A feature of the North Vancouver waterfront since 1986, the Lonsdale Quay Public Market is a vibrant marketplace with a variety of shops and vendors.
Note: Parts of the market have been closed and under construction for quite a few months now. Most of the shops, however, are still open, so it’s still a great place to visit. Completion of the renovations is expected sometime in 2024.
TIP: Great times to visit the Lonsdale Quay Public Market in summer are on Friday afternoons and evenings in the warmer half of the year. That’s because you can combine your trip with a visit to the Shipyards Night Market.
Lonsdale Quay Public Market
The Lonsdale Quay Public Market is an iconic part of North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay and Lower Lonsdale District. Home to 60 or so locally-owned and operated businesses, visitors can find everything from fresh produce to local artisan products at the market.
Built in 1986, the Lonsdale Quay Public Market was created as a carnival-style marketplace attraction for Expo ’86. Expo ’86 was Vancouver’s 1986 World’s Fair. Since then the market has retained most of its original architecture and remains a sight to be seen on the North Shore.
The market is also famous for its iconic Q tower. To access the tower, folk can exit the building onto the patio and climb 77 steps to the top. It sounds like a lot of steps but the view at the top is worth the effort!
Market Hours and Location
The public market can be found at 123 Carrie Cates Court at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue. The market is easily accessible by public transit, with both a major bus hub and the SeaBus terminal right next door.
There is a parkade within the market which costs around a couple of dollars per hour. Parking at the ICBC Building across the street used to be free on weekends and daily after 6:00 pm, but not anymore.
It takes about 15 minutes to get to Lonsdale Quay from downtown Vancouver via the SeaBus. Lonsdale Quay is also less than a five-minute walk to the Shipyards District where the Shipyard’s Night Market used to take place in the summer (although not since 2019).
Hours of operation for the market differ between the market level and the retail level. Both are open every day of the week. The market level is usually open from around 9:00 am until 7:00 pm while the retail level is open one hour later, so from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. On Sundays both levels usually close at 6:00 pm.
Note: Some individual vendor hours may vary including those of restaurants.
Quay Market Vendors
There are over five dozen vendors in the Lonsdale Quay Public Market selling a wide range of products and services. The shops are organized on two levels, with the market level on the ground floor being primarily where fresh products are sold and the second level being predominantly retail.
Some examples of items sold on the first level of the market include fresh produce and other food products, wine, beer, apparel, jewellery and flowers, among other things. There is also a fish shop, butcher, boutique candy store, a specialty tea store and brewery.
Stores located on the upper retail level of the market include a toy store, restaurants, a children’s play area and other retail stores. There is also a really good and affordably-priced restaurant – the Cheshire Cheese.
A really nice thing about the public market is the fact that the stores are independently-owned and operated. There is no McDonald’s, A&W, Starbucks or Pizza Hut in the food court area, and no big chain retail stores. There are instead unique boutiques, artisan vendors and one-of-a-kind shops. This makes both shopping and window-shopping especially enjoyable and interesting.
Just outside the market in the summer folks can often find live entertainment. There are also outdoor patios where people can eat, drink and enjoy the scenery.
What’s New in 2023 & 2024
As of early 2023, the Lonsdale Quay Public Market is under construction. Most shops remain open, but there are exciting renovations taking place. New graphics are being added to the outside of the market. The Q tower stairs are also being extended to the ground level of the building.
The Food Hall renovations feature new seating, tables and spaces for events. New food options are also coming later this year, in addition to the Mainstay Market Bar. King Taps is opening a new two-level flagship location at the Lonsdale Quay Public Market. Strathcona Beer Company is also opening a new location at the market in 2024.
There are new community programs and experiences coming soon as well, including pop-up markets, kitchen activities and art installations.
Olde World Confections Video
Below is a video of Olde World Confections, a candy store, which makes many of its own products at the market. They make their own fudge, chocolates and a variety of other treats right in the store.
In this video you can see the owner, David White, making peanut brittle. We got to try a sample at the end and can honestly say it was the best we’ve ever had! It put the generic mass-produced peanut brittle you can get at most stores to shame, and was even far better than when we’ve made our own.
If you like peanut brittle you’ll love what they make at Olde World Confections (and they haven’t paid us to say so)! Their other candies are delicious too, including their fudge.
Lonsdale Quay Hotel
In addition to all its unique shops and restaurants, the facility is also home to a boutique hotel. The Lonsdale Quay Hotel has about 70 rooms located on the third and fourth floors of the building.
EAT LOCAL, BUY LOCAL & SUPPORT LOCAL
Buying local and supporting local businesses is so important! To learn about a number of locally-based food manufacturers and the benefits of buying locally-produced food, see our article about Buying From Vancouver and BC-Made Food Producers.
Lonsdale Quay Events
A number of events take place in and around Lonsdale Quay each year. On weekends in the summer there is often a musician playing in the plaza outside Lonsdale Quay. On other days there might be a free session of yoga.
There are usually free performances and family-friendly activities, either outdoors or inside in the atrium. They usually happen on holidays and days with cultural celebrations like Family Day, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo and Canada Day. There is also often a free outdoor movie at least once a year in the summer.
Just a block or so down the street is the Shipyards District, which is where special events often take place. For example, the Shipyards Night Market usually happens on Friday evenings from late spring until the early fall. Live music also takes place in Shipbuilders’ Square on Saturday evenings in the summer most years, as do a number of cultural festivals.
For a full list of vendors and other information about the market, see the Lonsdale Quay Public Market website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Best Places for Shopping
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Granville Island Public Market
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Free Outdoor Summer Concerts
- Vancouver on a Budget