Granville Island is not really an island now, it is a peninsula. But it has been an island i False Creek. Landfill has increased the size and made the sandbank island to what it is today. It lies actually partly under the Granville bridge.
The history of Granville Island is in many ways the history of the district. It was a sandbank that the First Nation people used for fishing. Then the first bridge crossing the False Creek used th sandbar and tried to stabilize it with piles. The port of Vancouver was growing and the Harbour Comission started a large reclaimation project in 1915 and 760000 cubic meters were dredged from to bottom of False Creek and created todays peninsula. It was meant to be an industrial area and was actually called Industrial Island. The industries were connected to fisheries, lumber, shipping etc. Sawmills, machine shops and similar factories filled the island and around 1930 1200 people worked there. The streetcar had a stop on the Granville Bridge and stairs were builr down to the island underneath, The depression hit the area hard but a lot of the industries on the island survived. After the second world war, the production declined and the standard of the building was very outdated, several fires destroyed buildings that were not rebuilt. So in 1970 the transformation to a “people-friendly” place with parkland, restaurants. a market etc. The transformation costed the city 19 million dollar, today the yearly taxes amount to 35 million. Some pictures:
In the middle there is a rest of the past, a cement storage and concrete production. In order to fit in they engaged a Brazilian artist to decorate the storage tank.
It was great to spend time at Granville Island. The atmosphere was relaxed with street musicians, good coffee and superb view over False Creek..