Our next chapter in our Parasol Places blog is going to focus on Canada.
Having recently visited Vancouver and The Canadian Rockies, we hope that we can provide you with a few golden nuggets of insider information.
Let's start with Vancouver's Granville Island, which is actually a peninsular... Once an Industrial Manufacturing area, it has been transformed into an eclectic hot spot for both entertainment and tourism. Set across the water from Vancouver's Downtown centre, and underneath The Granville Street Bridge, it really is quite a setting.
So what is it all about? When the area was converted from it's manufacturing past, the Vancouver authorities stipulated that in order to be a business on the island, you had to be independent, with no franchises such as Starbucks or McDonald's allowed anywhere near. Your business also had to originate in Vancouver itself, as the whole rhetoric of the project was to promote the very best of the city's own talent.
Personally, our three favourite aspects of the island are the Public Market, Granville Island Brewing Co and the Granville Island Silos. Let us tell you a little bit about them.
The public market is everything you could ever ask for in a public market. There is fruit, cakes, fresh meat, seafood and street food vendors in copious quantities. The choice, quality and variety is just perfect for any food lover or connoisseur. Even better, the prices aren't scary at all.
The Granville Island Brewing Co has been making and selling on site made recipes since 1984, and even claims to be the first microbrewery in Canada. Using local ingredients wherever possible, the brewery is also completely carbon neutral, trying to recycle it's glass bottles a minimum of 13 times before disposal. The Brewery hosts 5 tours a day, and these are definitely not to be missed.
Lastly, the Granville Island Silos? No, we don't have a fetish for concrete, or manufacturing for that matter... These once ghastly structures have been transformed by Os Gemeos', who are identical twins from Sao Paulo, Brazil. They have turned the silos into gigantic characters (The above image), with each painted in vibrant colours, and striking attire. They are something to behold, especially from the water taxis passing by to and from the island.
Well that is it for now, but another of Vancouver's gems will be coming to you soon.....