Car-free weekends set to launch on Granville Street

Granville Street will turn green this weekend with AstroTurf stretching from curb to curb in the 700 block and the Canadian Olympic badminton team joining buskers, dancers and drummers for the first weekend of a summer-long, car-free celebration on the re-designed street.

“We saw during the Olympic Games how people came together, had a great time and enjoyed festivities on Granville,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said. “As a legacy from the Games, we are creating a car-free space where people can come and enjoy summer in the heart of the city.”

Over the course of the weekend and summer, events will take place all along Granville. In the 700 block between Georgia and Robson, there will public seating with 100 chairs and other pieces of patio furniture set out so people can relax and soak in all of the activities happening around them.

“After construction, we saw Vancouverites reclaim Granville as their own,” says Charles Gauthier, Executive Director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. “The business community is excited about what the future of this destination street will mean to the vibrancy of downtown.”

Free events and activities taking place this weekend include a chance for people to test their badminton skills against the Canadian Olympic badminton team on Saturday on courts set up in the 700 block. On Sunday, there will be free yoga and dance fit classes in the 600 block.

Other activities include a chance to sample street cuisine from three food carts, roving street performers, buskers, dancers and improv teams, and special guests, the Nissga’a First Nations Drummers.

Granville Street between Smithe and Hastings is closed to traffic all summer and open to the public for five blocks as a community space. Events and activities will take place every weekend from July 3 through September 6.

“With the City and downtown businesses collaborating on these car-free weekends, we’re delivering on our commitment to build on the successful street activities we had during the Olympics,” Mayor Robertson added. “This is a great way to get people of all ages to come downtown and enjoy the type of energy and vibrancy we had on Granville Street during the Games.”

Festivities begin at noon on Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4 and carry through the afternoon.

For more information and a complete schedule of events visit: www.rediscovergranville.com

Photo credit: City of Vancouver