Granville Island

What is it?

Granville Island in Vancouver is designed to attract local residents and visitors to meet, explore and experience, all year round, a variety of cultural, recreational, educational, commercial and industrial activities. It is recognized as one of the most successful waterfront developments in North America.

Granville Island is now home to approximately 275 businesses and facilities which employ more than 2,500 people and generate in excess of $130 million in economic activity annually.

CMHC's Role

The redevelopment of Granville Island was initiated by the federal government in 1972 to create, foster and maintain a unique urban oasis in the heart of Vancouver. In the same year, the administration, management and control of the revitalization of Granville Island was transferred to CMHC by Order-in-Council, as CMHC was already deeply involved in an innovative housing development in the area and it had experience in urban renewal and the skilled resources necessary to carry out the challenge.

There is a Granville Island Trust, appointed by the Minister responsible for CMHC, which acts in an advisory capacity.


Between 1973 and 1982, the federal government invested $24.7 million in Granville Island. The funding in 1973 ($5.7 million) represented the assumption of the Harbour Board's debt. Funding of $19 million between 1974 and 1982 represented capital improvements to the Island.

Since 1983, however, Granville Island has been financially self-sustaining. Funding for capital improvements and operations is covered by revenues from its tenants, which are from the public, private and non-profit sectors. As directed by Treasury Board in March 1988, CMHC developed a plan for the capital improvements to the Island and has set up an ongoing capital funding reserve.



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