It is hard to imagine that Granville Island was once an industrial site filled with rotten decay and pollution for more than 50 years. Since then, it has become one of the biggest tourist attraction with clean habour, curious shop and a well developed market.
Granville Island was first settled by a group of Native Americans as the land promised a tidal basin rich with marine life. When the European settlers arrived, they saw the land as a prime site for a growing city. Construction upon the land soon followed and since then has declined over the years.
No one could imagine the city to developed into anything other than a site filled with hideous warehouses and smoke but in the mid 1960's, the public began to question the value of Granville Island. The public then demanded that the place be cleaned up and private businesses were encouraged to open shops there. In 1979, the old warehouses of B.C. Equipment and Wright's Ropes opened their doors to the public as a fresh produce market and the Granville Island Market Place was born.
If you wish to shop for fresh food produce, then the market is the place for you to go and visit. It is filled with fresh vegetables, delicious golden baked bread, all kinds of seafood, brilliant array of flowers and a food court where you can sample food from the west and east.
Should get lost in the busy habour side, there is an information stand located at the front end of the island. The stand is filled with up and coming acts from the surrounding theatres as well as a general information guide to Granville. You can catch a bus down to Granville from Broadway Station.
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There are so many stores and shops that it is hard to mention everyone of them. For example, just to name a few, you can try the Kids Only Market which is a place for the child in everyone. Once inside, you can expect the fun to begin as the store offers anything from simple playing blocks to the latest whiz gadget. If your taste runs in something a little more grown up, then why not take a sea kayak or canoeing in the blue waters instead? The Ecosummer Expeditions offers these activities along with hiking and scuba diving.
Not only is Granville a place to do your shopping, it is also a place for fine dining rewarded by a wonderful view of the city and its habour view. You would probably want to try the seafood as they are fresher here and the vegetables are top of the range quality. The atmosphere of any restaurants (The Granville Island Keg or the Isadora's Restaurant just to name a few) is casual and carefree.
Located at 1399 the Johnston is a huge warehouse that is notable for its production of young emerging talents. This is the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. Courses are available in painting, sculpture, computer animation, industrial design and photography. It is worthwhile to browse through the school's gallery to see some of the work on display.
Granville is also famous for its production of contemporary arts. There are several theatres located around the island offering plays and dance. If you are planning on having dinner on the island, it is always a good idea to consider going for a play after dinner. It is good way to wrap up the evening's encore.
For more tourist attractions and information please refer to our attractions guide. There are many attractions in Vancouver which should be on your must see list.
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