Travel Blog

25 Jun

Canada Day at Granville Island 2012

Free cake for kids at the Official Canada Day Ceremony on Granville Island. Photo: Dana Lynch

Canada Day—July 1—is fast approaching. Of the Top 10 Canada Day Events in Vancouver, the all-day celebrations on Granville Island are among the most popular: the entire island comes alive for Canada Day!

Almost all of the festivities at Canada Day on Granville Island are free—from their 13th annual Canada Day Parade that ends at the site of their Official Canada Day Ceremony (“O Canada” plus cake!), to the free jazz concerts, False Creek Ferries Ballet, MELA! South Asian festival, art exhibits, Disco Party in Railspur Alley, and multiple kids’ activities. But there is one that isn’t (which is absolutely worth the $8-per-person price tag): the Truly Canadian Pancake Breakfast (7am – 10am), a Granville Island tradition that includes hot cakes, maple syrup and Canadian bacon, with proceeds benefiting the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

With the exception of Canada Day at the Burnaby Village Museum, Canada Day at Granville Island is the best spot in Vancouver for families with young kids to celebrate. As long as its not raining, families set up camps on the grassy parks between the Kids Market and the free Granville Island Water Park (giving them a place to relax and regroup and let the kids run wild). Kids get cake at the Official Canada Day Ceremony, and the whole atmosphere is safe and friendly.

Of course, that doesn’t mean adults sans kids won’t love it, too, especially jazz-lovers. Canada Day on Granville Island is the last big hurrah for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival (July 1 is Jazz Fest’s last day), and there are multiple live jazz concerts at the Island’s indoor and outdoor performance spaces. See the line-up here.

When I used to live within walking-distance of Granville Island, it was my family’s go-to destination for Canada Day. I love how intimate and local it feels, while still boasting so much to see and do. It’s more chilled-out than the frenzy at downtown Vancouver’s Canada Day at Canada Place, but its no less fun and no less authentically Canadian.

Canada Day on Granville Island runs from 7am – 11pm, July 1, 2012.

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