Museum of Vancouver and Granville Island

Following on from our fabulous visit to the Museum of Anthropology, we decided to head to the Museum of Vancouver. This costs $CAD14 for adults and $11 for seniors. They do family, student and youth rates also.  You can easily reach the museum from the downtown area by bus.

Note – as the museum doesn’t allow flash photography, there are no photos of the museum in this post.  🙂

The first gallery which I believe is a temporary exhibit was about “Rewilding Vancouver” and was about the impact that humans have had in such a short space of time on the wildlife and land – in and around the Vancouver area. From destroying streams, to making some species scarce or even extinct within the region.

The thing that struck me was a statement on the wall that each generation laments the damage to the environment that is being done during their lifetime, yet the following generation doesn’t know what has been before and starts out with the existing as the new normal, and so the cycle continues – but never really improves.

This is incredibly scary when you see in context the damage that is being done in such short periods of time.

Depressing to say the least 😦

The next gallery was about the old neon signs that used to be scattered across the city. In order to beautify the city and focus on the amazing natural environment surrounding the city, this exhibit tells the tale of the war that was fought to remove the garish, glitzy signs and go with a more natural look for the city and a much less Vegas feel.

There is a very small temporary exhibit next about the Komagata Maru.  The Komagata Maru was a steamer ship transporting British Indian passengers in 1914 who were planning on immigrating, only to be denied entry at the border upon arrival.   This sounds like a fairly grim state of affairs and in a wider context speaks of the difficulties encountered by many Vancouver inhabitants who didn’t happen to be “white“.

Then the next areas of the museum work chronologically through the decades from the 1900s-1970.  Highlighting social change, the impact of key events such as World War 1 & World War 2 along with how technology was changing the way of life for people in these eras.  Once you hit the 1970s, you are done and exit back out into the atrium area.

This museum is also in the same building as the Space Centre so on a cold, wet day, this would be a good place to potentially spend some quality time.

There didn’t appear to be any cafe though, there were some vending machines downstairs by the washrooms.

All up a good museum, we spent approximately 2 hours here.   But having said that, if you run out of time, don’t stress about it.  It’s not a “must see”.

From the museum, its only a 15 minute walk along the waterfront to Granville Island.  This is a very pleasant walk and there are lots of places to sit and enjoy the view.

Burrard Street Bridge from the walkway
Burrard Street Bridge from the walkway
Totem along the walkway
Totem along the walkway

We had loads of people say that Granville Island is a “must see”.  However I’d added it to our sightseeing list as a “If we have time” as I really didn’t think it sounded like us.

Places to visit on the island are boutique shops, restaurants and a Farmer’s Market.

None of these are really our bag.  But as we were in walking distance and it was lunch time we figured it was as good of a place as any to go to grab a bite.


I confess, my initial thoughts were correct.  We walked past the boutique shops and restaurants and went to the Farmer’s Market.  Here were found a selection of quick dining options and grabbed some lunch.

The fruit and vegetables and food items looked amazing but we just wanted a quick bite of lunch before heading back to our hotel and then the airport.  We did buy some huge and delicious locally grown strawberries and sat and ate them in the sun outside.

If you like gourmet food and upmarket boutique shops, this is the place to visit.

If you are like us and consider Goodwill and the Dollar Store your ideal shopping location then you maybe disappointed.

To get back to the city, again this is easy by bus – walk back across the bridge and straight ahead on the main road you will see the bus stop.  This will take you back to downtown (Waterfront Station)



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