No trip to Vancouver, British Columbia is complete without a visit to it's birthplace; a small, cobblestone clad island in the center of the sprawling urban metropolis.
In the 19th century Granville Island, renamed Vancouver in 1886 and situated on False Creek, was a thriving mill-town city whose occupants were eventually evicted in the 1950's due to a typhoid scare, a murder, chaos and arguments.
Every mother has a plan for her off-spring and will do whatever it takes for it's survival. Granville Island herself has proved this truth. She had plans for her baby and despite turmoil and near demise, her historical heartbeat still hums a significant tune in the present day Vancouver.
As you cross under the bridge from the southeast side of West 2nd Ave onto Granville Island, you are metaphorically transported into the womb of Vancouver's Mother. And, as you wander the cobblestone streets within this diverse and magical community you are mesmerized by the myriad of juxtapositions.
Old saw-mill architecture meets urban West Coast, whimsical aqua-bus meets formal yacht. It is a place where finger foods meet 5 star dining, casual meets red carpet living and street art meets world renowned gallery. Local and international buskers range from garbage-can drummers to classical performers worthy of a theater performance in New York.
Are you an artist at heart? Sign up for a simple workshop or enroll in the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Just curious? Simply stop by and tour the facility to get a first-hand glimpse into the student's innovative creations. Perhaps, even rest awhile and watch a movie in the theater.
Have your camera in hand and make your way to the waterfront, board a mini aqua-bus and tour False Creek. The spectacular architectural coastline, with it's high rises that dwarf you and float-homes that spell-bind you is an unrivaled photographic muse.
Whatever your whim or travel desire, Granville Island caters to all. You are invited to spend the day but once you arrive, will discover that Vancouver's Mother is worthy of a 'stay-cation' not simply, a visit.
Granville Island truly is the ideal way to experience the diverse cultural essence of a city whose urban sprawl is much too large to discover in a day.