Tourist in My Own City: Tour Guys Granville Street & Gastown Tour

Although I don’t have a big trip planned this summer I’m not going to let the next couple months go to waste. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve decided to play tourist. I don’t think I’m the only person who takes what’s right there in front of them for granted. I’ve explored other cities in the world WAY more than I have explored Vancouver. What better time to change that?

When I was in Amsterdam last summer I took an amazing free walking tour and I wondered if Vancouver had one as well. Good ol’ Google came to the rescue and directed me towards “Tour Guys” which offers four walking tours:  Downtown & Waterfront, Granville Street & Gastown, Chinatown and Granville Island. The tours are all free however the hope is that you will tip your guide at the end.

The Granville Street & Gastown tour fit best into my schedule for the week so I booked myself a spot online and made the trek downtown via the Skytrain from Coquitlam – gotta use that U-PASS I’m paying an arm and a leg for every semester (I’m sure some of you local post-secondary students can relate!)

The tour began outside of Pacific Centre (Georgia entrance) and worked it’s way down Granville Street and into Gastown.

We popped into Sinclair Centre and had a look at the original bell from the tower in 1909 while we heard all kinds of information about the history of the area.

From there we ventured down to Waterfront where we had a great view of Canada Place and the North Shore (including a cruise ship that I wished I was boarding!)

Next up was Waterfront Station. We heard a bit about the history of the building, much of which I didn’t know!

From there we went to Gastown where we saw the statue of Gassy Jack (I admit that pic is from March…I didn’t take one today!), the famous steamclock and the old (and not so old) buildings.

We also walked through Bloode Alley as well as Gaoler’s Mews which I never even knew existed.

The tour ended at the statue of Gassy Jack. I was highly satisfied. Our guide, Kyle, was great and I learned a ton about the history of this part of Vancouver. If you’re looking for a great walking tour check out the Tour Guys website at http://www.tourguys.ca/free-tours

As an aside, after the tour I went to MeeT in Gastown (http://www.meetonmain.com) for lunch with a girl I met on the tour. If you’re looking for delicous vegan fare check it out! We shared Organic Steamed Kale and Sweet Chili Cauliflower…so delicious! I forgot to take a picture of the kale but here is the cauliflower.

Tourist in My Own City: Granville Island

Here it is…kicking off my Tourist in My Own City series…first up, sushi and Granville Island!

My friend, Kyla, was in town from Kelowna for a few days and an adventure was to be had on Friday! We headed to Tomokazu, an all-you-can-eat sushi place at 201-1128 West Broadway. Coen and I actually discovered this restaurant on Spring Break and I had been waiting to go back. It’s worth the drive!

Since we were already in Vancouver we decided to attempt to find parking at Granville Island which is no easy feat at the best of times, nevermind a sunny summer day. When we first arrived I thought it was a huge mistake as we were met by a traffic jam. With no choice but to follow the steady stream of cars we stuck it out and after a few minutes we totally lucked out and found a spot. I drove past it at first because it was kind of hidden but managed to back up in time to grab it!

I admit I haven’t explored much of Granville Island. When I visit I usually only go to the Public Market. On Friday we checked out Railspur Alley which was lined with cool shops, cafes and hanging baskets in full bloom!

Next up was the Edible Canada retail store. I didn’t buy anything but it was filled with all kinds of Canadian-made goodies. I was tempted by different jams and seasoning salts but I already have so many! This would be a great place to buy gifts! You can check out the website at https://ediblecanada.com/shop/ I wouldn’t mind eating at the bistro one day!

From there we headed into the Public Market. I love being surrounded by fresh fruits, veggies, meat, seafood and freshly baked pastries! Combine all that with tons of local artisans and I’m in Heaven! We grabbed a drink (White Tea Lemonade from Granville Island Tea Company – http://www.granvilletea.com) and headed outside to sit in the sun. We caught a street performer’s act then enjoyed the gorgeous scenery.

We spent the next little while checking out everything at the market. There’s no shortage of delicious treats but I settled for an apple cinnamon muffin and cheese scone from Laurelle’s Fine Foods (http://www.laurelles.com) and Kosher Dill pickles from Kaylin and Hobbs Pickles (http://kaylinandhobbs.com)

All in all it was a pretty terrific day!❤