The December 7th Covid update extended current restrictions for travelers until January 8th, but a little bright holiday light offered up by Dr. Henry was to allow drive-thru’ s for those wishing to take in holiday lights outside of their own health region.
This season, until January 3rd, people living in the Vancouver Coastal Health region can take an evening stroll to enjoy Granville Island’s Festive Lights, but for those outside the Vancouver region, we invite you to instead drive-thru the “Island”.
Now, we have to say, as a pedestrian friendly, bike friendly, paddling friendly kind of place, it feels pretty strange to be inviting you to drive a car onto the Island, but what can we say, 2020 calls for strange times.
We’ve included a map in the side but here’s some detailed directions below that we think will offer you up the best experience.
Enter on Anderson Street under the iconic Granville Island neon sign. Keep to the right as you settle into the pace you wish, to take in the lights. To your left is the canopy of lights connecting Cartwright Street to Railspur Alley along a pedestrian alleyway. Continue to follow the road to the right and on to the east end of the “Island” – keep your eyes to the right for a new shopping area strung with festoon lighting. Performance Works Theatre is all aglow and the trees in Ron Basford Park are hung with musical notes. Follow the road as it curves past the Granville Island Hotel, and look up to the vintage yellow crane strung with lights. The holiday lighting takes on an artsy look along the entire facade of the former Emily Carr building, changing colours and following the beat of a heart. When you get to the 3 way fork in the road with Ocean Concert on your right, don’t continue towards the Public Market quite yet, instead take the second fork on the left towards the exit, but turn left just past the Granville Island Brewery to loop you back on to the Island. This time, take the first left on to Old Bridge Road. Make sure to slow right down as you pass the entrance to Railspur Alley filled with jewel toned globes – this is where many of our artists’ studios are. Up ahead you will again see Ocean Cement, this time take the send fork to the left and it will take you past Ocean Artworks, the former carving shed of Bill Reid and his Jade Canoe. Up ahead lights dazzle past the Public Market on the right, and the Net Loft and Triangle Square on your left. Ahead is Bridges restaurant’s iconic yellow building, warmly lit up, and as you follow the road to the left, all the shops along the Maritime Building lead you out and back off the Island where you came in.
It may not be quite the same as strolling the lights in the fresh air, stopping in the shops, bars and restaurants, but we think you’ll still feel just a little of the magic Granville Island has to offer.