Granville Island 2040 Update – December 2017

Granville Island 2040: Bridging Past & Future, released in May 2017, recognizes and builds on the achievements of the past, addresses current challenges and opportunities, and shapes a vision of the future with imagination and bold ideas.

Here are updates on some of the key projects we have been working on:

Our New Mission and Vision

Following a recommendation in the Granville Island 2040 report, GI’s Mission and Vision Statements were recently updated with broad community and staff input. They are as follows:

“To steward this public land for meaningful urban and social experimentation among diverse, creative, cultural, and business models, engaging local First Nations and communities, and welcoming the world.”

“The most inspiring public place in the world.”

We are excited to see the future of Granville Island through the lens of these powerful statements.

New Spaces

The Chain & Forge

Called “Central Plaza” in the report, a new public space under the Granville Street Bridge will be named “The Chain & Forge”, after the Canada Chain & Forge Factory that operated on this site during Granville Island’s industrial era. Located under the bridge, from July to September, The Chain and Forge will become a gathering place to enhance social connection through diverse outdoor programming, temporary structures, installations, pop-ups and workshops. Individuals and groups are invited to apply for a Chain and Forge Activation Grant of up to $5000. Click here to find out more!  

The Former Emily Carr University North Building
The biggest thing to happen to Granville Island in a generation: In early 2018, our hub for creativity and innovation will begin to take shape. With reimagining the interior space and planning renovations, it will take us a while to open the doors, but we will be using the outside of the building for artistic installations and activations. Watch this space!

Congratulations, Arts Umbrella!
Have you heard the news? Arts Umbrella will be moving into the former Emily Carr University South Building in 2019! We are thrilled to have this valuable organization continue to thrive as part of the Granville Island community. Since Arts Umbrella opened its facility on Granville Island in 1984, the students they reach on an annual basis has grown from about 3,000 to more than 20,000 children.
It’s a wonderful example of Granville Island’s pivotal role as a business and community incubator.

Public Market Expansion

To help guide our plans for the Public Market expansion, this past fall, we surveyed Public Market visitors to gain more insight into their needs.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Just over 70% of our visitors are residents of Metro Vancouver, with 51% living in Vancouver.

  • Less than half of our visitors drove to Granville Island, and almost one-quarter walked.
  • In addition to the Public Market, 64% visited other shops on the island; 56% went to a restaurant or bar, and 40% checked out artist studios & galleries.

The primary reason for visiting the Public Market is the overall market experience. This is a unique advantage of our location:  People enjoy shopping here!

Transportation – Improving Access for Everyone

Stay tuned for the draft Transportation Plan, which will be distributed early in 2018.
The plan will explore solutions to improve access and parking conditions by using facilities more efficiently. We want to ensure that those who need to use a private car can do so conveniently, and at the same time, provide better options for getting to and from Granville Island by walking, biking, transit and ferries. Our goals are to:

  • Improve parking availability
  • Improve the pedestrian experience on and off Granville Island
  • Enhance transit connectivity
  • Make Granville Island more cycling friendly
  • Encourage ferry use
  • Limit the impact of tour buses

2040 Implementation Committee

Also resulting from a 2040 report recommendation, the 2040 Implementation Committee has been formed to provide advice to Granville Island on our ambitious plans.  This esteemed group, selected from the 2040 Advisory Board, includes:

Wendy Grant-John
Sadhu Johnston, City Manager, City of Vancouver
Gloria Loree, Executive Director, Communications & Public Relations, Destination Canada
Dale McLanaghan, Chair, Granville Island Trust
Geoff Plant, Partner GLGZ Law LLP
Jessica Schauteet, President, Granville Island Business & Community Association
Ron Stern, President, Stern Partners

Lois McGrath, General Manager, CMHC – Granville Island
Isabelle Bougie, Vice-President, Regional Operations (CMHC), chairs the committee.

We are just getting started! Stay tuned in the New Year for more information on the Public Market Expansion & Market District plans, new restaurants and so much more!