End of Free Parking at Granville Island Splits Metro Vancouverites

More than a third of recent visitors (35%) arrived by public transit, while 45% travelled to Granville Island in their own vehicles.

Vancouver, BC [December 27, 2019] – The decision to eliminate free parking at Granville Island is causing different reactions among residents of Metro Vancouver, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Metro Vancouverites, 33% of residents say they are “less likely” to go to Granville Island after the cancellation of free parking from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. More two-in-five (42%) say this decision will not affect their plans, and one-in-five (19%) are now “more likely” to visit.

“Two-in-five Metro Vancouverites who drive to Granville Island (40%) claim to be less likely to visit under the new parking regime,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, more than half of them (58%) say they will not be deterred by this new regulation.”

Almost one-in-five Metro Vancouverites (18%) have been to Granville Island six times or more over the past two years, while 42% have been visited two to five times.

While more than one third of recent visitors to Granville Island (35%) relied on public transit to get there, a higher proportion (45%) arrived in their own vehicle. This includes 38% of residents of the City of Vancouver, as well as majorities of visitors from Surrey (55%), Burnaby (56%) and other municipalities in the Lower Mainland (52%).

The main reason to visit Granville Island continues to be shopping at the Public Market (56%, up seven points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in November 2018), followed by sightseeing (20%) and getting a meal or snack (19%).

Other reasons cited for visiting Granville Island are shopping at a store that is not located inside the Public Market (13%) and going to an Arts and Culture performance (9%). 


Results are based on an online study conducted from December 9 to December 12, 2019, among 700 adults in Metro Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Metro Vancouver. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca