Granville Island to enforce total pay parking during peak hours

Laura Johnston / October 31, 2018

Starting next summer, all free parking at one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions will be nixed during the day.

As of June 2019, visitors to Granville Island will have to pay three dollars per hour in the summer and two dollars per hour in the winter to park between 11 AM and 6 PM. Parking will remain free before 11 AM and after 6 PM in designated spots.

Currently, the small island has several different parking rules and time limits in different areas.

One employee on the island said it’s going to take some getting used to for locals who’ve been coming here for years, but thinks that regulated parking could help avoid confusion as well as traffic and congestion.

“It will deter some people from constantly circling the island. So if you come down here knowing you’re gonna have to pay, you’re gonna take the spot that you find, and that’s that, or you won’t park down here. So it might just clear up the roadways a little bit.” – Employee at Paper-Ya, Granville Island

The island is administrated by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and it is responsible for putting the new rules into place.

“The new pay parking hours will encourage some people to shift their trips to the morning or evening, when the Island is less busy,” the CMHC said in its Granville Island parking management strategy report.

Granville Island is home to many unique Vancouver staples, like the world-famous public market, kids market, bakeries, fisheries, artisan shops and theatre companies. It is also surrounded by the picturesque False Creek.

Although the island provides a quintessential Vancouver experience for tourists, members of the community are not happy they’re going to have to pay for parking just to run errands or pick up groceries.

“People come to shop, and groceries are a little higher here anyway, because it’s Granville Island, and unless people get down here before 11’o clock in the morning, that means they’ve got to pay an extra three dollars an hour to buy their groceries. Everywhere we go now is pay parking and this is a chance to be at our ocean, and I don’t agree with it personally.” – Local Resident

For locals, pay parking is just another symptom of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

While there is parking offered in the areas surrounding Granville Island, most is also paid, and using a car sharing service, public transit or cycling may be a more affordable way of getting to the island.

With files from Srushti Gangdev.