Welcome to Gastown,
where the city of Vancouver
began. Founded in 1867, the community was originally named after the
first settler and colourful saloon owner 'Gassy' Jack Deighton. Today,
the area is a charming mix of old and new with its cobbled streets,
antique gaslights, Victorian architecture, and unique tangle of mews,
courtyards and passage housing boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment.
Gastown, Vancouver, BC
Visit the world's
first Steam Clock. Each 1/4 hour
the clock sounds Westminster chimes on 5 brass steam whistlers. The
1875 replica movement is powered by a 'falling ball' drive. Designed
and built by Raymond Saunders in 1977, it has a cast bronze case and
weighs over 2 tons.
'Gassy" Jack Deighton's historic saloon/hotel was destroyed
in the Great Fire of 1886. The fire, that completely destroyed Vancouver,
was started by a Canadian Pacific Railway clearing fire that burned
out of control. In less than an hour, only two of the 400 original
houses were left standing.
The statue of the loquacious Gassy Jack stands in Maple Tree Square.
The Fisherhead Water Fountain stands near the Lamplighter Pub in
the Dominion Hotel - it was the first Vancouver establishment to
serve alcohol to women.
Historical references, such as Bloody Alley and Gaolers Mews,
date from 1850s, where bloody brawls within the former resulted
in incarceration in a small unlocked cabin in the latter. Gastown's
first constable, Jonathan Miller, ankle chained the prisoners who
were then guarded by John Clough, a one-armed drunkard.
The Europe Hotel,
was built in 1892 by Italian businessman, Angelo Colari. Known in
its day as the finest hotel in town, it was the first fireproof building
in western Canada.
Gastown is home to several prominent galleries representing the
finest selection of Canadian Native art and sculpture in Western
The 300 block of West Cordova Street is one of Vancouver's best
kept secrets. Nowhere else will you find collectibles, antiques,
Canadian designer fashions, and funky eateries on one block.
A popular walking tour of Gastown is conducted daily from June
through August. The free 90-minute tour starts from the Gastown
Steam Clock and Gassy Jack statue in Maple Tree Square. For tour
schedules, contact the Gastown Business Improvement Society.
Gastown is close to Vancouver's downtown business core and hotels.
To the west is the spectacular Canada Place, an easy five-minute
walk from the Cruise Ship Terminal or the Vancouver Trade and Convention
Centre. To the east, where Gastown and Chinatown, meet is the Sun
Yat Sen Gardens. To the south are BC Place, Rogers Arena (formerly GM Place), and International
Gastown is easily accessible by SkyTrain, Vancouver's rapid transit
system, SeaBus (ferry service from the North Shore), West Coast
Express and city buses from all areas of Vancouver and the Lower