Granville Island is one of the top tourist attractions in Vancouver with over 10 million visitors each year. The locals originally called the island Mud Island as it was nothing more than a mud flat that disappeared at high tide. In 1905, the cost of land was high along False Creek and the Burrard Inlet. In 1913, the Vancouver Harbour Commission decided to build a seawall and fill in the island to ten feet above the high tide mark. Over 700,000 cubic meters of fill was dredged out from the surrounding waters of False Creek. The new 38-acre island was called Industrial Island and by the 1930s, there were over 40 different companies housed on the island. This building, known as the the Big Red Barn, originally housed the National Machinery Company. The buildings that make up the Public Market were originally used to manufacture and supply equipment for logging, mining and shipping. The Granville Public Market was first established in 1979 as a place where local farmers could sell to consumers. The market is open year-round with about 50 regular vendors at any given time. The first bridge to span False Creek was built out of wood in 1889. The second Granville Bridge was built in 1909 and made out of steel. The current Granville Bridge was built in 1954 and followed the same alignment as the original 1889 bridge. The first civilian driver over the 1909 bridge was also the first person to drive over the 1954 bridge, each time in a new Cadillac. During WWII, the island switched to manufacturing defense equipment and employed women for the first time. It was during this time that the name Granville Island became a more popular name for the Island. After the war, Granville Island experienced a decline that saw the island turn into an industrial wasteland. More and more of the shipping was done by truck instead of boat and a series of fires in the 1950s damaged several buildings. The Ocean Concrete Company has been a manufacturer of cement since 1886 and on the island since 1920. Ocean Concrete is the longest tenant on the island. It was during the 1950s that more fill was added to the back channel and Granville Island ceased to be an actual island. By the early 1970s, the island was such an eyesore that the city proposed a revitalization campaign. The project was lead by Ron Basford, a Canadian federal Cabinet minister. Basford’s vision was to create a mixed recreational public use facility that the people of Vancouver could enjoy. Starting in 1975, the entire island including all the buildings were refurbished and outfitted for modern tenants. The total cost of the redevelopment was 19.5 million dollars. Most of the old buildings on the island were saved and put to a modern use. For the rest of his life, Ron Basford was known as Mr. Granville for his work on the island. Ron Basford died of a heart attack at the age of 72 in 2005 at his home near Sechelt.