In the year that Canada first became a united nation, Gastown became the birthplace of the city of Vancouver. Adjacent to the Downtown Eastside, this historic neighbourhood is definitely a place visitors and new residents must see. Some buildings date all the way back to the late 1800’s and this area is now a popular location for artists, designers and many other creative types. It is largely comprised of lofts and older, architecturally-significant buildings and is bordered by Water, Hastings and Cambie Streets.
You can get to and around Gastown easily as there are many trains, buses and seabuses close to the waterfront area. Everything is unique in this neighbourhood and you will always find something to entertain you. Visitors should visit the famous ‘Gassy Jack’ statue and the Steam Clock. Gassy Jack was the first man to arrive on the scene with the notion of building a saloon primarily for the hard-working men at the mill. Built in 1977 based on an 1875 design, the popular Steam Clock is run on steam (of course) and it chimes every hour on the hour. You will always find loads of tourists waiting to take their photo with the historic clock or to hear the Westminster chimes go off.
As you walk through Gastown and browse through the many souvenir, art and First Nations shops you will notice plaques in certain locations around Water Street. These are placed for visitors so they can learn more about the history of this popular neighbourhood. And if you are a budding artist you’re also in the right place—you are bound to find some creative stores in which to buy paints, canvas and oils. Gastown is a popular attraction that is also very close to other must-see attractions, such as Canada Place, General Motors Place, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Gardens, and historic Chinatown.