What comes to mind when you think of Granville Island? Vibrant art spaces, fantastic live music, the famous and always popular Public Market featuring a wide array of bakeries, butchers and colourful produce or perhaps the tremendous assortment of restaurants, pubs and bars catering to the foodie in all us? It sounds cliché, but Granville Island has something for everyone! I can easily spend a day soaking up the colours, aromas and atmosphere of this magical place “under the bridge.”
It may be a surprise to some that Granville Island also boasts fantastic green spaces. From duck ponds to water parks getting “outside” on Granville Island is always a treat. After the hustle and bustle of the Market, I thoroughly enjoy a slow stroll along the Island seawall. I usually begin my quest for “green” at Ron Basford Park, which until 1970 was a large pile of fill and concrete. Today it stands as an oasis and the perfect place to sit for a moment and simply relax. Of course, don’t be surprised if you are caught up in a wedding ceremony, as during the summer months the Amphitheatre is a popular spot for those wishing to profess their love!
Just down the walkway from the amphitheatre lies the False Creek Community Centre, a vibrant community space offering numerous speciality programs including canoeing and kayaking. In direct contrast to the peace and serenity of Ron Basford Park is the Granville Island Water Park. On hot summer days, little ones run, splash and slide for hours on end! Their energy is infectious and joyous!
Wildlife encounters are not something you would expect on Granville Island. However, recently as I sat outside the market savouring my morning coffee, I had a chance encounter with a Harris Hawk named Viktor. Not just a pretty face, this working Raptor from Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey, frequently visits the island to help ward off the seagulls. Fascinated, I chatted with Karen from Raptors Ridge and learned more about the predator – prey relationship between the gulls and hawks. Although Viktor never took flight, his sheer presence kept the pesky birds away. Bidding farewell to Viktor, I ended my day on the boardwalk overlooking the marina. The ocean glistened. Transfixed, I watched the boats and listened to the gulls, grateful for Granville Island’s green spaces. Next time you explore the Island add a seawall stroll to your agenda. Guaranteed the peek a boo city views and lush green spaces will delight you!
Granville Island is located under the Granville Street Bridge. Parking is limited; consider arriving by bus, boat, bike or on foot.
Plan Your Visit:
Open 7 days a week, Granville Island is always bustling. Visit the Granville Island website and plan your Island exploration.