Thursday, February 11, 2010

a granville island experience...

One of Vancouver's more popular attractions is Granville Island...which is easily reached by land or water...and has something for everyone.

We chose to walk from downtown...crossing the Granville Street Bridge...though we could have taken the water ferry or Acquabus.

Granville Island was originally called Industrial Island...mostly about construction, mining, forestry and shipping at one time.

It was reborn in the 1970's...and is now 37 acres of unique shops, a food court, restaurants, farm market and flower market. The bright yellow building in the photo is home to the Swiss Pavilion for the Olympics.

Need a boat? There are a few to spare.

The first shop we came across on the island was Ten Thousand Villages....housed in an industrial looking building. It's the place where one can shop with a conscience...and purchase fair-trade handcrafted gifts from around the world. It's rather like a trip to foreign places...and each purchase makes a difference! I left with a few hand carved rocks...from Haiti.

And of course we checked out the House of Switzerland. It was not officially open yet when we were there...but the door we took a peek. The restaurant was gearing up to serve all things Swiss...from fondue to raclette...and wine, cheese and chocolate, of course. If you are looking for a Swiss restaurant...think yellow...and head for Granville Island.

I poked my head into the hat shop...just long enough to record my visit to Edie's Hats...because I knew my blogging friend Jill would expect that of me. I'm sure she would have stayed longer!

I spent a lot longer at the public market...checking out all those wonderful looking fruits and veggies.

We picked out a few things to eat...and took photos of others that we would like to eat.

Finding a table at lunchtime is not that easy...but patience paid off.

Buskers are a big part of the Granville Island experience...and our lunchtime entertainment was accordion music. He was actually very good...he had years of practise, I'm sure!

While we had lunch, we watched the pigeons and seagulls having a party on the courtyard...

...and were glad to be eating under cover.

Some people seemed not to mind sharing their lunch with the birds!

When our Granville Island adventure came to an end...we paid three dollars each to catch the ferry across to the downtown area.

If you ever to visit Vancouver...remember to include Granville Island in the plans.

Enjoy the day...


  1. Judy a visit to Granville Island is always fun. We enjoy sitting on the waterfront at the restaraunt facing Burrard Street bridge in summer. The last few sunny days would have been perfect for a lunch out there. I always love to look at the fruits and veggies and flowers the most .. and I always wonder why they have such gorgeous flowers there which don't come out our way.

  2. Judy, I'm taking mental notes, as my sister and I are planning to take in the Olympic atmosphere in Vancouver, with an overnight at our aunt's apartment near English Bay. There will be so much to see! Now that the planned commuter buses from our mall have been cancelled (a private venture that backed out), I'm wondering - will there be parking room at this end of Skytrain?

  3. Granville Island is my favorite hangout and we always have lunch at Bridges..You did the walk across and that's how we maneuver with our bikes and take them across on that little boat. I can never get enough of touring Vancouver. It is one beautiful city.

  4. Yes, I'm adding that to my list! :0)
    Looks like a great adventure Judy. Love the photos.

  5. I remember Granville Island, but haven't been there for years.
    Since I was 18 I think or was it 26.....what ever it was YEARS ago.
    I just loved it. It still looks so inviting....nice pics.

  6. What a cute little aquabus!
    I enjoyed my visit to the island with you...

    Word verification is sultri - must be those gorgeous hats!

  7. Wonderful spot! I really enjoyed seeing your mosaics. Isn't it a great way to get a lot of photos in? What wonderful colors and variety in all those fruits and vegetables. Hope that Jill enjoyed/enjoys seeing all those hats!

  8. Oh thank you thank you thank you for the hat shop picture! The low crowned top hats seem to be the latest style in the shop, and I am gaga over that style. If I make it back up there I will definitely spending both time and money in the shop.

    I noticed several women in hats in other pictures. See? Canadian women DO wear hats, and wear them quite well.

    Love Granville Island. Love you for taking the pictures for me!

  9. PS: The pushy pidgeon moving in on the folks at lunch is a hoot. I do have to admire the red hat and that the pidgeons are wearing red leg warmers for the Olympic spirits (wink)

  10. Looks like you had a fun visit to Granville Island. I wonder what the Swiss pavilion will become after the Olympics. I'd love to go for raclette or fondue!
    You were right on with the hearts in my photo - they were stone from various places in the world, purchased at Ten Thousand Villages.

  11. Jill, I thought thatwas you eating lunch there! Judy, I wish I would have read theis before we went to Granville Is. this past weekend. I didn't know you could take a little boat across .... but we had a nice long walk across Granville Street into downtown. Shaun enjoyed authentic sushi at the market. I was just imagining how busy this place will get in the next weeks, with all the different foods.

  12. Between the Olympic coverage on tv and your blog posts, I am craving a trip to Vancouver. It looks like such a beautiful and interesting city. The market looks just fabulous. I could spend hours there. Lovely post ~ as always.

  13. My list is growing of places that I now want to visit because I learned of them from you, here. This post on Granville Island looks just like a place that I would like to spend time visiting. Your pictures do a beautiful job of advertising it's appeal. I visited the Ten Thousand Villages store right near my home a few weeks ago, and found it interesting that you visited it in Granville Island. It is a fascinating store. Thank you for sharing this post. I like your blog better than the travel channel.

    Oh, and I must tell you, the precious pictures of your grandchildren on your side bar, bless my heart every time I visit this blog(which by the way is quite often).

  14. Granville Island looks like a very pleasant place to visit Judy. I like to walk around in harbors like this and browse through the shops and markets.

    While in San Francisco I actually had to fight off a giant seagull that kept trying to steal the piece of Boudin bread I was eating at an outside table..he was so very bold! I certainly would not have let him sit at my table, or on it, lol!

    Tomorrow is the big day! Very excited to see the opening ceremonies on TV!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson