Before it became an area dedicated to the arts, the beautiful Granville Island had humble origins as a mere sandbar. The sandbar held up the old Granville Street bridge around the late 19th century, thus residents began calling the island Granville, even after the site became industrialized, attracting many manufacturers. Many came to the island for job opportunities, and the region flourished.
The Great Depression on Granville
The Great Depression impacted on industrial Granville as many homeless families gravitated to the island on their houseboats forming shanty towns in the once prosperous site. The economic decline in the 1930s led to the abandonment of some of the factories and much of the housing on the isle, turning the once-proud community into a shadow of its former self. At this point, the island was only frequented by workers still employed by the few factories that remained.
Transformation of Granville Island
However, the government realized that Granville Island needed help, and thus set out to revive the aging community. To that end, the government transformed several derelict zones into parkland, public exhibition space, and even tasteful housing. It may have been a costly investment for the state, but it successfully reinvigorated a dying neighborhood.
Today, Granville is looking better than ever, and there are plans to further expand its art displays, landscaping, and crafts. Of particular note, the neighborhood public market around the area is renowned for the regional produce available, as well as fine pieces from the region’s artisans and craftsmen. With such a long and colorful history, Granville makes a promising location to move into, especially for those looking to live in a hip and developing community.
Granville Island Housing
The government still manages much of Granville’s development, including the construction of housing via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Buyers can still hook up with real estate consultants like VancouverTownhouse.ca to find their ideal Granville Island house. A quick browse through the Internet should be able to link buyers with real estate professionals who can show them around the island.
While Granville Island started as an area dedicated to industry and production, this historical fact shouldn’t deter people who are looking for a picturesque neighborhood to move into. The island stands today as one of the most colorful communities in Vancouver, and it’s certainly a welcome change from the cityscape. The future of Vancouver living lies in Granville; which is what makes investors and potential residents so avid about the island.