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Industrial Revolution

Granville Island transforms from a neglected urban industrial site into one of Canada’s most visited public markets.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Public space

Granville Island opened to the public in 1979, completing its transformation from a long-time industrial site. It is now one of the most visited markets in Canada with approximately 12 million visitors per year.

People place

The design engagement includes streetworks and open spaces; Granville Island Hotel; Granville Island Brew Pub; the public market; several artist studios and workshops; traffic and parking design; shoreline edges; children’s play features and the ongoing monitoring and coordination of designs done by others for the site.

In the mix

A pioneering project in mixed-use developments, Granville Island combines five key elements that make it so successful. These include, non-traditional retail space, the production of goods on site, an education on site (Emily Carr University), a landscape derived from authenticity, and capacity to host celebratory events and festivals.

Traffic jam

There are no loading docks or curbs on Granville Island and free flow of both vehicle, bicycle, and foot traffic brings a tremendous sense of natural energy to the site.

Project facts

Size: 35 acres/ 14.2 ha.
Cost : $19.5 Million
Completed: 1977-1982, with ongoing engagement
Client: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Achievements & Awards

Best Neighbourhood in North America, Project for Public Spaces

AIBC Design Award for the Regeneration of Granville Island

Special Recognition of Honour from Heritage Canada Foundation

Award of Excellence, Canadian Architect Yearbook

Award of Excellence, Canadian Architect Yearbook