4th December 2023
Considered one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver boasts spectacular mountain views, an amazing collection of beaches and parks, and a bustling urban core famous for its diversity. On any given day, False Creek, located at the heart of Vancouver, is active with a lively mix of watercraft, from mini-ferries, rowing shells, canoes, and kayaks to teams of dragon boats to a steady procession of commercial charters and tugs pulling barges.
False Creek is not a creek at all. When the Royal Navy was originally charting the area, the “creek” seemed to be an outlet of the Fraser Delta. When it was discovered that it ended after only a mile and a half, the cartographers scribbled “false” beside the word “creek.” Despite the attempt to change its name to “Pleasant Inlet” in 1891, the False Creek name stuck.
As popular as False Creek is, it can be difficult to find transient moorage, so it’s best to make reservations in advance at one of the marinas. May visiting boaters enjoy Quayside Marina (pronounced “Keyside”) located on the northern shore, in the trendy and vibrant Yaletown district. Most of the slips are for permanent moorage, but guest moorage is available for vessels to 120 feet.
Across the street from the marina are two excellent restaurants, Provence Marinaside and EB Breakfast Co. the former offers a menu inspired by the culture and countryside of southern France. For provisioning needs, the Urban Fare Market – excellent meat and cheese selections and well-stocked produce, deli, bakery, and dairy departments – is located 100-yards from the head of the dock.
For a minimal charge, visitors can board a foot ferry to Granville Island to roam the lively Granville Island Public Market. The harbor’s many attractions are also easily accessible by these small ferries: Science World in the Geodesic Dome, Plaza of Nations, Yaletown, Stamps Landing, Granville Island, Aquatic Centre, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Grandville Island Public Market, the center of attraction in False Creek, is a provisioning paradise with its artful pyramids of fruits and vegetables, bright display cases of deli meats and cheeses, presentations of shimmering fresh fish, and the tantalizing aromas of exotic spices and fresh-baked breads.
Along Grandville island’s west side, there is a variety of marine supplies, boat maintenance services, a museum, a kayaking center, and fishing charters.
Just south of the Public Market is the Net Loft, a complex of specialty shops. Here visitors will discover books of all kinds, handcrafted glass, fabric shops, art supplies, galleries, and musical instruments.
After exploring Grandville Island, visitors can relax, enjoy a cold beer, and a selection of pub fare at the Granville Island Brewing. If the crew desires something other than pub food, the island offers a variety of restaurants to satisfy any crew member’s taste.
Located at the east end of False Creek is Chinatown. The entrance can be found one kilometer northeast of Science World. Chinatown grew up during the flourishing expansion years of the 1880s and 1890s when Chinese immigrants came to work in the mines, farms, and logging industry that operated around the Vancouver area. These days, you will discover numerous shops, well-manicured grounds, koi ponds, bridges, pagodas, and some of the best authentic Chinese cuisine in Canada.
False Creek has no shortage of dining opportunities to offer visiting boaters. For comfort food head for Mahony’s Tavern at Stamp’s Landing. Dining on Bridge’s Restaurant’s large deck on Grandville Island is a favorite of Vancouverites and visitors. The Dockside Vancouver – Dockside Waterfront Restaurant a wonderful selection including a Sunday brunch. For more laid-back dining, try a meal at The Wicklow at Stamp’s Landing. Fish & Chips are popular at the takeout concession Go Fish located at Fishermen’s Wharf.
If you’re looking for a lively urban port, False Creek in Vancouver is hard to beat.