Granville Island Goes Swiss During Olympics

by  Celeste Moure | Feb 14, 2010
Granville Island
Granville Island / Photo courtesy of Granville Island website

Join our Vancouver correspondent, Celeste Moure, for daily updates from the Winter Olympic Games. 

With the Olympic Games well under way and Switzerland becoming the first country to win a Gold Medal (Simon Ammann for ski jumping), I headed down to Granville Island, a onetime wasteland that was reinvented in the 1970s as a walkable manmade island for shopping, eating, drinking, and people-watching. Kind of like Boston’s Faneuil Hall or San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace (only bigger), Granville Island features a public market with fresh specialty foods as well as pedestrian-only alleys where shops are filled with arts and crafts by local artisans. Down one such alley is Osake, where Masa Shiroki, Canada’s only artisan sake maker, handcrafts and bottles fresh premium sake. A few doors down is Funk Shui Atelier, where Jessica de Haas creates boho chic wearable art like felt hats, jackets, and accessories. But I skip the shopping and try my luck at getting into the House of Switzerland, which is set up at a popular restaurant called Bridges and serves as a kind of meeting point and social hub for the Swiss Olympic team during the Games. Just about every country competing in the Games has a house open to the public that offers guests a taste and feel of its nation. The Swiss House, for example, was serving free raclette on the day I went. Next up on my list is the Dutch House, which is rumored to be pouring free Amstel to all.

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