At BC Ferries‘ Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, the Tsawwassen Quay Market provides an unexpectedly wide range of shopping and food service options.
In comparison, most other BC Ferries terminals have only limited retail shops and restaurants.
If you want to buy food or gifts at Vancouver’s other ferry terminal, at Horseshoe Bay, you have to exit the grounds completely and walk to the village. At Swartz Bay, on Vancouver Island near Victoria, there is just a cafeteria plus a very small number of seasonal vendors. At the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, on the other hand, there is a really nice indoor market.
The Tsawwassen Quay Market
A ferry terminal might not be where you expect to find a shopping centre, but that’s the case with the Tsawwassen Quay Market. Located at the endpoint of the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, the market covers over 15,000 square feet and has around 20 different vendors. It’s not a large mall, but big for a transit hub.
The market is operated by Quay North Urban Development which runs similar places in the Lower Mainland. They also manage the Quay Market & Food Hall and Shipyards in North Vancouver. (Note: The former of these two places used to be called Lonsdale Quay Public Market.)
Location and Hours of Operation
The Tsawwassen Quay Market’s address is #1 Ferry Causeway. To reach it you must go through Tsawwassen and down the causeway that leads to the ferry terminal.
Only people travelling with BC Ferries, via the Tsawwassen terminal on their way to Vancouver Island, can access the market area. It’s possible for walk-on passengers to access the market, via a side door to the car parking area. It’s a bit out of the way though, so mostly just people travelling by car visit the market.
If you don’t have a car, the simplest way to get to the ferry terminal is by taking the #620 bus. The main stop for the bus is Bridgeport Station in Richmond.
The market’s location means that it isn’t something that you will just happen to come across, unless you’re taking a ferry. And it’s only a place you’ll visit if you arrive at least 30 minutes or so before your scheduled sailing. It’s a nice place to check out though if you’re travelling with BC Ferries and want something to do while waiting for your sailing.
The market is open seven days a week from 6:00 am to 8:45 pm. That doesn’t mean that every vendor is open all those hours, however. The hours for each individual vendor vary. Between around 6:30 am and 8:30 pm there is usually at least something open. At 6:30 am most days, for example, both Starbucks and Sweet Thea Bakery are open for coffee and snacks.
The Market Vendors
There are around 20 different vendors at the market. A little over half of them sell food and drinks and the rest are retail stores. Below are some of the most noteworthy vendors. There are around a dozen other interesting places too.
- Ali Baba Pizza – a pizza chain most popular on Vancouver Island, this is their only location in the Lower Mainland.
- African Village Carvings – this place sells wood and stone carvings done in a traditional African style.
- Blue Bug – a phone accessories store with cases, ear buds, chargers and other electronics.
- Brims and Things – a clothing store specializing in hats, mittens, scarves and sweaters, especially for women.
- KUŌNA General Store – a shop with a focus on Canadian-made and environmentally-friendly products of various kinds.
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – a shop for those with a sweet tooth. It offers a wide variety of chocolates and other desserts.
- Sweet Thea Coffee & Bakery – this bakery has treats of all kinds from pies to cakes to gingerbread, along with other tasty products. They also have locations on Main Street and in Langley. Their baked goods are exceptional!
- Wok n Roll – they sell both Chinese and Japanese at this place, and the food is pretty good. We often get a combo to go from here when we’re hungry. It’s tasty, and cheaper than what you’ll find on the ferry.
There are often multiple discount offers active at any given time, and the market makes it clear on its website what stores are offering sales. Click Browse Vendors and you can see all the different coupons on offer.
For more information about the market visit the Tsawwassen Quay Market website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
- BC Ferries
- Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall
- Tsawwassen BC
- Quay Market & Food Hall (formerly called the Lonsdale Quay Public Market)