Founded by a saloon owner and entrepreneur named ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton in the 1860s long before there even was a Vancouver, Gastown is the city’s original neighbourhood.
A statue of Gassy Jack marks the spot where the city was founded and along with the Gastown Steam Clock, is a favourite spot for visitors to grab a photo. Gassy Jack’s legacy lives on today as Gastown is now one of the hippest and trendiest dining and nightlife destinations in Vancouver.
It’s hard to imagine today, but in the 1970s, the city was planning on demolishing the neighbourhood to make room for a 12-lane freeway along the waterfront. Unlike the waterfront in Toronto, Chicago and New York, Vancouver decided to preserve the neighbourhood. It’s now a National Historic Site of Canada.
In 2012, thanks to it’s impressive community of menswear retailers, including Inventory, Roden Gray and Board of Trade, Gastown was named one of the most stylish neighbourhoods in the world. It’s also Vancouver’s premier furniture and home decor district, so make sure to take a stroll down Water Street to visit stores like Inform, Parliament, Style Garage or Orling Wu.
Our insider tip: Save some time to stop at Crab Park around sunset. It’s off-the-beaten track, but has one of the best views of downtown, the port and Vancouver’s North Shore.
Video by Steamy Window Productions.
Videography by Rami Mikhail
Hosted by Sean Horlor and Steve Adams