Local and Artisanal Finds in Granville Island

Harbor 4 (L)

A photo of the harbor and across the bay from Granville Island.

My friend Caitlin has a love affair with Vancouver and claims, “The streets are paved with gold.” So, when I’m deciding what to see when I visit Vancouver, I know Caitlin’s love of Vancouver and creativity will give me the advice I seek. Her suggestion? Granville Island Market. At first, I’m hesitant to be excited since I’m not a huge fan of crowded markets filled with tourist trinkets and souvenirs. Thankfully, my doubts are wrong, and I find products with the mentality of sustainable and ethical fashion—local and artisanal products. Here’s a few of my favorite finds:

Fruit (L)Ten Thousand Villages: Walking into this fair trade retailer’s store, I was greeted by a variety of beaded bracelets and earrings from India. I even managed to find Christmas ornaments of painted egg shapes from Indonesia. I love the variety of products that carry items crafted by artisans from around the world.

Maiwa Handprints and Maiwa Supply: I fell in love with both stores of this company. One store was filled with home décor products of natural dyes and prints and the other a collection of crafts from yarn to fabric scraps to dyes. I spent a great deal of time wandering through both stores and loved finding a company whose products are aimed at preservation of traditional Indian fabric and craftsmanship.

Carrot Cake (L)Paper-Ya: Not only did I love the variety of journals with topics ranging from a unique travel journal that collects memories of colors and has places to stain the pages with favorite drinks, but it also has journals with a collection of daily meals cooked with your thoughts on each meal. The journals can be meaningful as they are sarcastic and humorous as I find one printed with gold lettering stating “Fucking Brilliant,” and others encouraging you to share what you really think of people on a daily basis. There’s everything from stationery to packaging materials to wrapping paper that would have kept me entertained for hours if I my stomach hadn’t called my attention for lunch.

Silk Weaving Studio: This was a great place to satisfy my interest in textiles and curiosity of another art form. Weaving is something I’ve become more and more interested in as I learn about companies that work with specific materials in their products. Although most of the spools were for weaving looms, I eagerly searched for options to knit and was thrilled to find Tussah, a specific type of silk used by one of my favorite ethical fashion companies Wild Tussah.

Flowers (L)Finding a market that sells everything from local produce to artisanal handicrafts fills my day with plenty to explore. I can’t help but think, “If it’s possible to achieve what sustainable and ethical fashion support on one island, why can’t we do the same in the rest of the world?” Most often it seem as though hand-made or artisan gifts are deemed “expensive” and “poor quality,” a concept I find strange given that inexpensive clothes I’ve purchased need repairs after little wear and I complain that they’re “cheap.” Seeing the stores full of artisan, local made products, and recycled goods, I don’t see what’s wrong with paying for the quality of any of the pieces. After all, it’s not every day you find a durable, strong wallet made from recycled tires.

This post is a part of City Tripping hosted by Mummy Travels and Wandermum, Fly Away Friday hosted by Time Travel Blonde and Life and Wanderlust, and The Weekly Postcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond.

Travel Notes & Beyond


  1. Yum! Vancouver looks delish!

  2. Janet Barclay

    I’ve never been to Vancouver, but you make me want to, even more than I already did! You must visit the Province of Ontario some time too!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I’ll be sure to add Ontario to my list Janet! I love Canada and always want to find an excuse to return.

  3. our crossings

    Would love to return one day! Amazing place isn’t?

  4. MummyTravels

    Amazing, this sounds like the kind of place where I could spend a very long time browsing and a lot of money purchasing. I love the stationery (recording your drinks is genius) and I think a lot of the jewellery might well come home with me too. Vancouver has always tempted me so this is definitely on the list now. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • brooklyntvlasich

      When you visit Vancouver, let me know! I’m excited I could inspire you with my visit to Granville Island.

  5. Elizabeth (Wander Mum)

    I love a good market and thus sounds like it has great variety and quality. I haven’t been to Vancouver in years but I thought it was a very cool city. I shall have to return at some point! #citytripping

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Hope you can re-visit soon and spend some time at Granville Island! 🙂

  6. Anisa

    I didn’t make it to Granville Island on my short to Vancouver, just one of the reasons I really want to go back! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you can make it to Granville Island sometime soon! I think you’d enjoy it’s ties to culture and the local community.

  7. Anda

    Granville Island was one of my favorite spots in Vancouver. It’s such a colorful, lively place. I particularly enjoyed the variety of foods they have there and the spectacular views of the downtown. Hope to return there someday. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I know exactly what you mean. Granville Island had such a great feel to it. I can’t wait for a time when I can make a return visit!

  8. Bryna | Dotted Line Travels

    Granville Island is one of my favourite places to visit whenever I’m in Vancouver. I love the atmosphere of the place – there are always some great buskers performing there! Paper-ya is my favourite shop there!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I agree. I fell in love with Granville Island for the same reasons you did. I look forward to a time when I can go back!

  9. oregongirlaroundtheworld

    It’s been many years since I have been to Granville Island, thank you for the beautiful memory jog. Vancouver is an amazing city with so much to offer, love that the market still represents that. Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin #FlyAwayFriday

    • brooklyntvlasich

      That’s great to hear you loved Vancouver too. I’m very excited to hear you loved Granville Island during your visit.

  10. tracycollins2016

    We loved Granville Island market and could have spent our entire 3 days there! I also had to take a photograph of the cherries! Weren’t they amazing! I think i missed Paper-Ya and I would have been in there for another 3 days as I love things like that! Oh well next time! #weeklypostcard

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Even though you missed Paper-Ya, I think it’s fun to have to things you might have missed so you can see them the next time you visit. I’m excited to hear you loved Granville Island too!

  11. malaysianmeanders

    I remember watching someone blowing glass when we were in Granville Island. I don’t know if the stores you mention were there back then as it was quite a while ago. However, that Silk Weaving Studio seems like something that I would also enjoy.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I don’t recall seeing a blowing glass store at Granville, but I’d be curious to go back and see if I missed it. Sounds like we both need to go back and see these stores!

  12. Kana

    I’ve been wanting to visit Granville Island but haven’t quite yet. The photos look beautiful and looks like there’s fun things to do! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, hope to see you again this weekend! xo

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks for your wonderful compliments! I hope my post inspired you to visit Granville Island soon.

  13. ttbchloew

    Aw I loved this part of Vancouver!!! Such a great city, isn’t it!!? We always talk about how its seems to be so live able and would be fun to spend some more time there!!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I love Vancouver too! I would love to live there, and not just for Granville Island. The city has so much to offer and explore. 🙂

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