Stretching from Waterfront Station near Gastown to the far side of Vancouver, Granville Street is famous for its nightlife, neon signs and shopping.
Granville Street intersects Georgia, Robson, Davie and Broadway, all of which are some of Vancouver’s other main streets of interest. Along its way are other Vancouver landmarks such as the Vogue and Orpheum theatres, and the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.
Also on the street are Pacific Centre Mall and the Hudson’s Bay’s flagship Vancouver department store. And under the street, or under the Granville Street Bridge more specifically, is Granville Island.
History of Granville Street
At its peak of glory, in the 1950s, Granville Street boasted one of the most extensive neon sign displays in the world. For years it was the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district, full of theatres, night clubs and restaurants. Since that time, however, the neon signs have slowly disappeared, although there are still some.
Granville Street is still Vancouver’s main entertainment district, but less so than in years past. An exception was in 2010, during the Winter Olympic Games when Vancouver was the host city. During the month of February that year, Granville Street had tens of thousands of celebrating people in the streets.
Today, Granville Street is still one of Vancouver’s most interesting streets and is worth visiting. Arguably the most interesting part of Granville Street is from around West Hastings (a block or so up from Waterfront Station close to Gastown), up to where it intersects with Robson Street, and a bit beyond up to Davie.
Granville again becomes vibrant further south, after the Bridge (and Granville Island underneath) between West Broadway and 15th.
Granville Street Events
Granville Street is sometimes a venue for special events in Vancouver, when the city shuts down traffic completely there and the street turns into festival grounds. During the 2010 Olympic Games, for example, hundreds of thousands of people celebrated on Granville Street.
TaiwanFest is an annual event that takes place on Granville Street on the Labour Day weekend in September. The Vancouver Halloween Parade and Santa Claus Parade also include Granville Street on their routes in October and December.
The Granville Promenade
This is a new event in 2021 and one that runs from the end of July to the beginning of September. For six weekends this year the Granville Promenade takes over two blocks with the goal of providing free public entertainment and supporting the businesses in the area.
Put on by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, the Promenade promises to be an enjoyable summer event. There’s live music on two separate stages, other spaces for street performers and multiple new art installations.
The event is free to enjoy from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday from July 31st to September 5th. Each week has a different lineup of performers which is announced in the lead-up to the weekend on the Downtown Vancouver Instagram page.
As well, there is the opportunity to win a $100 Granville Street gift card in a raffle. Simply take a photo of the Promenade and post it on social media with the hashtag #GranvilleProm while also tagging @downtownvan to be entered into the contest. The five winners are drawn on September 8th.
Venues on Granville Street
A number of places of significance are on or close to Granville Street. These include the following:
- Commodore Ballroom – a night club venue at 868 Granville Street.
- Orpheum – a theatre and live music venue at 884 Granville Street.
- Pacific Centre Mall – an upscale shopping mall that stretches for a couple of blocks along Granville Street (from West Georgia Street to West Pender).
- Scotiabank Dance Centre – a venue for dance classes and performances at 677 Davie Street (at the corner with Granville Street).
- Stanley Industrial Stage – a theatre venue operated by the Arts Club at 2750 Granville Street.
To learn about and appreciate the history of Granville Street, including a collection of its old neon signs, consider visiting the Museum of Vancouver (MOV).
To find out about other interesting streets, check out Vancouver’s Most Famous and Interesting Streets, where you’ll find other great areas for shopping, entertainment, dining and watching people.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Best Places for Shopping
- Shopping Opportunities on Granville Island
- Vancouver’s Shows & Entertainment Calendar
- Entertainment in Vancouver
- What’s Happening This weekend
- Vancouver Bars & Night Clubs