Examples of Urban Magnets

Granville Island

Granville Island is the best current example of the success of precincts in Western Canada, as it is 3 precincts in one place:

  • A food precinct – Granville Island offers the ability to buy many types of food, the food is produced (baked etc) there, chef schools and informal classes are taught there, food is ever present in the public realm and the public market is an icon, many food related events occur (and the market is like one permanent food event).
  • A marine precinct – Granville Island offers the ability to buy everything related to boats, boats are made on the island in many areas, many classes in boating or boat building are offered, the urban design is highly referential of marine architecture and forms, and boating related events occur throughout the year.
  • An arts and performance precinct – Granville Island offers many retail outlets for art and the best BC store for art supplies, art studios abound where visitors can see art being made, Emily Carr art school and the Arts Umbrella offer a very strong educational presence in art and performance, art is visible everywhere in the buildings and landscape, and regular performances and art shows occur throughout the year.

One of the strengths of Granville Island is the presence of all these precincts in one place – it would not be as successful without the presence of all 3 precincts or without the strength of all 3.