Gastown Old Town runs from Hastings Street east across Columbia St, parallel to the west of Main Street in the city. This place is considered the starting point for the development of Vancouver people in 1867. 

The old town of Gastown was born when an English immigrant named “John Deighton” married an aboriginal girl. They both went to a new land to open a pub and started building a new life here. The place they both chose to live is the old town Gastown today. After that, sawmills, lumberjack housing areas, and restaurants gradually sprang up around this place. And slowly a small neighborhood was formed called “Gastown”. The name of the neighborhood was named after the owner of Gassy pub at that time and the name has remained the same since then to this day.

The neighborhood has witnessed many ups and downs of Vancouver’s history and still retains its own ancient features in every corner and every small street. The gas-burning street lamps and sidewalk tiles in Gastown have been around for a long time, and they are still preserved to this day. It is these ancient features that make Gastown so mysterious.

In particular, Gastown stands out for its clock tower where water is operated in an ancient way. This is considered a symbol of a Gastown that lasts forever. This clock was placed between Cambie and Water streets in 1875 when Vancouver was not yet on the list of Canadian cities. Thanks to steam running underground and shooting up the clock column, the clock can operate without a battery. Every time the steam rises, the clock bells ring throughout the streets of Gastown. 

In the center of Gastown old town, Gaoler’s Mews Building also stands out. This is one of the historical landmarks when it was built in 1800 with the first purpose of being Vancouver’s prison. In 1886, a major incident occurred here and it was completely burned down. Now, the project has been converted into a building with a prominent red brick wall. Next door is the famous Irish pub Haether and restaurant L’abbatoire. 

One of the landmarks that clearly shows Vancouver’s architecture is Maple Tree Square located in the old town of Gastown. This place is the perfect intersection of culture and history. In April 1886, the first council meeting of the city of Vancouver was held at this location. The square’s name “Maple Tree” comes from the image of the large maple tree planted here. Unfortunately, the original tree was burned down in a fire in 1886. It was not until 100 years later, in 1986, that the meaningful meeting scene was recreated. Maple Tree Square intersects four major streets: Alexander, Powell, Water and Carall. The square is always bustling with shopping malls, shops and dining areas.

Gastown Old Town is also known as a famous “food paradise” in Vancouver. Along the old streets are countless restaurants with many culinary styles from all over the world, stretching from Asia to Europe. In addition, if you walk around the city, you can also visit one of the noisy pubs, order a cocktail and watch a sports match on TV with the locals.

Another experience for visitors is to see the entire Vancouver from 168m high with Vancouver Lookout located in the Harbor Center heritage area, built in 1977. After 40 seconds of riding the transparent elevator, the old town view Gastown, Coal Harbor, Stanley Park and many other landmarks will open before your eyes. When standing in this special position, visitors can also hear free automatic audio instructions on places to visit around the city. 

With a mix of traditional souvenir shops and art galleries, as well as many unique fashion boutiques and modern gift shops, in Gastown visitors will find plenty for both themselves and their families. souvenirs for relatives and friends. The area has some wonderful First Nations art galleries – it’s worth exploring for unique memorabilia such as silver jewellery, artwork and carvings.

Gastown Old Town is crowded and bustling during the day. But at night, this place has many hidden secrets. If visitors are curious, they can join a night tour to explore every corner of the neighborhood for 1.5 – 2 hours. Still familiar locations during the day, but combined with a theatrical storytelling format, visitors can clearly learn about historical information that was once hidden. For example, the epidemic brought terrible consequences; or the fire that seemed to completely destroy Gastown. Or hear about a murder that remains mysterious. Then protests took place in this town. Even some data about the underground world in Gastown, with the alcohol and banned substances business, was also revealed.

Gastown Old Town mixed with the modernity and development of the city of Vancouver will bring visitors the best tour. Book our Canada Tour so you don’t miss out on a trip to this wonderful old town! Surely visitors will find many memorable experiences in Gastown!



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