweet shops, play areas, and 25 child-friendly stalls selling everything from toys to sports equipment, there’s plenty to keep youngsters fascinated and entertained on your visit to Granville Island. During the warmer months the Granville Island Water Park offers a refreshing escape from the heat for families with younger children, featuring colourful water fountains and splash pads.

Granville Island: A Hub for Arts and Culture

As a hotbed of artistic expression, Granville Island is home to numerous galleries, studios, performance spaces, and theatres.


Contained within the Granville Island Theatre District are reputable theatres such as the Arts Club Theatre Company and the Granville Island Stage. Here visitors can attend an insightful drama or giggle through a humorous comedy sketch, witnessing the profound talent that Vancouver has to offer.


Licensed buskers typically work through a tune along the docks behind the Public Market but there are also six busking places within the market itself. The talented individuals often perform cover songs from famous bands but they also try their skills at juggling, illusions, and mime. Stopping by to take in the visuals or listen to the music on your way around the island is definitely a highlight of visiting Granville.

Granville Island 1
- Kyoungju Kim

Studios and Workshops

Venture beyond the pomp and ceremony of the theatres and buskers, and you'll discover a different style of performance. A vibrant community of artisans and craftspeople, practising their trades in Granville Island's numerous studios and workshops. Witness master glass blowers shaping molten glass, talented jewellery makers crafting intricate designs, and skilled painters bringing canvases to life. Visitors can even purchase bespoke one-off items directly from the creators themselves.


Once the artwork has been created, any items that are not snapped up straight away are displayed in the local galleries. Two unique spots for authentic souvenirs would be the Blue Seas Gallery and its award-winning Vancouver skyline photography and the Eagle Spirit Gallery with the biggest collection of Northwest Coast native art in Vancouver. Additionally, the ceramics, textiles, and wooden carvings found at the Circle Craft Coop also make for another interesting and quirky gallery, which promotes over 130 craftspeople from all over British Columbia.

Granville Island: Waterfront Charm

As if the fantastic food and vibrant creativity spilling out of Granville Island wasn’t enough to entice its visitors, the incredibly picturesque waterfront location will definitely seal the deal. Take a leisurely stroll along the marina, admiring the bobbing boats and the scenic views of False Creek. For an unforgettable experience, hop on a tour boat or water taxi and enjoy a cruise around the harbour, and a crystal clear close-up of Vancouver's skyline and mountainous backdrop. It is even possible to arrange a tour to the surrounding islands for a glimpse at the area’s dolphins, otters, sea lions, bald eagles, and even orcas.

Granville Island
- Kyoungju Kim

Our Thoughts…

Granville Island is a captivating destination that embodies Vancouver's creative spirit, showcasing the city's artistic prowess and culinary delights. Nevertheless, it remains true to its enterprising origins and rich heritage. Whether you're wandering through the bustling Public Market, immersing yourself in theatrical performances, or engaging with local artisans, the island offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave a lasting impression. A visit to Granville Island is an invitation to explore, discover, and immerse yourself in the beating heart of Vancouver's arts, food, and creative community.

Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our Vancouver Scavenger Hunts- untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Vancouver and beyond!

Granville Island Questions


What you need to know

Granville Island
1661 Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S3
49.270800, -123.134400
Tips before you visit