Granville Island was an artisanal find in Vancouver. We found out about this creative place from our friends John and Lorraine and their kids Meghan and Mathew with whom we had dinner the night before while vacationing in Vancouver this summer. We were talking and casually asked them where we could find artisanal shops, local goods and farmer’s market type of street or area to roam around in and unanimously got the answer Granville Island! It was obvious this was the place to go for our craving for artisanal faire. The girls and I were excited. We love anything farmer’s market oriented, handmade, and local. Granville Island is a gem of place in Vancouver!
I got excited just looking at the sign on Granville Bridge that got us onto the island the next day; a Wooden Boat Festival was happening on the island later in the month – how cool is that? Speaking of boats, a very neat way to head to the island is to take a quick 10-minute boat ride from Vancouver – almost like a water taxi. Hitesh said he preferred we drove to the island, as he wasn’t sure we could carry all the stuff that he anticipated we would be buying here 😄.
As we drove across the bridge I could already see signs for fun boutiques and shops. Here is a look at some awesome finds at this funky, fun, foodie, artisanal, artistic Granville Island.
Right where we parked we saw an interesting brewery that made all types of spirits. Walking aroud the corner I actually saw the owners bottling their spirit in beautiful bottles.
I struck up a conversation with these guys and found out that they were bottling gin which had been barrel-aged for over a year. They said their dstillery makes handcrafted, artisanal premium spirits made from 100% organic grain sourced all from British Columbia. Among their spirits include vodka, gin, unaged whiskey, and barrel-aged whiskey; all of which can be tasted at their distillery.
Right opposite the distillery was a funky art studio called Railspur Studio where I saw the blacksmith working on his art pieces. He had a huge collection already on display and for sale.
Arts Club Theatre Production
As we continued walking on this artistic alley I stumbled upon a couple of guys working on stage props for the local theater and asked Anjali to check it out (she loves anything theater).
S&R Apron Company
Folks, have you ever seen a store completely dedicated to all things aprons? -Not just any apron mind you – but luxury aprons. These aprons were all handmade of materials like leather and canvas. We even saw the seamstress in the back of the store making a few.
Granville Island Broom Company
Seriously folks I have never come across a store dedicated to just brooms until now! This was a fascinating store that had all things brooms made of straw. Brooms for cleaning all things – garage, kitchen, car, pots and pans, and even one to to clean mushrooms! These little mushroom brooms gently remove the dirt off mushrooms – I bought this one 😊. I had to get something from this very unique store 😀.
Brooms in all shapes and sizes for dusting and cleaning anything you can imagine were on display at this store.
We even saw the propreitor make a broom in an old-fashioned spindle.
The Granville Broom Company was definitely a find, one that we stumbled upon while exploring the island. Those of you who are Harry Potter fans you will love this tin at the store.
“Giants” OSGEMEOS, Brazil Painted Concrete
While continuing to explore the island we came across this very interesting building. What makse this so unique is how a mundane and boring structure such as a concrete factory got transformed into a public art piece.
According to the information boards outside the cement factory, the murals were created by two identical twin brothers from Brazil who focus on transforming public spaces into works of art.
The outdoor market
Another area at Granville Island is an alley where artists have set up outdoor stalls. Everything from handmade jewelry to handmade lotions, artisanal chocolates, and herb salts can be found in this alleyway. The prices were affordable making it even more fun to shop here.
Granville Public Market
The Public Market at Granville Island is the crown jewel for foodies! Everything food related can be found here from fresh produce to poultry, Greek food, French food, Italian food, fresh noodles, desserts, cheeses, fresh flowers and more artist’s wares. This was a fun, fun, fun market to explore. Here is a look at what I took photos of.
Fresh fruits and vegetable vendors.
Fresh Flowers in brown boxes look so organic.
Foodie lover’s paradise this market is.
I wish I could have taken photos of every single vendor here. Some were selling homemade soup broth, pasta, pasta sauces, Greek dolmas, cakes, pizzas, dumplings, and even pies to take home and bake and eat warm out of the oven.
Desserts to blow our minds! There were so many dessert stalls it was crazy!
Tea Stall, Honey Stall, Glassware and so much more.
I love Pottery! This artist made pottery that look like birch bark. I bought a couple of mugs.
Outdoor seating to enjoy the fresh air.
After grabbing coffee and a bite to eat one can sit on the docks and watch the harbor activities while enjoying the fresh outdoors.
What I have shared here is just a fraction of all the unique vendors on this island. I could have gone on taking so many more pictures, but I think I would have overloaded my phone 😀.
Folks, wouldn’t it be awesome if every city had a place like Granville Island? A place where local artists, artisanal vendors, gourmet purveyors and local farmer’s can sell their wares and foods all-year round and not just at seasonal events and weekend markets? Granville Island is a wonderful place to stroll, expore, and experience a bit of local fare and is a must visit when in Vancouver.