Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Sponsored Content

Holiday Shopping Made Easy: Done in a Day on Granville Island

Let's paint a picture: you're at the mall, it's packed, you can't move through the crowd, tempers are short, emotions are high and all you want to do is leave as soon as possible.

Let's paint a picture: you're at the mall, it's packed, you can't move through the crowd, tempers are short, emotions are high and all you want to do is leave as soon as possible.

What if you could avoid the big crowds, the cookie-cutter mall experience, and have a shopping trip that's friendly, peaceful and unique instead? Come to Granville Island and get everything you need for the holidays in just one day! Although, with over 50 artists and artisan shops to explore it may be best to focus your hunting in one area. The Railspur District is full of handmade, unique, fun (and delicious) finds, making it a great place to start. Here’s our guide to help you make the most of your day.

Granville Island 2016 - 1

Getting to the Island

The Island is centrally located and easily accessible. We always encourage being kind to the environment, so consider using public transit, a car share like Evo, biking, carpooling with friends or bundling up and taking the ferry over. Also, don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags to keep waste to a minimum!

Granville Island 2016 - 6


Start your day off with breakfast and coffee at Off the Tracks. They not only have a full menu of delicious, ethically and locally sourced food, they also serve local-favourite Elysian coffee. You can also purchase a bag of Elysian coffee from the café, which makes a great gift for the coffee lover in your life.

Since you’re already in Railspur Alley, consider visiting some of the many shops. For those who appreciate practicality and beauty (and leather), head to Hartman Leather, who use top grain vegetable-tanned cowhide to create belts, bags and accessories for women and men. For the art and jewelry lover, head to Peter Kiss Gallery. Check out the array of his stunning work as well as jewelry and art made by Tania Gleave. For clothing and accessories head to Funk Shui. Whether it's a felt jacket or an illuminated headdress, all the work at Funk Shui reflects the artist, Jessica De Haas, and her personality - earthy, adventurous, warm, and multi-faceted.


Take a break and grab some food! If you’re looking for more of a fine-dining experience, be sure to check out Dockside Restaurant. With a menu that will please all palates, it’s a great place to bring families and groups of friends. You can even come celebrate the holidays with them by reserving a spot at their renowned Christmas brunch and dinner. If you’re looking for something more casual, check out Pedro’s coffee in the nearby Kid’s Market for coffee and snacks.

Granville Island 2016 - 4


Now that you’ve refuelled, it’s time to head out once again. For the ceramic lover, The Gallery of BC Ceramics has a beautiful array of works by local ceramists. Take a their website for a list of current exhibitions. For the truly one-of-a-kind-er, The Granville Island Broom Company can help. Their products are made using tried and true shaker methods from the 1800s that make their brooms not only rare and unique, but also sturdy enough to stand the test of time. For the young at heart, make sure to check out Ainsworth Custom Design for things like Snowmen Ornaments, coloring books and picture books. For the Fashion Aficionado, check out Search & Rescue Denim. Making Vancouver look stylish worldwide, Search & Rescue makes aprons, as well as men’s and women’s outerwear, which can all be custom made.

Snacking and Happy Hour

Granville Island 2016 - 7Let’s not forget the liquor lovers on your list! Liberty Distillery offers Vancouver’s first handcrafted spirits made from 100% BC grain. You can sip their drinks in their full-service bar or book a distillery tour. Happy Hour is Monday-Thursday from 3pm-6pm signalled at 3pm sharp with an authentic steam whistle to let you know it’s begun! Artisan Sake Maker is known to create award winning, handmade, small batch, fresh, premium sake. They also have a tasting room where visitors can try a single tasting for $2, or the three styles of sake for $5.


For dinner, try Cats Social House. With ingredients gathered at The Public Market, the chef creates delicious dishes from local farms and sustainable resources. With things on the menu like ‘Two-Handed Burgers’, Fish & Chips and daily drink specials, you’re sure to find just what you need after a long day of shopping.


Granville Island 2016 - 3

After all your shopping is finished, your day doesn't have to be quite over yet! Check out a show at Performance Works. They have a full calendar of performances for December you can check out here.

If you’re too tired to head home, you can always book a stay at the Granville Island Hotel. This beautiful boutique hotel merges both chic design and comfort to make your stay on the Island one you won’t soon forget.

Granville Island is home to lots of shops, restaurants and businesses. Make sure to head to the Granville Island website to confirm holiday hours and product availability. Also, don’t forget to enter the Granville Island Giving Contest to win a $250 shopping spree! But you won’t be the only winner. To keep the giving going, Granville Island will also be donating $250 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. To enter, follow Granville Island on Instagram @granville_island then show them what giving means to you by posting a photo with the hashtag #GIgiving. Don’t wait - contest closes December 16, 2016.