SkyTrain Explorer Chapter 3: Granville Station

Granville Heritage

Has it really been almost three years since my last SkyTrain Explorer walking tour? It sure doesn't feel like it. Not including the Metrotown Station tour, which only takes you through the mall, all that's left is Burrard Station, Stadium-Chinatown Station, Broadway Station, and, up until this weekend, Granville Station.

Starting a SkyTrain Explorer walking tour.

The route took me from Granville Station heading south to Smithe. Along the way, I gazed upon the Sears building renovation project and the Vancouver Block. Past Granville and Robson, I admired the facade of the Commodore Ballroom, a venue I've been fortunate enough to attend a few concerts at. Atkin points out the B.C. entertainment hall of fame plaques lining Granville Street and especially the one in from of the Orpheum. Along this section of the tour, changed since the book's publication date has been the tearing down and rebuilding of the building on the corner of Robson Street, formerly an optical store, soon to be an Old Navy store, and the closing down of the Granville Seven theatre.

Taking me along from Granville and then onto Smithe, Atkin directs me to walk up the stairs to Robson Square. How did I not until now visit this side of it? The view of downtown Vancouver is incredible. Did I know the multicoloured sculpure by Michael Banwell was there until yesterday? No, I did not.

After some confusion as to which route to take to get there (Hornby? through the square?), I found myself on the west side of the Art Gallery, where we see a memorial to Edward VII (Shakespeare quote!) and an entrance to the old law courts (now the art gallery) with Police and Sheriff signs outside. (I'd been watching a little bit too much Doctor Who, 2005 edtion, so I half expected the Doctor to pop out of it with Rose.) Through the art gallery's square, where so many protest has taken place, we are led to gaze upon Hotel Georgia.

All in all a short tour, just south down Granville, hang a right on Smith, then back north through Robson Square to the Art Gallery. For all the photos, visit my Granville Station SkyTrain Explorer page, or the set on Flickr.

Old Navy sign

Renovation of the old Sears Building in the background.