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False Creek after Dark

False Creek remains one of the favorites amongst locals and visitors alike… so what does it look like when all the hustling & bustling dies down?

False Creek is widely considered one of the most picturesque locations in Vancouver and thus it is usually busy from dusk until well past dawn (especially on a non-rainy day)… So what does it look like after midnight when most people are asleep?

As I’ve said many times in the past I enjoy photography because I find it therapeutic to an otherwise fast-paced life (even more so now with two little munchkins).  There is an indescribable sense of serenity when my mind is solely focused on creating beautiful compositions via combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.  I actually make it a priority to have an after-midnight photography session wherever I travel (and stay tuned to my photography project: “Cities after Dark”!) but for some reason I’ve never attempted it in the city I live in!

A golden opportunity presented itself yesterday: My wife and kids were out of town for two days + no work = Immediately made plans with my buddies (who happen to live around False Creek) to chill-lax over playoff hockey.  I left their place shortly before midnight and basically photographed Science World & Granville Island to my heart’s content.  On a side note I came across a couple interesting personalities during my photo shoot on the seawall… it was surprising how a few words of encouragement and compassion can impact someone who fell on hard times.  In general the stretch of seawall between Granville Island to Science World is extremely safe after dark… but for the photographers out there I would think twice before going to the Stanley Park seawall after dark

 

 

Beautiful Vancouver from Granville Island

Granville Island: The artsy cultural hub of Vancouver

Back in the 1900s Granville Island was home to hundreds of factories.  Over the last century Granville Island had gradually evolved into a leading Vancouver attraction for both locals and visitors.  Obviously the vast majority of factories are no more with the exception of a small concrete plant and a mini boatyard.  Most of the heavy industries are now replaced by a plethora of different tenants that combined to give Granville Island its present allure.

Granville Island is centrally located in Vancouver along False Creek and is easily accessible by foot, public transit (try the Aquabus!), and personal vehicles (parking shouldn’t be a major issue considering the popularity).  Granville Island is home to various artisan shops, markets, restaurants, theaters, and many other attractions all within a few blocks of each other.  Regardless of age, gender, or budgets Granville Island has something to offer for all visitors (and the photo opportunities are endless with such scenic backdrops).

My personal suggestions:

  1. Grab a beer at Granville Island Brewery
  2. Visit Granville Island Market (every major city has a market like this… Pike Place in Seattle, St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, etc… but it is still worth a visit)
  3. Catch an Improv at the Vancouver TheatreSports League (the late shows are not children friendly = funnier)
  4. Walk along the pier and you will find some interesting photo-ops… or people watch
  5. Looking for good places to eat?  From cheapest to moderately priced: Go Fish for some dockside fish and chips (it is 2 minutes outside of Granville Island), Edible Canada, and Bistro 101 @ Pacific Institute Of Culinary Arts.
  6. Consider visiting the Kid’s Market @ Granville Island if you have small children (there is also a small water park during the summer)

A typical visit should take no more than 2 hours but due to the diversity of attractions one can easily spend a better part of the day to tour Granville Island alone!  I’ve been a Vancouverite for almost 10 years now and I am still drawn to this little piece of land… and there is no reason why any visitors to Vancouver would want to skip Granville Island from their itineraries.

Got questions or suggestions?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

Vancouver Granville Island

Where Granville Island is located relative to other parts of Vancouver

 

Granville Island HDR

Granville Island Sunset

Almost every metropolis has a tourist attraction similar to Granville Island in Vancouver (Pike Place Market in Seattle, St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, etc).  Granville Island Market contains many established specialty shops from seafood vendors, to butchers, to cheese shops, to coffee shops.  Granville Island Market is not a unique pseudo-farmer’s market in my opinion and even though I would highly recommend visitors to pay a visit to Granville Island, I think Granville Island Market is not THE attraction visitors should prioritize… (I will do a proper post highlighting Granville Island at a later date)

I have always wanted to take photos of the Granville Street Bridge.  I waited for golden hour with some nice clouds in the sky and quickly biked to Granville Island with my camera gear (and I was not disappointed! Look at the golden steel beams instead of its usual industrial grey!)